Animal Humane Society's legislative priorities

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Animal Humane Society's primary legislative priority is the creation of a Companion Animal Board (CAB) — comprised of pet experts — to provide guidance and oversight of companion animal issues in the state of Minnesota.

About the Companion Animal Board Bill

A Companion Animal Board (CAB) bill will be reintroduced for the 2023 regular state legislative session. This bill aims to: 

  • Create a state board led by pet experts in the veterinary profession, government, business, and nonprofit organizations to promote the welfare of pets and provide expertise and oversight of companion animal issues
  • Move regulation of commercial cat and dog breeders and kennels from the jurisdiction of the Board of Animal Health (BAH), an agricultural animal board, to a Companion Animal Board
  • Focus exclusively on cats, dogs, and other non-agricultural domesticated animals
  • Offer grants to nonprofits, veterinary clinics and practices, local government, and academic institutions to support local needs using funds raised through a special companion animal license plate

Learn more about efforts to establish a Companion Animal Board in Minnesota.

Why do we need a state board for pets?

There are many issues affecting pets and the people and communities who care for them. Pets in crisis cannot get emergency or medical care when needed. Local governments lack guidance and resources to deal with the challenges of feral cat colonies. A state board focused specifically on pets can provide the coordination, leadership, and expertise to tackle large problems like these.

Current pet regulations are managed by the Board of Animal Health (BAH), which is led by livestock producers and responsible for managing diseases in over 40 million agricultural animals. The BAH does not have the capacity or expertise to meet the needs of pets in our state. Pets in homes have vastly different needs than livestock. And the conditions in which dogs and cats are bred and raised affect their physical, social, and emotional health — factors that determine their success in a home.

Creating a state board for pets would establish a board of companion animal experts to identify problems affecting pets and work with communities to implement solutions. 

A Companion Animal Board will:

  • Enforce laws pertaining to the licensing, regulation, and welfare of pets including the commercial dog and cat breeder law and the cat and dog kennel and dealer law
  • Lead statewide discussions to define community problems and needs such as access to affordable veterinary care, management of feral cat colonies, and irresponsible pet breeding
  • Provide grants to nonprofits, veterinary clinics and practices, local government, and academic institutions to support local needs.
  • Serve as an expert resource for information and education
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Become an animal advocate

You can support legislative efforts to make Minnesota a more humane state by signing up to receive advocacy alerts. You'll receive periodic updates that keep you informed about issues impacting dogs, cats, and critters and explain how you can help animals through advocacy.

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For caring, compassionate advice and resources to address all your animal concerns.

Contact the Pet Helpline