USDA Proposes to Close Loophole on Retail Pet Sales to Ensure Health and
About the USDA/APHIS proposed rule change to the Animal Welfare
Act (Animal Care)
First and foremost ... PLEASE be aware that you all have been breeding animals under the definition of "retail pet store," for the past 40 years. That exemption was challenged in court back in the early 90's (DDAL v Veneman) and USDA prevailed to continue exempting hobby pet breeders from being regulated by USDA/APHIS. This court decision in USDA's 'favor" prompted the series of Puppy Protection bills, PAWS, and now the second version of PUPS (H.R. 835 - S.707). All of this is not new ... it's been moving forward for more than 20 years. The proposed rule changes have been coming along for a couple of years and there has been input from many organizations during those years. Now there will be more input from those organizations AND the public.... that's you!
USDA/APHIS is charged with making rules for acts that Congress has passed. In "our" case, that is the AWA. These regulations are not legislation, it is a charge by the Congress, (in our case) under the Department of Agriculture, to regulate what Congress has passed 40 years ago. These regulations that have proposed now are changes to those regulations that have been in effect (3 breeding females, etc.) as passed by Congress for all of those years.
This Proposed Rule Change is not final, and it wouldn't be final even after the 60 day comment period. If changes are made, another public comment period could be (but may not be) offered.
With all of that, I believe that the analyses of AKC and NAIA, below, are accurate and contain good interpretations of the proposed rule changes. I see some (in my opinion) inaccurate interpretations in a couple of the other analyses.
These proposed rule changes will affect all those pets (dogs, cats, small mammals and exotics) that have been defined as a 'retail pet store' since 1971. Please read the articles here for more details.
1) under the proposed rule change, there is no 'inspection' of the premises if
a) you have over 4 'breeding females" (undefined) and have each and every buyer visit your residence, and view the animal before purchase. That was made clear in the stake holders conference and in subsequent supporting documents.
b) you can have over 4 'breeding females' and sell the offspring wherever (ship, remote,etc.) , as long as buyers visited your residence one time before purchase.
b) you may continue to sell 'remotely" or wholesale if you maintain four or less 'breeding females."
That seemed to be the most misinterpreted issue. This is not NOW the rule, but a PROPOSED RULE