Indiana Puppy Mill Bill Passes
|February 15, 2009||Posted by russmead under Companion Animal Breeding|
But it is a far different bill than as originally introducedÂ
Update April 7: H.B. 1468, the Indiana regulations for commercial dog breeders has now passed both the House and Senate. Â Â
The bill is far different than as originally introduced. The original bill is summarized below.
There are no limits on the numbers of dogs a commercial breeder can sell each year or keep for breeding. The law would not apply to commercial breeders with fewer than 20 female dogs used for breeding.
Commercial dog brokers are not subject to regulation unless they are USDA licensed and sell at least 500 dogs per year.Â Â
Those breeders and brokers subject to the new law must register every year and pay a fee. They are subject to inspection. The state Board of Health will be responsible for registration, inspectionsÂ and enforcing standards breeders and brokers are required to meet. These standards are basically those contained in the Animal Welfare Act for USDA licensed dealers.
A commercial dog breeder would be prohibited from housing aÂ dog in a cage containing a wire floor unless there is some way the dog can be off the wire floor.Â A cage must beÂ "large enough to allow for reasonable movement by the dog". Breeders mustÂ "provide every dog with a reasonable opportunity for exercise at least one (1) time per day."
Breeders must provide a consumer with a copy of a dog’s vaccination, medication, and treatment records at the time a consumer purchases, exchanges, or adopts the dog. They must keep records for each dog for 5 years.
The Board would have the right to enforce these provisions including through obtaining injunctive relief and imposing civil penalties. The problem is the Board can only enforce this law if there are sufficient funds in an account set up to collect fees and fines.Â
It would be a misdemeanor to knowingly or intentionallyÂ fail to register orÂ Â make material misstatements on an application.
This law prohibits local governments from passing ordinances with more stringent requirements. It is not clear if this means zoning permits cannot require tougher requirements.
Not at allÂ the bill first introduced. Â
Original report: Indiana’s puppy mill bill, H.B. 1468, introduced by Rep. Linda Lawson, has passed the Committee on Courts and Criminal Code by a vote of 11-1.
The bill wouldÂ place registration requirements and restrictions on "commercial dog breeders" which refers to a anyone who maintains adult female dogs that produce 10Â or more litters in a year.Â Â
Commercial breeders would be required to register every 4 years and keep records. An electronic registry of commercial breeders would be maintained by the state.Â
There would be limits on breeding under this bill. Commercial breeders (1)Â maintain at any one location no more than 30 dogs more than 1 year of age that have not been spayed/neutered, (2) must obtain an annual certificate from a veterinarian stating the dog is in "suitable health for breeding", (3) breed dogsÂ only if they are between 18 months and 8 years of age, and (4) allowÂ female dogsÂ to produce only 1 litter each year.
The bill has some standards of care. Commercial breeders must:
- (1) Provide sufficient food and water at intervals appropriate for the dogs
- (2) Maintain sanitary conditions
- (3) Take steps to control disease, infestation and obnoxious odors
- (4) Provide and maintain sufficient natural or artificial light and also protect each dog from excessive or stressful illumination
- (5) Provide shelter to protect dogs from temperatures belowÂ 65 degrees F and above 78 degrees F
- (6) Provide sufficient ventilation to minimize drafts, moisture condensation, and odors and provide for the health and comfort of the dog
- (7) Ensure that each dog that is at leastÂ 12 weeks of age has unfettered access from the primary enclosure to an exercise area every day for at leastÂ 1 hour; the exercise area must be twice the size of the primary enclosure and kept clean, free of infestation and in good repair and made of solid and maintainable materials
- (8) Keep a nursing female dog and the dog’s puppies in a run separate from other adult dogsÂ
- (9) Implant a microchip in every dog on the premises and all of the puppies that are sold, and ensure that the microchips are registered
- (10) Refrain from hiring a staff member who has been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony for animal cruelty
- (11) Provide an enclosure that "is suited for the breed of the dog", clean, dry, constructed to prevent injury or escape with walls and floors of nonabsorbent, nonporous materials though wire flooring would not be allowed. There is a formula for determining the size of the enclosure which for one dog is basically twice the space required for USDA licensed dog dealers. Â Â Â Â Â Â
The bill also containsÂ consumer protection provisions. Commercial breeders must display their registration to the public and also this sign:Â "THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS ALWAYS AVAILABLE ON ALL OF OUR DOGS AND PUPPIES: THE ANIMAL’S DATE OF BIRTH; CITY/TOWN AND STATE OF BIRTH; THE DATE (insert name of the commercial dog breeder) RECEIVED THE ANIMAL; THE ANIMAL’S COMPLETE VACCINATION, DEWORMING, MEDICATION, AND TREATMENT RECORDS; AND THE ANIMAL’S 15 DAY WARRANTY".
Under the bill a commercial dog breeder "may not display, offer for sale, sell, or exchange a dog with obvious signs of infection, disease, or illness." For diseased dogs or those found to be suffering from a congenital condition, the bill would require commercial breeders to provide a full refund or a replacement dog, if the purchaser prefers, and pay veterinarian bills up to the purchase price of the dog.
Purchasers would be required to obtain within 15 days of the purchase a veterinarian’s certificate attesting the dog is suffering from a disease or within 1 year for a congenital condition.
Commercial breeders must provide consumers with notice of this warranty along with the dog’s vaccination and other medical records.
Pet dealers would be required to maintain records about the dogs and cats sold including information about the breeder and any broker and veterinary records. Law enforcement would have access to these records. Prospective purchasers would be entitled to see veterinary records.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
If you live in Indiana, find your legislators here and call or write and urge them to vote yes on H.B. 1468. Help stop puppy mills in Indiana.Â