Rockland County (NY) Breeder Regulations on Agenda for October 7 Meeting
October 6, 2014
The AKC has just learned that the Rockland County Legislature has placed proposed breeder regulations on its Tuesday, October 7 meeting agenda. These regulations, called the “Protect Our Pets Act”, would impact those who meet the state definition of “pet dealer”, and create some other new provisions for county dog breeders.
New York State law defines a “pet dealer” as one who sells or offers to sell 9 or more dogs/year. (Breeders who sell fewer than 25 dogs/year that are born or raised on their residential premises are exempt). A state law passed in 2013 allows local governments to further regulate those who meet this definition, which is why Rockland County has brought forward this legislation.
This legislation is very similar to that considered in neighboring counties, and the AKC continues to have some questions on specific items in the proposal:
Problematic definitions and requirements that could impact home-based breeders. In addition to the state definition of “pet dealer”, the proposal also defines a “breeder” as one who breeds 9 dogs per year. It is unclear if this means nine females are bred each year, a litter contains at least nine puppies, or if there are other interpretations. The regulations in the bill deal solely with “pet dealers”, so the AKC does not believe that this unclear definition of breeder needs to remain in the bill.
Those who meet the vague definition of “pet dealer” would also be classified as a “pet store” under this proposal.
Furthermore, the legislation assumes that all who meet the definition of “pet dealer” are USDA-licensed. This is not correct and therefore could prevent small responsible breeders from being in compliance with the law, or prevent some hobbyists and home-based breeders from selling puppies in Rockland County.
Potential requirement for all pet dealers to have USDA license/inspections. Pet dealers would be required to provide their USDA license number and a copy of their most recent USDA inspection report. It is unclear how this provision would apply if the pet dealer is not licensed by USDA.
Mandating making sterilization services available. “Pet stores”, including hobby breeders that fall into the definition of “pet store”, must make these services available for animals sold “at an age at which such procedures may be performed safely”. The intent of this phrase is unclear. A better option is to require that pet stores provide consumers with scientific information about the pros and cons of sterilizing family pets.
Potential concerns with pet dealer inspections. The proposal requires that the Director of the Office of Consumer Protection designate “someone” to inspect pet stores at least once/year. Pet stores are defined as a business establishment owned by a pet dealer, so it is assumed that anyone meeting the state definition of pet dealer would be inspected. The AKC would like to see this provision clarified to ensure that the inspections are conducted by those with expertise in animal husbandry and other proper credentials.
What You Can Do:
- Attend the Rockland County Committee meeting on Tuesday, October 7:
Rockland County Legislature General Meeting
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Allison-Parris Office Building
New City, New York
Please note that while the legislature has placed this item on the agenda, there is a possibility it may not be discussed at this meeting.
- Contact the Legislature with any comments you have on the “Protect Our Pets Act”:
Phone: (845) 638-5100
Fax: (845) 638-5675
Click here to view the names and contact information for individual county legislators.