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Info from SALVO regarding proposed USDA regulations on animal sales


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#21 Jeanne Joy

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 12:14 PM

Eileen,

A friend of mine - who has done quite a bit of research on this topic - told me (to the best of her knowledge) *no exemptions* will be allowed. She believes it is incorrect to say that if you do not sell dogs to pet homes you won't need to be USDA licensed since the USDA refers to "pet" to describe a species, not a use. Apparently, this is not intended to allow herding, hunting, service dogs out of the rule. There is no way to prove whether or not a puppy is going to be a pet and just because you say so would not fly with APHIS.

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#22 Eileen Stein

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 01:32 PM

Maybe working breeders could avoid regulation by not selling to pet homes. However, wouldn't the "for exhibition" include sheepdog trials? Also, the lack of a definition for "breeding female" is troubling.


Not the way I read it. The word "exhibition" isn't defined in the Act or the regs, but the word "exhibitor" is:

Exhibitor means any person (public or private) exhibiting any animals . . . to the public for compensation, as determined by the Secretary. This term includes carnivals, circuses, animal acts, zoos, and educational exhibits exhibiting such animals whether operated for profit or not. This term excludes retail pet stores, horse and dog races, organizations sponsoring and all persons participating in State and county fairs, livestock shows, rodeos, field trials, coursing events, purebred dog and cat shows, and any other fairs or exhibitions intended to advance agricultural arts and sciences as may be determined by the Secretary. [Emphasis added]


Note that this definition necessarily defines "exhibition," inasmuch as it says what kind of exhibiting would make you an exhibitor, and I think it's pretty clear that sheepdog trials would be "field trials" and/or "exhibitions intended to advance agricultural arts and sciences."

#23 Sue R

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 01:36 PM

The concept of what defines a pet concerns me - while my dogs were purchased for the intent of being useful stockdogs on our small farm, they still live in the house, sleep in the bedroom, go on vacation trips, have taken puppy, family dog, and agility classes (as an aid to good manners, socialization, and acclimating them to different locations and situations). They live as pets and work as stockdogs. Who will define just what they are? I wonder.
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#24 Eileen Stein

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 02:08 PM

A friend of mine - who has done quite a bit of research on this topic - told me (to the best of her knowledge) *no exemptions* will be allowed. She believes it is incorrect to say that if you do not sell dogs to pet homes you won't need to be USDA licensed since the USDA refers to "pet" to describe a species, not a use. Apparently, this is not intended to allow herding, hunting, service dogs out of the rule. There is no way to prove whether or not a puppy is going to be a pet and just because you say so would not fly with APHIS.


But it's "dealers" who are subject to regulation, and the definition of "dealer" in the proposed regulations is:

Dealer means any person who, in commerce, for compensation or profit, . . . sells, or negotiates the purchase or sale of: Any dog . . . for research, teaching, testing, experimentation, exhibition, or for use as a pet. . . . [Emphasis added.]


If all dogs were deemed to be pets by virtue of their species, there would be no need for the words "for use as a pet" as a modifier for the words "any dog" -- the words "any dog" would be sufficient by themselves. So "for use as a pet" limits the type of dogs that are covered.

Of course, it would be a question of fact in any individual case whether a particular dog was being sold for use as a pet. If you only sold dogs to folks who were going to use them to herd livestock and who did not consider them a pet, my advice would be that you did not need to be licensed under these regs, and I believe if they went after you, you could mount a successful defense on those grounds. But because there is no definition of "pet" in the regs, you would not know for sure what the ultimate interpretation would be in any particular case unless and until they went after you and you challenged their determination. And in any case, that cuts out a whole lot of working breeders who are not subject to regulation now, but would be subject to regulation if these proposed regs went into effect.

ETA: I should say that if you sold a dog to be used for medical research, or in the circus, you would need to be licensed, or if you sold a dog exclusively for hunting or breeding or security, you might need to be licensed. I left stuff like that out because I didn't consider it applicable enough to our breeders to be worth the clutter and confusion of including it. Likewise, if you maintain breeding female small exotic or wild mammals, such as hedgehogs, prairie dogs and flying squirrels, they count toward your total of four breeding females, but again, I didn't think that had broad enough application to include. I was trying to keep it simple. :)


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