Connecticut Lawmakers Pass Breeder Licensing Bill, Criminal Penalties Included
CRIMINAL PENAL TIES INCLUDED
By: Norma Bennett Woolf Date: 06/30/1998 Category: | Animal Legislation | Canine Issues |
The Connecticut State Legislature approved HB 5495, a bill that criminalizes breeders who do not apply for a kennel license. The bill allows unannounced inspections of registered kennels and imposes fines up to $1000 and jail terms up to one year for violations. It goes into effect on October 1.
The bill tightens requirements for pet stores as well, but categorizes violations of that portion of the bill as civil offenses subject to fines up to $500.
The legislation was precipitated by an animal rights campaign to end the sale of puppies in pet stores in the state. The drive was aided by two incidents involving puppies being transported through Connecticut for delivery to pet stores. The first, last fall, resulted in puppy deaths and charges of cruelty. The second occurred in late winter and was declared an accident by authorities.
Breeders who breed more than two litters per year must apply for a kennel license and allow inspections of "all facilities of any kennel in which dogs are bred or housed" by a state animal control officer or a state-appointed veterinarian. This provision opens the door for state inspection of private homes without a warrant.
There are no license fees in the bill.
The Connecticut Federation of Dog Clubs fought the bill and managed to reduce the proposal to "have" a kennel license if breeding more than one litter to the requirement to "apply for" a kennel license if breeding more than two litters. They were unsuccessful in eliminating the criminal penalties for violations.
According to a member of the federation legislative committee, the change to "apply for" a kennel license allows for compliance by those breeders in communities that have a different definition of "kennel" than the state statute. If the local jurisdiction denies the license, the breeder can still be in compliance with the state law.
The bill also requires a pet shop license for those who acquire a dog or cat for resale, but according to the federation spokesman, this provision will not affect breeders who co-own a litter or contract for puppies back in lieu of stud fees or to satisfy the purchase of a bitch.
Pet shops must provide a veterinary examination of dogs and cats prior to offering them for sale and every 15 days until the animal is sold. They must also reimburse animal buyers up to $200 for veterinary fees incurred as a result of a condition existing at the time of sale and post three-inch by five-inch signs containing the following information on all puppy cages: breed of dog; state and locality of birth; and any individual identification of the dog as listed on the veterinary certificate from the state of origin.
A larger sign must be posted in the shop to tell customers that this information is available on all puppies: Date and state of birth; breed; sex; color; the date received by the shop; the names and registration numbers of the parents for AKC registerable puppies; record of inoculations and worming; any record of veterinary treament received to date; and the telephone number of the Department of Agriculture for complaints. The lettering on this sign must be black ink at least 38-point type.
About The Author
All Authors Of This Article: | Norma Bennett Woolf |