Eileen Stein Posted June 20, 2012 Report Share Posted June 20, 2012 Has there been any discussion in the rescue community about the US Department of Agriculture's proposal to change its regulations implementing the Animal Welfare Act? If not, I think there should be, because I think the proposed changes would have serious adverse consequences for the great majority of rescue operations. The proposed new regs would require any persons (individuals or corporations) who sell a dog to become licensed by the USDA as a Dealer unless 1. Everyone who gets a dog from them personally visits their premises, or 2. They maintain no more than four breeding females AND they never sell a dog they didn't breed themselves. All rescues sell dogs they didn't breed themselves, and nearly all rescues sometimes sell a dog without the new owner coming to their premises. There is no exception for rescues written into the regulations (and it would be very difficult to draft one that protected the legitimate rescues while not exempting all the illegitimate ones that would spring up to qualify for the rescue exemption if one were written in). If any payment is received for a dog, even if it is termed a donation or an adoption fee, the transaction would be considered a sale. So the bottom line is that if these regulations are adopted, most rescues would be required to be licensed as dog Dealers. They would need to pay an annual license fee, comply with detailed requirements about kennel facilities, feeding, sanitation, vet care, etc., maintain specified records, and permit inspection of their premises by USDA inspectors. The stated purpose of these regulations is to deal with high-volume breeders who sell over the internet, so as such they are well-intentioned. But they are very poorly designed for that purpose, and IMO would do much more harm than good overall. The USDA is accepting comments from the public about this proposal up until July 16. For more details about the proposal, and information about how you can submit comments, please visit this thread. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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