· Deems any “sight-unseen” sale a covered activity, making the seller subject to USDA licensure and regulation. The AKC remains steadfast in believing that the rule will unreasonably require regulatory compliance of many more individuals than originally intended by treating those who sell a dog “sight unseen”perhaps due to repeat buyers or other known purchasers in the same manner as commercial internet-based sellers. The AKC believes that reasonable regulation of true commercial breeding enterprises or Internet sellers, where regulation is based on the actual numbers of dogs sold, is a better alternative to regulation based on the number of dogs a person owns. If the goal is to regulate internet sales, then such sales should be defined to include only internet sales. If the goal is to regulate all commercial breeder/retailers, a better definition would be those who produce and sell more than 50 puppies in a year.
· Operational standards originally designed for commercial-type facilities fail to account for circumstances appropriate for how hobby/fancy breeders who will be subject to the regulations will keep their dogs. As a result of AKC’s long history and breadth of experience in advancing the care and conditions of dogs and conducting kennel inspections, we know that there are a wide variety of circumstances and kinds of facilities in which dogs may be suitably raised and maintained. AKC’s Care and Conditions policy is based on performance standards, rather than strict engineering requirements. This is because many breeds would fail to thrive in the required commercial kennel setting and, therefore, are better raised in residential settings. It is not reasonable to expect small breeders, who keep a handful of dogs and make a choice to raise dogs in their homes, to be able to meet exacting USDA kennel engineering standards that are designed for large commercial wholesale or research kennels. Likewise, many could be prevented from adapting their facilities because of local ordinances, zoning limitations, restrictions on their ability to obtain business licenses or necessary insurance. We believe performance-based standards are a better option for small home-based operations. The AKC believes that the continued effort to subject small home-based breeding operations to the same exacting standards required of purely commercial facilities is unreasonable and unnecessary.
To learn more about our specific concerns with the rule, please visit AKC’s USDA/APHIS Regulations Resources Page.
USDA/APHIS expects the final rule to be published in the Federal Register later this week. The rule will become effective 60 days after publication.
The AKC is dedicated to supporting the wellbeing of all dogs and responsible dog owners and breeders. We are extremely disappointed with the content of the final rule and we will continue to study this rule and assess all options for addressing our ongoing concerns.
The AKC will continue to provide additional information and analysis regarding specific impacts and what this rule may mean to responsible dog owners, breeders and the dog-loving public in general. Please remember that as a matter of company policy, the American Kennel Club does not release the registration information or history of any customer without a court order. The AKC, however, does expect individuals to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations regarding the ownership and maintenance of dogs.