The MN Dog and Cat Breeder Regulation bill – H.F. 84 – passed the following three House committees: Civil Law, Public Safety Finance and Policy, and Government Operations – and Governor Mark Dayton publicly supports the bill.
H.F. 84 was referred to the House Agriculture Policy Committee but it was not granted a hearing in that committee. That is the last policy committee that the bill needs to pass, by March 15, in order to continue this year.
(Minnesota works on a biennial legislative session; 2013 is the first year of the two year session, 2013-2014.)
We need your voice! Please call ALL of the members on the Agriculture Policy Committee NOW (before Wednesday) and ask them to SUPPORT H.F. 84. Let them know you do not support the weaker bill that was introduced (see below) – and urge them not to accept any amendments that will weaken H.F. 84.
VERY IMPORTANT: If you are a constituent of one of the committee members listed below, be sure he/she knows that. Legislators need and want to hear from constituents. To find out who represents you, go to: MN District Finder
You can leave your message with the Representative’s legislative assistant because it is hard to reach legislators directly. (In addition to your call, you can follow-up with an email but the calls are critical.)
We need to protect Minnesota dogs and cats who are forced to live in substandard and deplorable conditions. Additional talking points are provided below in the next section. Please keep your message short and respectful.
Thank you for taking action!
NOTE: A weaker bill has been introduced on behalf of the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) in both the Senate and House. In the House, the bill number is H.F. 1005. This MVMA bill has no required licensing or inspections. It is a “status quo” bill – it’s complaint-based (similar to the current system), where someone first has to observe and report the cruelty/neglect, law enforcement then must pursue it, and the courts would have to take action. The MVMA bill includes a required health certificate for dogs and cats sold (very similar to MN existing Pet Lemon Law) but does nothing to help the breeding dogs and cats.
PLEASE ALSO NOTE: The MVMA does not speak for all veterinary professionals. On behalf of the SPEAK UP coalition and thanks to all of your help, Animal Folks MN has been able to gather over 315 veterinarians/vet techs in support of H.F. 84. This has been submitted to all legislators.
HOUSE AGRICULTURE POLICY COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Names and contact information below can also be found at:
House Agriculture Policy Committee
Representative Rod Hamilton (District 22B) – 651-296-5373
The above information can also be found at: Committees
Haven’t spoken with a legislator before? For tips, go to: Contact legislators
TALKING POINTS FOR H.F. 84
Highlights of the issue and bill are also provided on: FLYER
There is no State law to license, inspect or regulate commercial dog and cat breeders in Minnesota, resulting in harm to animals, consumers and communities. (Photo at right is a dog from a breeder in southern Minnesota.)
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 within these facilities 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 in urine and feces. And, they are rarely, if at all, provided socialization and positive human interaction.
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 well-being. The puppies and kittens are sold to the public and many are sick, diseased, and have genetic problems.
H.F. 84 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 MN 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.
The goal of breeder regulation is to promote healthy and safe dogs and cats.
For more information, go to: www.animalfolksmn.org
Thank you for “Doing What You Can” today!