The dog and cat breeder regulation bill supported by Animal Humane Society was included in omnibus supplemental appropriations bill that was passed by the Minnesota House late Thursday, on a vote of 70-59. The bill number is H.F. 3172.
AHS is supporting the dog and cat breeder bill as part of a coalition, Speak Up for Minnesota Dogs and Cats.
The breeder bill is still being considered by the Minnesota Senate. We will update this document as soon as the next steps in the Senate are known.
Here is further information on the issue:
There is no State law to license, inspect or regulate commercial dog and cat breeders in Minnesota. The problem is inhumane breeding practices. Minnesota is among the top producers of puppies in the United States with some of the largest breeding kennels in the nation -- housing 300, 600 or over 1,000 dogs and puppies. Kittens are also mass-produced in Minnesota. Many dogs and cats live out their lives in small, overcrowded wire cages and are bred repeatedly. Their cages are often stacked, allowing feces and urine to fall onto the animals below. Animals may be malnourished from inadequate food and water, receive little or no veterinary care, are stressed from constant confinement and neglect, have fleas, worms, etc. Many have deformed paws, are severely matted, or are burned from sitting and standing in urine and feces. And, they are rarely, if at all, provided human socialization.
While many breeders in Minnesota act responsibly, there are those who keep dogs and cats in deplorable conditions and are willing to make a profit at the expense of the animal’s health and wellbeing. The puppies and kittens are sold to the public and many are sick, diseased, and have genetic problems.
This provision in H.F. 3172 addresses the problem by giving the State of Minnesota the authority to:
- License - Require commercial dog and cat breeders in Minnesota to be licensed;
- Inspect and Enforce - Give legal authority to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health to inspect commercial dog and cat breeding facilities and enforce existing State laws to ensure animal care standards are met; and
- Penalties - Impose civil, administrative and criminal penalties for those who violate the law.
Speak Up for Minnesota Dogs and Cats
Coalition members include A Rotta Love Plus, Animal Folks MN, Animal Humane Society, Minnesota Animal Control Association, Minnesota Humane Society, Minnesota Voters for Animal Protection, Minnkota Persian Rescue, Pause 4 Paws, Pet Haven Inc. of Minnesota, Retrieve A Golden of Minnesota, Second Chance Animal Rescue, and Tri-County Humane Society.
These legislative efforts are also supported by numerous other organizations and individuals, including the Animal Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association, veterinarians, law enforcement, prosecutors, humane agents, animal control, rescue groups, animal shelters, breeders, businesses, and countless citizens throughout Minnesota.