Basically, the USDA developed a 91 page set of rules to implement the Animal Welfare Act and in essence they are not interested in small scale home breeders.
If you have 4 or less breed-able females you will be exempt from USDA licensing.
If you breed to preserve bloodlines, to provide service dogs, working dogs, hunting dogs, you are exempt.
If you sell an occasional "pet" quality puppy sight unseen, no problem.
If you sell dogs to overseas breeders or pet owners, no problem.
If you have a website that features your show winning dogs, performance dogs, companion event dogs, the health checks and it states that you occasionally have puppies, that's fine.
They stressed to us that small hobby breeders typically don't need any oversight. Their main concern is large scale breeders who circumvent regulations and licensing through internet sales to the public who have no recourse if the puppy is sick. And, those breeders who have a large number of breed-able females and produce a lot of puppies even if done for the purpose of preserving & improving bloodlines.
The USDA did not have clear-cut answers pertaining to rescue. But, I got the sense that, once again, their main concern would be those rescue groups who transport a large number of rescues. Parent Club rescues should not be affected by any of the new regulations. The USDA will be working with NAIA on specifics.
It was my impression that the folks at USDA understand our concerns about intrusive regulations. They have to walk a fine line between working with all groups without bias. However, the individuals that spoke today have a very strong working relationship with NAIA and a respect for what we do as breeders. In fact, they have both attended our conferences.
I would offer a word of caution about what is being distributed through various groups as their interpretation of the rules, based on what I've seen or heard about, is far from accurate. There is a knack in dealing with bureaucrats and I defer to the experts. Both the AKC and NAIA will have summations of their calls and I will provide these at the annual meeting.
Hope this unofficial report will help to allay any fears about what the new rules are all about.
A number of legislative bills have been filed in Maine that could ultimately impact the state's dog breeders and owners. While some may prove beneficial to responsible dog breeders and owners, other may prove troublesome. The American Kennel Club (AKC) urges all concerned residents of Maine to learn about the bills detailed below and to express their points of view with the appropriate state legislators.
This bill seeks to make significant changes to the Maine Veterinary Practice Act, including more strictly defining the term "practice of veterinary medicine".
Under current Maine law, owners or caretakers are permitted to provide certain types of care to their animals without this being considered the practice of veterinary medicine. This includes attaching a flea-and-tick collar or applying spot-type parasite treatments to their dog. LD 1202, however, would consider those activities as practicing veterinary medicine and would specifically prohibit dog owners who are not licensed veterinarians from providing even that level of minor care to their animals.
The AKC believes that responsible dog breeders performing generally accepted practices of animal husbandry and responsible dog owners treating their pet's common ailments should be afforded the liberty to provide this basic responsible care without it being considered a violation of the law. Such general care should continue to be exempt from Maine's definition of the practice of veterinary medicine.
LD 1202 is scheduled to be considered by the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee on Thursday, April 11.
The AKC encourages all concerned Maine residents to contact the committee members listed below, and express their concerns with LD 1202.
Sen. John L. Patrick, Chair – email@example.com
Rep. Erin D. Herbig, Chair – RepErin.Herbig@legislature.maine.gov
Sen. John J. Cleveland – firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Andre E. Cushing III – email@example.com
Rep. Paul E. Gilbert – RepPaul.Gilbert@legislature.maine.gov
Rep. Scott M. Hamann – RepScott.Hamann@legislature.maine.gov
Rep. Andrew T. Mason – firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Anne-Marie Mastraccio – RepAnneMarie.Mastraccio@legislature.maine.gov
Rep. Amy Fern Volk, ranking minority member– RepAmy.Volk@legislature.maine.gov
Rep. Brian M. Duprey – email@example.com
Rep. Lawrence E. Lockman – RepLawrence.Lockman@legislature.maine.gov
Rep. Ellen A. Winchenbach – RepEllen.Winchenbach@legislature.maine.gov
Rep. James J. Campbell, Sr. – firstname.lastname@example.org
CC: Committee Clerk Rhonda Miller -- email@example.com
This bill seeks to clarify Maine's animal welfare laws. Among its many provisions, LD 1239 would create new definitions and require licenses for commercial boarding or training kennels, commercial breeder kennels, and personal kennels. It also clarifies when inspections of licensed entities may occur and removes a provision of current law that requires a person to obtain a vendor's license to sell a dog or cat.
LD 1239 is scheduled to be considered by the Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Committee on Tuesday, April 16.
The AKC encourages Maine's responsible purebred dog breeders and responsible dog owners to contact the committee members (listed below) and express support of LD 1239 as introduced.
Senator Troy Dale Jackson, Chair – SenTroy.Jackson@legislature.maine.gov
Representative James F. Dill, Chair – RepJim.Dill@legislature.maine.gov
Senator James A. Boyle – firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Roger L. Sherman – Senroger.email@example.com
Representative Peter S. Kent – RepPeter.Kent@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Craig V. Hickman – RepCraig.Hickman@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Brian L. Jones – firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative William F. Noon – RepWilliam.Noon@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Robert J. Saucier – email@example.com
Representative Dean A. Cray, ranking minority member – RepDean.Cray@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Donald G. Marean – RepDon.Marean@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Russell J. Black – firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Jeffrey L. Timberlake – RepJeffrey.Timberlake@legislature.maine.gov
CC: Committee Clerk Natasha Irving – email@example.com
Other Important Legislation in Maine:
LD 1192 would prohibit the refusal to issue or the cancellation or nonrenewal of a property insurance policy, or an increase in the premium for the policy, solely on the basis of a policyholder's ownership of a certain breed of dog. This bill has been assigned to the Insurance and Financial Services Committee, but has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.
LD 703 would set the minimum amount of time a person convicted of animal cruelty is prohibited from owning, possessing, or having an animal on their property. This bill was considered by the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee on March 29, but no decision has been reached.
LD 395 seeks to create a cause of action for noneconomic damages to be collected by a pet owner when another person or the person's animal kills or fatally injures a pet. The bill was considered by the Judiciary Committee on March 21, which later killed the bill.
Use this site to track status of bills: http://janus.state.me.us/legis/LawMakerWeb/search.asp
This link is for tracking bills in committee:
This link is for tracking bills in the chamber:
Find your Representative by town:
Find your Senator by town:
all photos compliments of Tracey Benson