National regulation that could destroy breeders like me.

There is a proposed update to existing legislation to change who qualifies as a commercial breeder.  Right now, the USDA stay’s out of my life because I am considered a hobby breeder and rightly so.  Over the last 4 years I have produced a total of 4 litters, 3 of which were not born in my home.  I do not have the time to write up exactly what is wrong with this proposal, but  I implore you to please read this blog article linked below.  It goes over in detail exactly why this legislation is HORRIBLE for small hobby breeders, especially those in rare breeds.

Why the Proposed APHIS Licensing Changes Will Screw Small Hobby Breeders and the People Who Buy Puppies from Them

Elena Hanson (elainehanson@hotmail.com) wrote up exactly what they are changing and how that would affect breeders.  (permission was given to use this information anywhere):

• Keep four or fewer breeding females and sell only their offspring which are raised on your premises. (No stud fee puppies, puppies born at your co-owner’s house, no puppy-back arrangements, no re-homing of rescued dogs). Co-ownerships would count for both people involved, so if you and anyone else co-own two bitches, then she can only have two others and you can only have two others. And this is NOT per species. Two intact female cats, or a cat and a rabbit on your premises would max you out.
OR
• Sell all dogs ONLY from your premises. No meeting halfway, no shipping. EVERY buyer would have to come to where the dogs are maintained, rescues included. Sell one animal off your premises and you’ll be required to get a USDA license (see below)
OR
• Build an Animal Welfare Act-compliant kennel and keep all breeding stock and puppies there – and it will almost certainly be separate from your home, not part of it . You will have no-notice inspections during normal working hours and if you aren’t there when an inspector comes, it’s a “discrepancy.” Do it again and get fined — just as you will for other repeated discrepancies (including cobwebs in the rafters, a puppy under four months old playing with a puppy that isn’t a litter mate or an adult other than its mother, an empty dog food bag you haven’t disposed of, and lots more you can’t imagine anyone would be against). Hiring a responsible teenager to feed and clean up twice a day won’t be enough if you want to be gone during the week – like to hold down the job you must have to afford being a dog breeder. Your name, address, and every discrepancy found will be public record, available on USDA’s web site.

Please see the following if you think setting up an AWA kennel might be an option for you:
http://www.saova.org/news/APHIS/Living.with.USDA.Licensing.pdf

Here are the regulations for an AWA compliant kennel
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/downloads/awr/awr.pdf

This is the check-off sheet used when a kennel is inspected
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/downloads/Inspection_Requirements_Attachments.PDF

Absolutely every litter I have produced to date has broken at least one of these rules above.  This act will shut me down.  My foster program will be in complete violation.  The co-ownerships I have with Gloria and Julie would have to be eliminated.  I would be forced to keep ALL females here in my home if I wanted to breed.  I like my own dog population to be 3 or less!!  This would change me from a progressive breeder hoping to make a difference in my breed with the best home life for each of my dogs into a simple pet producer.  I will NOT do it.  I will stop breeding first!

What can you do?

Go to this website to review some sample comments:  http://saova.org/APHIS_comments.html

Here is the full proposal with a comment button.  Write something similar in your own words in the comment section please stating how this would directly affect your ability to get a puppy from a quality breeder: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0003-0001

It is very important that it be your own words.  A copy and pasted comment will not be counted.  Please, if you want me to continue to breed Poodles, take 5 minutes from your day and post a comment.  If you do not, litters like Georgie and Zelda had this year will be considered illegal.

Here are a few photos of my poor dogs taking just a few moments ago with my phone.

Sorry Flash, that toy can’t be kept sterile. It has to go.

Oh Jay, you can’t be allowed to sleep under my computer chair while I write this blog. That window has a sharp corner and the carpet is not sterile.  You are also in a room with 3 adult dogs who are NOT your mother!!!

Sorry guys, I have to kick you outside now. You are considered breeding livestock, not pets.

Someone needs to explain to Mocha what a horrible breeder I am and that her life is a tragedy for the evening news.

Becky Baxter – who obviously is one of the worst breeders in this nation and must be stopped with national legislation!!

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sherri h - June 27, 2012 - 6:29 pm

I have just submitteed a lengthy comment about this proposed legislation. Everyone else, please do the same. We cannot loose breeders like Becky. They are few and far between but do so much for this breed. I know we all hate puppy mills and that is what they are trying to stop. But this not the way to do it. Bad breeders must be stopped and good breeders must be supported. This legislation does nothing to support good breeding.

Summer - June 27, 2012 - 6:39 pm

Well said, Sherri!
I just finished submitting mine. I told them about Radar, how dramatically he’s changed my life, and how that couldn’t have happened if this rule had been in existence ten years ago. :)

Becky - June 27, 2012 - 6:53 pm

This legislation aimed at the ‘mills’ and ‘brokers’ who sell puppies on the internet, sight unseen. I understand the need to do something but this is poorly written. How about we educate people on what a good breeder looks like and how to locate one? If demand is gone, no one will sell in that manner.

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