USDA Continues to Implement & Enforce New Pet Breeder Requirements

Longhair Dachshunds Courtesy AKC

By: Sheila Goffe, Director, Government Relations

It’s been more than six months since the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) began implementing new federal regulations that narrow the definition of “retail pet store”. Prior to this rule change, most small/hobby breeders were considered by the USDA to be retail pet stores and thus exempt from licensing and regulation under the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

Although clarifications to some aspects of the regulation are still pending, breeders should be aware that the USDA is enforcing new regulations that require some previously exempt breeders to now become licensed by USDA as pet dealers.

The American Kennel Club expects responsible breeders to know, understand and obey the laws to which they are subject, and recommends that anyone who has questions about whether they are subject to the licensing contact USDA APHIS directly at (301) 851-3751.

Background

The USDA’s purpose in creating the regulatory change was to license and regulate internet-based pet breeders and sellers under the federal AWA. The regulations also expanded USDA oversight of pet breeders to include people who maintain more than four “breeding females” of any species AND sell one pet “sight unseen.”

The American Kennel Club (AKC) shares the USDA’s concerns about substandard or unscrupulous pet dealers –including some that disguise themselves as rescue organizations—who mislead the public about the pets they sell.  However, the AKC has also been concerned that the changes in the rule would unfairly subject many small-scale hobby breeders to the same requirements as large scale commercial breeding facilities. Although the rule provided exemptions for animals not sold as pets, it also potentially characterized and regulated many small breeders/hobbyists as commercial pet dealers because they breed an occasional litter and transfer even a single pet sight unseen to an approved home or participate in rescue activities.

To address these concerns, AKC worked with Congress to direct the USDA to clarify two key issues. The first is that a “breeding female” is one that is both capable of breeding and actively being used in a breeding program. The second is to exempt those that maintain more than four breeding females but do not transfer more than a “de minimis” (minimal) number of pets sight unseen. USDA has been directed to prepare new regulatory language that further address these specifics. The new language, which is expected within a year, will provide regulatory relief for some small hobby breeders but not change regulatory requirements for those who sell significant numbers of dogs online or sight unseen.

In the meantime, the USDA is enforcing the new regulations and expects breeders who are subject to licensing to contact the USDA and seek a licensing application packet.  A general outline of whether you may be subject to licensing under the new rules is available from AKC Government Relations. For questions about your own particular situation, contact USDA directly.

If you believe you may be subject to USDA licensing and regulation, here are a few important updates/items to consider.

Read more.

 

 

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Government Relations

Club Spotlight: Waukesha Kennel Club

WKC1

The Waukesha Kennel Club (WKC) is hosting its 69th and 70th all-breed dog shows this weekend, along with three days of Junior Showmanship, Obedience and Rally competitions beginning July 25th.

Whether you are a longtime dog show exhibitor or a newbie, there is something fun going on for everyone this weekend at the WKC shows!

WKC2

Cuddles for Kids: WKC is inviting kids ages 8 and under to bring a new stuffed animal on Sunday, July 27, 2014 at noon for a “Stuffed Animal Show” judged by a prominent local personality. All entries will receive a ribbon and the Best Stuffed Animal in Show will win a $25.00 Gift Card to Culver’s. The child can then, if they so choose, donate their stuffed animal to a local children hospital as part of the “Cuddles for Kids” program, an activity started by Kaitlyn Kraus, daughter of WKC members Tom and Dr. Mary Kraus.

A donation of a stuffed animal can make a child’s experience at a hospital less scary. Hospital staff use the new fuzzy friend to ease feelings of fear and anxiety and provide comfort. ALL proceeds will go to a local children’s hospital.

The Brewers Mascot ‘Hank’ will also be there to meet and greet families during the ‘Cuddles For Kids’ event. Come and meet Hank!

Junior Handler Clinic with the Professionals: This event will take place following Juniors judging on Saturday the 26th at approximately noon. This is a free presentation coordinated with the AKC Registered Handlers Program. All Juniors are encouraged to participate and receive individual instruction with their dogs. Subs and drinks will be available.

Rare Breed Show: After Best in Show on Saturday the 26th, the Berger Picard Club of America will sponsor an Open Show for all Miscellaneous and FSS (Foundation Stock Service) breeds.

Other fun activities to watch include Barn Hunt (Saturday and Sunday), the Bred-By-Exhibitor Competition (Saturday) and the National Owner-Handled Series (Sunday).

For more information, including a Spectator Parking Coupon, visit the Waukesha Kennel Club website and Facebook page.

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Club Spotlight

Another Scientific Study Challenges the Wisdom of Government-Mandated Spay/Neuter

Vizla1_head

By: Phil Guidry, Senior Policy Analyst, AKC Government Relations

An article published in the February 1, 2014, edition of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2014; 244: 309-319) reported on the findings of an investigation into how dogs’ age at sterilization, specifically via traditional practices of gonadectomy—the surgical removal of a female dog’s ovaries or a male dog’s testes—impacts the risk of diagnosis of certain cancers and behavioral disorders in Vizslas.

Other scientific studies are also underway seeking better understanding of the impact of spay/neuter on various aspects of dogs’ health, including the longevity, cancer resistance, and joint diseases.

In the Vizsla study, the data were compiled over the course of 16 years via an anonymous online survey of owners.  Generally, the study found that, compared to sexually intact dogs:

  • Dogs sterilized at less than six months of age, between seven and 12 months of age, and at over 12 months of age had significantly increased odds of developing mast cell cancer, lymphoma, all other cancers, all cancers combined, and fear of storms.
  • Females sterilized at up to 12 months of age, and males and females sterilized at over 12 months of age had significantly increased odds of developing hemangiosarcoma.

The study further found a positive relationship between the age of sterilization and the age of diagnosis of biological and behavioral issues.  The younger the age at which a dog was sterilized correlated to an earlier average age of diagnosis of mast cell cancer, cancers other than mast cell, hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma, all cancers combined, behavioral disorders, or fear of storms.  When compared to the odds of sexually intact dogs, dogs sterilized younger than six months of age were also found to have significantly increased odds of developing a behavioral disorder.

The study’s authors call for additional studies on the biological effects of removing gonadal hormones and on methods to render dogs infertile that do not involve the full removal of organs that produce important hormones, including vasectomy versus castration for males and hysterectomy versus oviohysterectomy for females.  They also call on veterinarians to discuss the benefits and possible adverse effects of gonadectomy with clients, giving consideration to a dog’s breed, their owner’s circumstances, and the anticipated use of the dog.

The American Kennel Club promotes a balanced approach to the issues surrounding spaying or neutering. We encourage pet owners to spay or neuter their dogs as a responsible means to prevent accidental breedings resulting in unwanted puppies.  However, the AKC opposes laws that mandate the spaying or neutering of purebred dogs.  Ultimately, we believe that all health care decisions, including whether to spay or neuter, should be made by a dog’s owner in consultation with their veterinarian.  The new insights provided by the Vizsla study provide further evidence that gonadectomy, like other major surgical procedures, should not be entered into without consideration of long term health impacts and should never be arbitrarily mandated by a government entity.

 

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Government Relations

Celebrate CGC by Hosting an AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day!

RDO

Join hundreds of AKC clubs and pet-loving organizations for the AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days 2014 campaign. Since we are also celebrating the 25th Anniversary of AKC’s Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) program this year, we are including a FREE CGC test kit ($20 value) in the RDO Days kits sent to those hosting events.

Be one of the first 600 groups to sign-up by August 15th and you’ll receive a free kit of materials to hand out to visitors, including a free CGC test kit, pencils, stickers, and AKC brochures, as well as a listing on the AKC RDO webpage. 

Are you a returning event host? Login to enter your event details here. (Forget your password? Click here.)

Is this your first year hosting an AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days event? Create an account here.

Interested in attending or participating in AKC’s Flagship RDO Day in Raleigh in September? Learn how here.

We hope you join us this September!

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days

Teach Your Dog to Bow

Looking for a fun and impressive trick to teach your dog? Try the “bow!” In this video, Nancy Field CPDT-KA of the Port Chester Obedience Training Club and her Labrador Retriever, “Emma,” demonstrate how to teach your dog to bow.

Do you have your own videos of your dog’s funny antics or him playing as a puppy? Show us why your breed’s the best by entering our “I Love My Breed” Video Sweepstakes. Anything that shows off your dog’s cuteness and why you love your breed is welcome. One submission will be selected to receive a $100 Amazon gift card. Enter your video at our Facebook page today through 7/21!

ILoveMyBreed_FBShare

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Video

The AKC Family Grows to 180 Breeds

Have you met the two newest breeds to join the AKC family? The Wirehaired Vizsla and the Coton de Tulear recently became fully recognized and began competing in their respective groups at dog shows on July 2nd.

Learn more about the two breeds here!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Purpose-Bred Dogs

Dogs Love Dock Diving

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Many athletic dogs — from Whippets to Irish Water Spaniels, and everything in between — recently competed in one of the first North America Diving Dogs events at Westwind Air Dogs in Thomasville, Pennsylvania. Photographer Terri Kieffer of Key4Prints.com shared some great shots from the event with us. Thank you!

Would your dog love dock diving? Learn more about how to get started here.

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Dog Sports
Follow

Thank you for subscribing “AKC Dog Lovers”

You’ll get an email with a link to confirm your sub. If you don’t get it, please contact us

The authors can also be followed on:

%d bloggers like this: