The law becomes effective July 1, 2014, when the Board of Animal Health (BAH) will begin registering commercial dog and cat breeders who fall under the bill’s language. Within one year, the BAH will be required to annually inspect those breeders and any new breeders that set up facilities covered under the law (they can also begin inspections starting July 1, 2014, if they choose). The BAH will then license those breeders who are in compliance with existing animal welfare laws and additional provisions just passed into law.
What the new law does
Licensing – requires commercial dog and cat breeders in Minnesota to be licensed in order to operate and sell dogs and cats in the State of Minnesota
Inspections and Enforcement – gives legal authority to the Board of Animal Health to inspect commercial dog and cat breeding facilities annually and enforce existing state laws and new laws to ensure animal care standards are met
Penalties – imposes civil, administrative and criminal penalties for those who violate the law.
Other provisions in the bill include:
- Breeders must keep identifying and medical records on each animal.
- Breeders must develop and maintain a written veterinary protocol for disease control and prevention, veterinary care and euthanasia.
- Animals must be provided daily enrichment and must be provided positive physical contact with human beings and compatible animals at least twice daily.
- Breeders must provide adequate staff to maintain the facility and observe each animal daily to monitor its health and well-being and to properly care for the animals.
- All animals sold must be accompanied by a veterinary health certificate completed by a vet no more than 30 days prior to sale or distribution.
- Puppies and kittens may not be sold, traded or given away prior to 8 weeks of age.
Thank the legislation's supporters
Please feel free to thank the following people for making this a reality in the State of Minnesota:
- Governor Mark Dayton for his strong support and assistance throughout this process – 651-201-3400 or http://mn.gov/governor/contact-us/form/
- Representative John Lesch for chief authoring the House bill for several years and working hard to assure final passage in the House – 651-296-4224 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Senator John Marty for chief authoring the Senate bill for the past two years and his hard work to get it passed in the Senate – 651-296-5645
- Also, please thank your own legislators if they were helpful in supporting our efforts. You can find their information at:
- Senate members - https://www.senate.mn/members/index.php?ls=
- House members - http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/members/hmem.asp
Speak Up for Minnesota Dogs and Cats coalition
AHS worked to pass the breeder bill as part of the Speak Up for Minnesota Dogs and Cats coalition, which includes 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.