Basically, the change would require a lot of breeders to be licensed by the USDA as dog "Dealers" who are not required to be licensed now. They would need to pay a license fee, comply with regulations about housing facilities, feeding, sanitation, vet care, etc. for their dogs, keep specified records, and permit inspections of their premises by USDA inspectors. Those who sell pups or dogs wholesale are already required to be licensed, but under the proposed regulations, you could be required to be licensed and regulated even if you only sell directly to dog owners.
The following chain of questions will help you figure out if the proposed change in the regulations would affect you:
1. Do you sell any pups or dogs to pet homes (including folks who do dog sports like agility and flyball)? If you don’t, you would not need to be licensed under the new regulations. If you do, go on to Question 2.
2. Do you sell any pups or dogs to people who don’t come to your premises to see them (for example, do you ever ship pups, or deliver them to their new owner at trials or clinics)? If you don’t, you would not need to be licensed under the new regulations. If you do, go on to Question 3.
3. Do you have more than four breeding females in your household, regardless of who owns them, or do you act in concert with others to collectively maintain more than four breeding females? (The proposed regulations do not define the term “breeding female,” so it’s not clear whether it would be interpreted to mean only bitches who are actually being bred, or if it would be interpreted to include all sexually mature intact bitches.) If you do have more than four, you would need to be licensed under the new regulations. If you don’t, go on to Question 4.
4. Do you ever sell pups or dogs other than those that are produced by your four or fewer breeding females and are born and raised on your premises (for example, do you ever sell dogs you’ve bought in and trained, or dogs you’ve brought over from the UK, or dogs you’ve bought that didn’t work out, or dogs you're placing for a friend, or dogs you've rescued)? If you do, you would need to be licensed under the new regulations.
If you would be adversely affected by these proposed regulations, or if breeders you respect and depend on for pups would be adversely affected, you can submit comments to the Department of Agriculture by going to http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0003-0001 and clicking on “Comment Now!” Comments can also be submitted by postal mail, especially if your comments are lengthy. The address for mailed-in comments is: Docket No. APHIS-2011-0003, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. The deadline for comments is July 16.
The comments that are most likely to be taken seriously are ones that tell in your own words the reasons why you support or oppose this change in the regulations, tell what effect it would have on you or people you know, and provide any suggestions you may have about what the USDA should do instead. Some of the many reasons for opposing the changes are:
--They are not targeted toward high-volume producers, which is where the animal welfare problems are. They would impose licensing and regulation on thousands of individuals who only breed occasionally.
--They would place a burden on breeders of good stockdogs, which in turn would diminish the quality and quantity of these dogs available to the farmers and ranchers who depend on them.
--Occasional breeders could not afford to comply with these new requirements, which in most cases would require expenditures that far exceed their income from puppy sales.
--Occasional breeders often keep their dogs in their homes, and whelp and raise pups in their homes, rather than in kennels. It would not be practical for these owners to build and maintain facilities to the specifications the regulations require for full-time, high-volume wholesale breeders, nor would it benefit the dogs and puppies to be moved out of the household into such facilities.
--Enforcement of these regulations would be extremely difficult, and the cost would be too high in relation to the benefits. Either much more money will have to be budgeted for enforcement, or resources will have to be diverted away from inspection of large commercial kennels, where inspection is most needed.
--Regulations which would authorize federal inspectors to enter and inspect people’s homes because they occasionally sell pups or dogs drastically violate the liberty and privacy rights of Americans.
--If large Internet retailers have become a problem, the issue should be addressed by Congress, which can target legislation more precisely toward remedying it. Broadening the Animal Welfare Act's coverage to include retail sellers is not the answer.
The ABCA is likely to submit comments as an organization. For our comments to be the most valid and effective, it would be very helpful for us to have as much information as possible about how many of our members would be affected by this change, and what their views are about the change. So if you are an ABCA member, please let us know why and how the proposed change in the regulations would affect you, and why you think the change should or should not be made. You can email this information to Eileen Stein at USDAregs@bordercollie.org. Also, one of the possible alternatives to the approach taken in these regulations would be to require those who sell more than X number of dogs and pups per year to be subject to regulation. Do you think this would be a better approach, and if so, what should be the appropriate number of sales which would trigger regulation? Please let us know your thoughts. But be sure to submit comments directly to the USDA as well -- they need to know how many people are concerned about this.
Fuller and more detailed information about this can be found on the ABCA website at http://www.americanb...regulation.html