Author Topic: Virginia's up to HERE with Anti-breeding bills  (Read 750 times)

Newcastle

  • Most Informed Member - 2009
  • Administrator
  • Canine Good Citizen
  • *****
  • Posts: 3079
  • WHEEE!!!!!
    • Newcastle Boxers
Virginia's up to HERE with Anti-breeding bills
« on: January 21, 2008, 12:47:25 PM »
PLEASE HELP US WITH EMAILS AND FAXES NOW, PHONE CALLS FIRST THING
MONDAY! YES OUT-OF-STATE CAN HELP! PLEASE DO!

Virginia ended the bill filing period with seven anti-pet breeding
bills -- more than in all previous years together and more than in all
states together in most years. If any of these bills passes, breeding
in our state will be changed forever, and some of them would end hobby
breeding.

I'm not sure we can win without your help.

We have 'PAWS for Virginia' -- HB 538. We also have 'AB 1634 for
Virginia' -- HB 1570. We have at least one other bill that would be
even worse. Driven by the first-ever million dollar HSUS state
campaign (press releases about 'puppy mills' and all the rest) and
whipped on by FIVE HSUS lobbyists working the halls in Richmond, our
General Assembly has a whole lot of reasons to get it wrong and not a
whole lot of time to hear from people who know better.

You can't believe how fast things move here. In many other states it
takes a bill at least a few months to go through the process. In
Virginia, bills that start quickly (as our anti-breeding bills have)
can be on the governor's desk in about a month. ONE MONTH, folks. In
fact, the critical action in the first committees will probably take
about ten days, after which the fight will be a lot harder.

We all know that what passes in one state will be tried in others.

The first and best place to stop a bad bill is by getting the
sponsoring lawmaker to WITHDRAW the bill. We ask him to say "Ooops,
changed my mind, this is NOT a good idea ..." That's what we should do
right now.  You can make contacts by phone, by fax or by email.

This post just summarizes the bill info (including the two new ones);
the previous posts on this subject had guidelines for making contacts.
Just one reminder: ALWAYS BE POLITE.

==================

VIRGINIA ANTI-BREEDING BILLS

HB691 Animal control officers; inspection of breeding facilities

SPONSOR: Del. Ward L. Armstrong
Phone: Phone: (804) 698-1010
Fax: (804) 786-6310
Email: DelWArmstrong@house.state.va.us

BILL: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?081+ful+HB691

> 3.1-796.104. Animal control officers; powers and duties. [In part]

> The animal control officer shall make quarterly inspections of any
> premises in his jurisdiction where dealers breed companion animals.
> The animal control officer shall ensure that dealers comply with
> state and federal standards for sanitation, licensure, and adequate
> care.

Virginia law is unclear about whether hobby breeders are 'dealers' but
some localities are assuming so.  If this passes, there will be more.

TALKING POINTS:

When a hobby can be inspected at any time then it isn't a hobby
anymore.  Many people consider hobby bred dogs and cats to be the best
pets: why should Virginians be deprived of this choice?

This can be interpreted as meaning that federal standards for
commercial (farm) breeding would be applied to home breeding.

The localities aren't asking for this law; the push is from the animal
rights movement and specifically from HSUS. To see all the Virginia
bills HSUS is supporting, go to:

http://www.hsus.org/legislation_laws/state_legislation/state-legislation-list.html?state=virginia

More inspections means more expense to localities.  Who will pay that
expense?  Taxpayers, that's who ... more money to get fewer and worse
pets (by ending hobby breeding), boy WHAT a deal!

Animal control can already inspect any place where animals are kept;
all they need is probable cause to believe that a violation is
occurring and a warrant.  Why should a family that has a few dogs that
have puppies or cats that have kittens lose this constitutional
protection?

-----------------

HB1486 Dealer permits; local ordinances pertaining to real estate
taxes for euthanizing

SPONSOR: Clifford L. Athey, Jr.
Phone: (804) 698-1018
Fax: (804) 786-6310
Email: DelCAthey@house.state.va.us

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?081+ful+HB1486

In Virginia, a 'companion animal' can be anything that anyone thinks
is a pet. 'Dealer' is defined:

> "Dealer" means any person who in the regular course of business for
> compensation or profit buys, sells, transfers, exchanges, or barters
> companion animals.

This is increasingly being interpreted as including hobbyists and a
couple of localities have passed dealer licensing ordinances as
already allowed by the law. This bill would REQUIRE localities to
license all "dealers in companion animals."

TALKING POINTS:

When a hobby can be inspected at any time then it isn't a hobby
anymore.  Many people consider hobby bred dogs and cats to be the best
pets: why should Virginians be deprived of this choice?

More inspections means more expense to localities.  Who will pay that
expense?  Taxpayers, that's who ...

Animal control can already inspect any place where animals are kept;
all they need is probable cause to believe that a violation is
occurring and a warrant.  Why should a family that has a few dogs that
have puppies or cats that have kittens lose this constitutional
protection?

-----------------

HB1570 Companion animals; sterilization; penalty

SPONSOR: Robert D. Hull
Phone: (804) 698-1038
Fax: (804) 786-6310
Email: DelRHull@house.state.va.us

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?081+ful+HB1570

Think 'California AB 1634 for Virginia' -- but this one gets
commercial sellers too.

Animal pounds, shelters, and rescue groups are already required to
sterilize animals when sold, either prior to sale or by contract with
the buyer for sterilization at a later time.  This bill adds 'dealers'
to that list.  Since hobbyists are increasingly being considered
dealers (the definition is ambiguous) this would be mandatory
spay/neuter for the state, except for those who want to sign up for
the listed 'exemptions.'

Failure to comply would allow the state veterinarian or a court to
void the sale. Both buyer and seller would be fined $150. There are a
number of specific requirements for the pet sales contract.

The three kinds of 'good' breeders who would be exempt from the
mandatory spay/neuter requirement are defined as follows:

1. "'Breed improver' means a person who: (i) breeds working dogs, show
dogs, and hunting dogs or cats of specific breeds, not as a source of
income, but to perpetuate the breed or eliminate physical shortcomings
and disease, or who could otherwise demonstrate a conscious and
deliberate plan of breed improvement; and (iii) adheres to the
American Kennel Club's 22 responsible breeding steps, United Kennel
Club's breeders code of ethics, American Working Dog Federation's
constitution and bylaws, or a substantially similar code of ethics or
Cat Fanciers' Association breed standards."

2. "'Fancier breeder' means a person who: (i) regularly shows or
competes at competitions sanctioned by the American Kennel Club, the
United Kennel Club, the American Working Dog Federation and their
member clubs, or the Cat Fanciers' Association and their sanctioned
competitions, or similar organizations for rare breed dogs and cats;
and (ii) adheres to the American Kennel Club's 22 responsible breeding
steps, United Kennel Club's breeders code of ethics, American Working
Dog Federation's constitution and bylaws, or a substantially similar
code of ethics or Cat Fanciers' Association breed standards."

3. "'Hobby breeder' means a person who wishes to breed and then will
find homes for one litter, but not for profit."

Fraudulently claiming to be one of the above would get you a fine of
$1000.

TALKING POINTS:

The ones for HB 691 also work here.

If this bill could work as written, it would shift Virginia to
importing most of its dogs and cats. In the real world the shortage
would be modest (prices up say 50%) but a large fraction of our pet
owners and nearly all non-commercial breeders would be in violation of
the law.

-----------------

HB538 Commercial dog breeding operations

SPONSOR: Del. Robert D. Orrock Sr.
Phone: (804)698-1054
Fax: (804) 786-6310
Email: DelBOrrock@house.state.va.us

BILL: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?081+ful+HB538

This bill would define as a 'commercial breeder' "any person who
breeds dogs as companion animals and who maintains 20 or more
unsterilized adult females for the purpose of commercial breeding
during any 12-month period." Commercial breeders would be limited to
50 dogs max, would have to be licensed and inspected, keep specific
records, facilities would have to meet certain fire safety standards
and there would be other restrictions.

There are also requirements that pet shops buy only from USDA licensed
breeders and for commercial breeders (as defined) to sell to pet shops
only if the breeder is USDA licensed.

TALKING POINTS:

What's so good about small (compared to larger) commercial breeding?
The numbers '20' and '50' are completely arbitrary.

Why should Virginia be telling breeders how to run their
hobbies/businesses?

This bill is probably illegal restraint of trade.

Federal law already says who is allowed to buy from or sell to whom.

This bill would eliminate some of the smallest commercial breeders,
why is that good?

Commercial breeders like every other animal owner are subject to
Virginia's animal welfare laws.  They can be inspected by state and/or
local authorities at any time, with probable cause to believe that a
violation is occurring and a warrant.

If commercial breeders are eliminated, we'll have a shortage that
hobbyists cannot fill. The result will be importing (including from
foreign countries that may have no animal welfare or health-related
laws at all) and illegal breeding.  How would this be better?

-----------------

HB690 Commercial breeding of companion animals

SPONSOR: Del. Ward L. Armstrong
Phone: Phone: (804) 698-1010
Fax: (804) 786-6310
Email: DelWArmstrong@house.state.va.us

BILL: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?081+ful+HB690

This basically would require USDA dealers to also get a license from
their localities.  The license would cost $150; anyone having one would
have to allow animal control to inspect if there is a complaint or at
any other time during daytime hours.

TALKING POINTS:

Animal control can already inspect any place where animals are kept;
all they need is probable cause to believe that a violation is
occurring and a warrant.

USDA inspects their licensed dealers.

When more than one authority is allowed to make routine inspections,
you get conflicts: One says the dog houses need to be painted wood,
another says no, they should be plastic.

The only purpose of such a bill is to harass USDA-licensed breeders.
That is not a valid public purpose.

-----------------

HB1232 Overbreeding of cats and dogs; penalty

SPONSOR: Del. Margaret G. Vanderhye
Phone: (804) 698-1034
Fax: (804) 786-6310
Email: DelMVanderhye@house.state.va.us

CO-SPONSOR: Del. Mark D. Sickles
Phone: (804) 698-1043
Fax: (804) 786-6310
Email: DelMSickles@house.state.va.us

CO-SPONSOR: Sen. Patricia Ticer
Phone: (804) 698-7530
Fax:
Email: district30@sov.state.va.us


BILL: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?081+ful+HB1232

> Any dealer that breeds more than 20 litters of dogs or cats, or
> sells more than 100 dogs or cats, in any year shall be guilty of a
> Class 3 misdemeanor.

TALKING POINTS:

Most of the HB 538 points also work here.

-----------------

HJ163 Study; companion animals; report (Saxon)

SPONSOR: Del. Christopher B. Saxman
Phone: (804) 698-1020
Fax: (804) 786-6310
Email: DelCSaxman@house.state.va.us

BILL: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?081+ful+HJ163

"Creates a joint subcommittee to study issues related to companion
animals including veterinary medicine, commercial breeding practices,
overpopulation, animal shelters and pounds, dangerous animal laws,
tethering practices, local registration and fee collection, and
procedures for disaster preparedness."

TALKING POINTS:

Animal issues are complex and subtle. The mandate of this study is far
too broad for any meaningful result with four meetings and a budget of
$7200.

Such study groups are invariably dominated by animal rightist and/or
do-gooder viewpoints. There's so much baggage that it's impossible
even to get to basic facts.

Walt Hutchens
Timbreblue Whippets

FORWARD AT WILL
Jennifer Walker
Newcastle Boxers, Reg'd
Mind ~ Body ~ Spirit ~ Naturally

Visit the Boxer Crazy Store

BoxerWB

  • Administrator
  • Officially Boxer Crazy
  • *****
  • Posts: 14004
Re: Virginia's up to HERE with Anti-breeding bills
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2008, 02:37:32 PM »
I'm confused - it looks like the three exception in HB1570 Companion animals; sterilization; penalty actually leave room for good breeders and actually penalizes bad ones? 

The bill would still be a waste without money to enforce it, but does it actually hurt "good" breeders?  It looks like even some BYBs would get cut a break.
Julia
Delta 03/12
Dash 07/06
Shady 07/05
In my heart: Xena 03/10/03 - 02/16/12

Newcastle

  • Most Informed Member - 2009
  • Administrator
  • Canine Good Citizen
  • *****
  • Posts: 3079
  • WHEEE!!!!!
    • Newcastle Boxers
Re: Virginia's up to HERE with Anti-breeding bills
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2008, 04:19:18 PM »
This bill isn't even actually about regulating breeders, it's about regulating owners.  The bill mandates that every dog or cat sold be spayed or neutered by seven months of age or (if older) within 30 days of sale or adoption, unless it's purchased from an exempted breeder.  However, the exceptions miss a large number of "good" breeders, especially cat breeders (the CFA is not the only game in town, the TICA is a very large, reputable organization, among others); as well, many dog breeds which eschew AKC/UKC have their own registries (Australian Shepherds and Border Collies come to mind).  The AKC's 22 responsible breeding steps don't even exist (it's down to 16 now).   

It's a sure bet that if this bill is passed into law, the definitions of a "good breeder" will get more and more narrow until it will be impossible to purchase an exempt puppy *from anywhere* if you live in VA.  Want to delay sterilization until the dog is older, say 14-18 months?  Too bad.  Want to show in conformation?  Tough.  Want to let your dog retain it's reproductive organs even though you won't ever breed it?  Out of the question.

Here is the AKC's position statement on this bill:
Quote
HB 1570 attempts to make an unnecessary statutory distinction between purebred dogs produced by certain breeders and purebred dogs produced by those classified as dealers. The AKC believes that all breeding programs should be undertaken responsibly for the purpose of preserving breed characteristics and producing healthy, well-socialized puppies. Responsible breeders are expected to give careful consideration to health issues, temperament, and genetic screening, as well as to the individual care and placement of puppies in responsible homes. The AKC supports these and other responsible breeding practices through breeders' education programs, and commends those who offer similar guidance. HB 1570 illogically attempts to punish many responsible breeders who adhere to these standards because of a simple statutory distinction. Additionally, HB 1570 fails to address pet population issues that derive from irresponsible dog breeders or dogs imported from outside of Virginia.

The  bill also creates and encourages and "us vs. them" mentality, which only serves to make it harder and harder for responsible home breeders to keep breeding.  This is part of a little rant I sent to the SB-L the other day, not specifically about this bill but along the same lines, which I'm pasting here rather than retyping pretty much the same thing:

Quote
> Just about anyone can get an AKC dog without any health testing, any
> type of pedigree or confirmation to the particular breed standard.

So what?  AKC has always said that they are a registry body only, that they do not make any statements about the quality of the dogs or the breeders.  Why shouldn't someone get an AKC dog without any health testing etc. if that's what they're willing to accept?

This is such a great example of what Beth was talking about in her post,  when she wrote "I'll hate it even more when I've been dragged into court for the high crime of breeding Boxers!"  It is long past time for "responsible breeders" to wake up and smell the ARistas - they have been working behind the scenes for years to divide and conquer dog breeders.  It started with the "only buy from responsible breeders" indoctrination, which effectively turned into an "us" vs. "them" situation where "we  the responsible breeders" decided that anyone who doesn't do what we do shouldn't be allowed to breed at all.  Forget trying to educate them about why what we do is important, forget trying to educate the buyers about why they'll have better chances of a long-lived, healthy puppy from one of us - just make it so that "they" can't breed at all, and there will only be "responsible breeders" left and everything will be hunky-dorey.

Except, of course, that the ARistas have now moved on to phase two of their plan - "There Are *NO* Responsible Breeders".  Get that?  None. Which means that, if you're only supposed to buy your puppies from responsible breeders, and there /are/ no responsible breeders, then you're not supposed to buy any puppies at all - and since the measures we put into place before didn't work to stop all that irresponsible breeding, we need to put even tighter restrictions in place and make sure that we stop all breeding.  Everyone needs to get their dogs from a shelter.  What happens when the shelter runs out of dogs, you ask? Well, then the ARistas will have met their goal of "total animal liberation", at least as far as dogs (and most likely cats) are concerned, and they can move on to whatever animals (if any) are left to liberate - or maybe they'll start on their "zero population growth" plan.

I would encourage anyone who might want to have a dog or cat in their home in ten or twenty years to read this series of articles, "The Future of Dogs" - it might just get you thinking.
http://www.pet-law.com/future/foreword.html

To paraphrase Evelyn Beatrice Hall (generally misattributed to Voltaire) - "I may not like the way you breed dogs, but I will defend to the death your right to breed them."  (With an add-on - "Meanwhile I will do my best to educate the public as to why their best chances of a happy, healthy, long-lived puppy do not come from someone who breeds dogs the way you do." ;)
Jennifer Walker
Newcastle Boxers, Reg'd
Mind ~ Body ~ Spirit ~ Naturally

Visit the Boxer Crazy Store

Bruins_Boxer

  • Officially Boxer Crazy
  • ***
  • Posts: 8591
    • Bruins Boxers
Re: Virginia's up to HERE with Anti-breeding bills
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2008, 01:15:28 PM »
That is exactly what the AR people want , they want an us vs / them between breeders .
If we are spending time arguing amongst ourselves then we are not fighting together against the AR people  .

We all may not agree exactly on all breeding ethics but we need to stick together to save our right to breed and own intact dogs , cats or whatever .

Alot of the newer legislation was brought up at our boxer meeting last night - we actually have a dedicated person in the club who keeps track of the animal legislation ( sad that we have to though).
 But with Virginia being so close to
Md the legislation will be crossing the state line soon . :no:
Missi
Edy - Bruin's Espresso by Stephlyn , CGC    5-2-2006
Remy - Bruin's One Step Closer    7-27-2010

Gone but never forgotten Mocha , Titan , Charlotte .

BoxerWB

  • Administrator
  • Officially Boxer Crazy
  • *****
  • Posts: 14004
Re: Virginia's up to HERE with Anti-breeding bills
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2008, 01:26:55 PM »
Ah, I see!  That's definitely an issue then.  Even assuming it stays in this more "moderate" (for HSUS/PETA stuff) form, the age restrictions just don't work!
Julia
Delta 03/12
Dash 07/06
Shady 07/05
In my heart: Xena 03/10/03 - 02/16/12