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Message from Speak Up for Minnesota Dogs and Cats Coalition:

DOG AND CAT BREEDER REGULATION BILL SIGNED INTO LAW!!

We have great news! Governor Dayton signed the Omnibus Supplemental Budget Bill (H.F. 3172) into law today (May 20, 2014) which included the dog and cat breeder regulation bill! This means the Dog and Cat Breeder Regulation bill is now officially law in the State of Minnesota!

THANK YOU for all of your calls, letters, emails, contacts with legislators, and support over the past several years! We finally did it.
Summary of Progress
As we previously mentioned, after H.F. 84 passed all of the necessary policy and finance committees by the required deadlines, it was incorporated into the House Omnibus Supplemental Appropriations Bill which passed the House floor. Then that bill went to Conference Committee with the Senate’s version of their Omnibus Supplemental Appropriations Bill. Over a few week period, the Senate and House Conference Committee members worked out differences between the bills (using H.F. 3172 as the bill number). The Conference Committee members for the Senate and House were: Senators Cohen, Tomassoni, Lourey, Wiger, & Bonoff and Representatives Carlson, Huntley, Mahoney, Marquart, & Wagenius.

The breeder bill was included in the 577 page Conference Committee Report of H.F. 3172 which was sent to both the House and Senate floors for votes. It passed both bodies and was sent to the Governor for his signature (Chapter 312).

Long Journey
It has been a long journey trying to pass a reasonable licensing and inspection law to better protect the dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens in MN commercial breeding facilities. But patience and diligence paid off.

The law becomes effective July 1, 2014, when the Board of Animal Health (BAH) will begin registering commercial dog and cat breeders who fall under the bill’s language. Within one year, the BAH will be required to annually inspect those breeders and any new breeders that set up facilities covered under the law (they can also begin inspections starting July 1, 2014, if they choose). The BAH will then license those breeders who are in compliance with existing animal welfare laws and additional provisions just passed into law.

What the New Law Does
Licensing – requires commercial dog and cat breeders in MN to be licensed in order to operate and sell dogs and cats in the State of Minnesota; Inspections and Enforcement – gives legal authority to the MN Board of Animal Health to inspect commercial dog and cat breeding facilities annually and enforce existing State laws and new laws to ensure animal care standards are met; and Penalties – imposes civil, administrative and criminal penalties for those who violate the law.

Just a few of the other provisions in the bill include:
· Must keep identifying and medical records on each animal
· Must develop and maintain a written veterinary protocol for disease control and prevention, veterinary care and euthanasia
· Animals must be provided daily enrichment and must be provided positive physical contact with human beings and compatible animals at least twice daily
· Must provide adequate staff to maintain the facility and observe each animal daily to monitor its health and well-being and to properly care for the animals
· All animals sold must be accompanied by a veterinary health certificate completed by a vet no more than 30 days prior to sale or distribution
· Puppies and kittens may not be sold, traded or given away prior to 8 weeks of age

Please THANK the following people for making this a reality in the State of Minnesota:

Governor Mark Dayton for his strong support and assistance throughout this process - phone 651-201-3400 or http://mn.gov/governor/contact-us/form/

Representative John Lesch for chief authoring the House bill for several years and working hard to assure final passage in the House – phone 651-296-4224 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Senator John Marty for chief authoring the Senate bill for the past two years and his hard work to get it passed in the Senate – phone 651-296-5645 or www.senate.mn/senatormartyemail

Also, please thank your own legislators if they were helpful in supporting our efforts. You can find their information at:
Senate members - http://www.senate.mn/members/index.php?ls#header
House members - http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/members/hmem.asp

* * *

Another Provision Included in H.F. 3172 – Animal Research
Another bill that was included in the Omnibus Supplemental Budget bill requires a MN higher education research facility that receives public money, confines dogs or cats for science, education or research purposes, and plans on euthanizing those animals for other than science, education or research purposes to first offer the dog or cat to an animal rescue organization. The facility may enter into an agreement with the rescue organization to protect the facility. “Animal rescue organization” is defined as any nonprofit organization incorporated for the purpose of rescuing animals in need and finding them permanent, adoptive homes.

On behalf of the animals, THANK YOU for taking action!

Speak Up for Minnesota Dogs and Cats Coalition members include A Rotta Love Plus, Animal Folks MN, Animal Humane Society, Minnesota Animal Control Association, Minnesota Humane Society, Minnesota Voters for Animal Protection, Minnkota Persian Rescue, Pause 4 Paws, Pet Haven Inc. of Minnesota, Retrieve A Golden of Minnesota, Second Chance Animal Rescue, and Tri-County Humane Society.
These legislative efforts are also supported by numerous other organizations and individuals, including the Animal Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association, veterinarians, law enforcement, prosecutors, humane agents, animal control, rescue groups, animal shelters, breeders, businesses, and countless citizens throughout Minnesota.

Bea's Beat

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Deborah Howard

Deborah Howard

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Class Action Lawsuits

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If you purchased a sick or dying puppy from Barkworks or Happiness is Pets, you may be able to join consumer class action lawsuits. The first step is to fill out the CAPS complaint form.

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