Dog Breeder Regulations Added to Farm Bill

A Senate amendment has implications for cat and dog breeders as well as pet importers.

Posted: December 7, 2007, 5 a.m. EST

A proposed amendment to the federal Farm Bill would regulate some hobby breeders selling more than 25 dogs or cats per year and place restrictions on importing kittens and puppies.

The amendment, modeled after the PAWS (Pet Animal Welfare Statute) bill, which was defeated last year, would amend the Animal Welfare Act to “treat a regulated person in the same manner that the Secretary treats a dealer under this Act.” The proposal, however, allows for an alternative by way of third-party inspections. The third party, though, must be approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and adhere to standards “at least as protective of animal welfare” as the agency’s.

Anyone raising or breeding less than 25 dogs or cats (or 6 litters, whichever is greater) per year for direct sale to a pet owner (i.e., not for resale) would be exempt. In addition to the 25 animals they raised, the breeders could sell 25 more dogs or cats that were not raised on their facilities without facing the regulation. Anyone who sells dogs and cats only at retail (i.e., not for resale) would also be exempt, as would anyone selling an annual amount of 25 or less dogs or cats that they did not raise.

The regulation does not apply to pet stores except under limited exceptions, and nonprofit animal shelters are also exempt from the regulation.

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced the amendment, entitled “Regulation of High-Volume Retailers and Importers, Nov. 15, 2007.

In addition, the bill contains language to regulate the importation of kittens and puppies and ban imports of dogs less than 6 months old. Michael Maddox of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) says that is of concern especially in Hawaii, which imports all of its puppies from other countries, because the state’s rabies-free status prevents it from buying animals from the U.S. mainland, but also for other resellers whose customers might prefer young puppies.

The proposal cited the following concerns:
“The breeding of puppies and kittens in foreign countries for resale in the United States creates opportunities and incentives for evasion of United States laws (including regulations ...the conditions under which puppies are transported into the United States for resale are frequently inhumane and ... there is an unacceptably high incidence of disease and death among puppies imported into the United States for resale.”

Complicating this matter is that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) closed the comment period for its draft regulations on importation of dogs, cats and other pet animals only last Saturday, Dec. 1.

The CDC is sorting through the comments that are intended to aid the government agency when crafting its new rules on animal importation. The process could take anywhere from one to several years.

- Rose Gordon, Associate News Editor for


4 of 8 Comments View All 8 Comments

Give us your opinion Give us your opinion on Dog Breeder Regulations Added to Farm Bill

User Avatar

Debbie   Ephrata, PA

4/25/2009 7:22:45 PM

Yes, this is something very much in need of regulation. Especially shipping puppies from other countries. There are more than enough puppies in shelters for everyone that wants a pet.

User Avatar

Cathy   Pueblo, CO

2/13/2009 1:55:14 PM

I live in Colorado,I run a non-profit animal shelter.I am disgusted with so called rescuers bringing in 1000's of animals into our state when we have enough shelter dogs dying already.These so called rescues are nothing more than puppy re-salers.A breeder may breed and sell a pup, but a rescue does the same thing as they go by public demand.The public only wants certain small cute, young animals so that is what the rescues seek in other states.They come back with sob stories to gain public sentiment when in fact many times they are lying. I have talked to other shelters and rescues in other states who have told me that most are not even vet checked before transfered across state lines(which is the LAW)The law ought to apply to all and exempt NO ONE ....WE have enough laws,we just do not have them enforced.

User Avatar

missy   maui, HI

12/8/2007 11:40:14 AM

I think it's good to have stronger laws for animals.

User Avatar

Christy   Covina, CA

12/8/2007 8:07:04 AM

Breeders shouold have to follow certain laws. And why do we need to import dogs. Last I heard our pounds were packed full!!!!!

Login to get points for commenting or write your comment below

First Name : Email :
International :
City : State :

Captcha Image

Get New Captcha

Top Products