ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE (APHIS)
DOCKET NO. APHIS-2011-003 PROPOSED RULE
COMMENT PERIOD CLOSED AUGUST 15, 2012. FUNDS HAVE BEEN REQUESTED IN THE FY2014 BUDGET FOR IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF THE RULE. MAY, 2013. THE FINAL RULE IS BEING REVIEWED BY THE OFFICE OF BUDGET MANAGEMENT (OMB). Notice of the Final Rule Stage can be viewed here. APHIS notes the number of entities affected was not known when the Rule was proposed and impact of the Rule or any benefit is still uncertain.
APHIS proposes to revise the definition of "retail pet store" to bring more pet animals sold at retail under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) licensing and regulations. APHIS will narrow the definition of retail pet store so that it means a place of business or residence that each buyer physically enters in order to personally observe the animals available for sale prior to purchase and/or to take custody of the animals after purchase. Under the
proposed rule, no dog or other pet animal will be sold at retail without either public or APHIS oversight.
WHO WILL BE AFFECTED?
Anyone who sells the following animals to the public for use as pets: Dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, rats, mice, gophers, chinchilla, domestic ferrets, domestic farm animals, birds, and cold-blooded species.
APHIS plans to license and regulate these retail sellers unless they can meet the exemption requirements in the revised definition of retail pet store. A breeder may gain an exemption by selling only to buyers who physically enter the premises to observe the animals available for sale prior to purchasing them. A breeder can be exempt from regulation if income from sales (for listed species) is less than $500 a year; this does not include wild or exotic animals, dogs, or cats. Finally, a breeder may be exempt if he/she maintains a total of four (4) or fewer breeding female dogs, cats, and/or small exotic or wild mammals, such as hedgehogs, degus, spiny mice, prairie dogs, flying squirrels, and jerboas,and who sells only the offspring of these dogs, cats, or small exotic or wild mammals, which were born and raised on his/her premises and sold for pets.
LIVING WITH USDA LICENSING *** DOWNLOAD FILE IN PDF
FILES FOR PROPOSED RULE CHANGE
Docket No. 2011-003
APHIS FACTSHEET. Questions and
Answers on Proposed Rule � Retail Pet Sales
Title 9 Integrated with proposed rule
TITLE 9 - Complete including Part 3 Standards of care
Regulatory Impact Analysis & Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
TRANSCRIPT APHIS TELECONFERENCE MAY 10. QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSION ON PROPOSED RULE
WRITE TO CONGRESS OPPOSING THE PROPOSED RULE
Now that the comment period for the rule is closed, dog, cat, and small animal breeders need to write to Congress against this over zealous proposed rule. Hobbies and livelihoods are at stake. Congress needs to hear from breeders and rescuers how this impacts your hobby or business.
This is a proposed rule by an agency, not a law Congress will vote on. However the impact on the retail sector, economy, and the agency's budget is enormous and has far reaching affects. This proposed rule over-regulates responsible home breeders and small private entities, threatening to drive them out of existence.
If enforced to its full extent, rescue organizations and their efforts will also be severely weakened.
Send a copy of your comment to Congress reference Docket No. APHIS-2011-O0003.
Send a letter to Secretary Vilsack opposing the rule
IMPACT ON BREEDERS AND RESCUE
Basically the new rules present breeders with few choices. Sell all animals only to buyers who
physically enter your premises, reduce and maintain the number of breeding females to four (4) including co-ownerships and dogs shared with family members; or obtain a license under the Animal Welfare Act, have a federally compliant facility, and allow APHIS inspectors to inspect your homes and facilities.
Selling even one pet off premise via shipping, at a friend's home, at a show, at a park, will result in loss of an exemption from licensing, placing limitations on both buyers and sellers. The narrow limits of the exemption restrict the ability of hobby breeders to work together remotely, sharing dogs from litters in order to implement their breeding programs and/or increase diversity in their lines.
This Rule would have dire consequences on the ability of rare or uncommon breed breeders to sell their puppies. Generally, if a purchaser desires a puppy of a more unusual breed, they probably will not find one within easy driving distance, and the puppy must be either shipped commercially or otherwise transported, or the breeder will meet the buyer half way. If each purchaser is required to visit the breeder to observe the animals or pick up his/her purchases, the number of buyers who are able to do this in the case of the more uncommon breeds is very low. Without a ready market to sell pups, these breeds will quickly die out.
In the case of rare or uncommon breeds, this Rule would make it difficult to maintain genetic diversity, since a breeder could not ship a puppy cross country to another breeder for the purposes of improving the genetic diversity in that person�s breeding program.
Breeders will no longer be able to assist rescue by fostering and/or selling dogs unless they are willing to lose their exemption from licensing. This will have a severe impact on purebred rescue.
Rescue organizations have long enjoyed the same retail pet store exemption that excluded breeders from federal licensing requirements. It has been the practice of USDA/APHIS to interpret that regulation falls within the commercial/wholesale sector. The Rule removes that previous commercial/retail dividing line for pet sellers and proposes only a very narrow exemption for retail pet sellers.
It has become common practice today for rescue organizations to utilize the Internet to locate buyers, along with transporting dogs from high volume shelters to areas with shortages.
The new Rule being proposed will apply to all retail sellers of dogs, cats, and small animals without special exemption for rescue. Rescue organizations would therefore be at risk of losing their current retail exemption for multiple reasons:
(1) transporting dogs or other animals for sale to buyers who did not physically visit their primary location; (2) selling rescued animals, which are not born/raised on premise thus failing to meet exemption criteria;
(3) selling animals off premise, i.e. adoption days, thereby failing again to meet the exemption criteria that buyers must physically enter business or residence.
The proposed rule could end most rescue organization efforts.
The FY 2012 federal Budget contained appropriation for APHIS programs of $837 million, which was 8.3% or $76 million lower than the amount appropriated for APHIS in FY 2011. For the past several years, the APHIS budget has been shrinking; since 2010 the budget has decreased by approximately $87 million, or roughly 10 percent. In a recent February meeting, APHIS administrators discussed agency changes in response to reduced funding and how the agency plans to preserve core functions while challenged by annually decreasing budgets.
Budget cuts are likely to continue into the foreseeable future. The President's 2013 budget request submitted in February to Congress calls for a decrease in APHIS funding by an additional $54 million, or
The massive expansion of regulatory responsibilities into the private sector outlined in the proposed rule is not only impractical but unaffordable within an agency that is currently addressing serious budget challenges.
Help financially support SAOVA's successful pro-active advocacy! See Support SAOVA for options
Copyright (c) SAOVA