Columbus, OH –-(Ammoland.com)- Earlier this year, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), a part of the United States Department of Agriculture, proposed a new rule that would expand the number of dog breeders and sellers regulated under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) to include many hobby breeders.
Last week, the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance submitted comments to APHIS in opposition to the proposed rule, detailing the threat the rule poses to sporting dog and other hobby breeders.
The AWA’s regulations were designed to regulate large, wholesale dog breeders and sellers – not hobby breeders. Hunting dog owners and most other hobby breeders that sell their dogs at retail (directly to the public) are currently exempt from regulation under the AWA.
If the new rule is approved, a hobby breeder selling a dog will fall under AWA regulation unless every single person that buys a dog from the breeder enters that person’s business or residence before buying or picking up the dog. This means breeders that sell just one dog over the phone or internet would be treated like large wholesale dog breeders and would be required to comply with federal regulations and inspections.
“Even though sporting dog breeders would still be exempt under the new rule, it is a real threat to sporting dog owners,” said Jeremy Rine, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance In-House Counsel and Associate Director of State Services. “Animal rights groups are continuing to push federal and state governments to regulate more and more dog owners to bury them under mountains of unnecessary regulations. They won’t stop until it is almost impossible for all hobby breeders, including sporting dog owners, to keep and breed dogs.”
Here are more details on why APHIS’s proposed rule should worry sportsmen.