Hawaii Poised to Set Dog Breeder, Sales Restrictions
From Pet Product News April 12, 2012
Days after the Hawaii Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor replaced anti-dogfighting language from a House bill designed to deter dogfighting with a broad range of regulations for dog breeders and pet stores, the Hawaii State Senate is expected to vote on the new measure soon. The amended version no longer addresses dogfighting.
If the state’s Senate passes the bill, it will be sent back to the Hawaii House for concurrence of the Senate amendments. The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council today urged its members to read the amended House Bill 108 carefully and contact representatives requesting they oppose the amendments.
The amended House Bill 108 essentially combines Senate Bill 2492, which is designed to regulate breeders by limiting the number of intact dogs anyone could own to 30 and regulates the care of intact dogs for anyone owning more than 10. SB 2492 recently passed a House committee with relatively minor amendments, so that legislation is still being considered.
HB 108 adds language regulating sales of cats and dogs by pet dealers and exempting non-profit humane societies, animal control, rescue or care organizations.
Under the amended HB 108, retail pet stores would be required to provide certain information to anyone who purchases or adopts a dog or cat from the business. The information includes the breeder’s name and address; a document stating that the animal either has no known diseases, illnesses or congenital conditions that could affect its health or disclosing any such diseases, illnesses and congenital conditions; and written information on the health and other benefits of spaying and neutering the animal.
PIJAC objects to the inclusion of the breeders’ addresses because it could lead to harassment of the breeders and it could hurt the pet stores’ business by allowing prospective pet buyers to bypass pet store and buy directly from the breeder.
Pet stores would also need to maintain records of the information provided to animal acquirers for at least two years and, for animals without microchips, provide a certificate or voucher redeemable for a microchip through a veterinarian or local humane society.
The amended legislation also prohibits the sales or other transfer of animals in public places and defines public places to include “places of amusement or business.”
The restrictions on dog breeders, defined as anyone with more than 10 intact dogs older than 4 months, includes breeding dogs determined by a veterinarian to be unfit for breeding purposes. The bill does not prohibit people with fewer than 10 intact dogs from breeding such unfit animals.
The bill also requires dog breeders be licensed and allows each county to set its own licensing rules and fees. Until an individual county establishes its own license fee, House Bill 108 sets it at $500 for a two-year license. The legislation does not limit the amount a county could choose to set a license, which PIJAC contends could allow counties to put breeders out of business simply by setting high breeder license fees.
The legislation also allows for counties (or their contracted animal control providers) to seize and impound dogs owned by unlicensed dog breeders, who would also be subject to civil penalties up to $1,000.