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Bill to restrict puppy-mills passes Ohio House



Published: Thu, November 15, 2012 @ 12:06 a.m.

By Marc Kovac

news@vindy.com

COLUMBUS

Legislation requiring licensing and inspections of large-scale dog breeders passed the Ohio House on Wednesday and likely is heading toward Gov. John Kasich’s desk.

House Bill 130 passed on a vote of 89-5 and requires a concurrence vote in the Ohio Senate before being forwarded to Kasich for his signature.

“I feel that this is a strong bill, and it removes that black eye that Ohio has had on the issue they call puppy mills in this state,” said Rep. Dave Hall, a Republican from Millersburg. He added later, “I think we got it right … it’s a beginning.”

Under the legislation, “high-volume” breeders would be required to obtain a license from the Ohio Department of Agriculture in order to continue operating.

Lawmakers defined “high volume” as those with breeding dogs producing nine litters of puppies and who sell 60 or more dogs annually. Licensing or registration requirements also would be instituted for dog retailers and rescue operations.

Application fees would run from $150-$750, depending on the number of dogs sold in a year. Licenses could be denied to individuals convicted of animal cruelty or animal-fighting crimes in the past 20 years or revoked if breeders mistreat their animals.

The director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture will be responsible for establishing housing, nutrition, exercise and other care standards for breeders, with inspections annually to ensure those standards are being followed. The bill also creates a new commercial dog-breeding advisory board to review related rules.

Proponents believe law changes are needed because existing regulations are inadequate, allowing breeders to operate without proper oversight to ensure animals are humanely treated. More than 30 other states already have regulations in place covering puppy mills.


Comments

1happy2bhere(2 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Well it's about time! Now if we can only get Senator Niehaus to put Nitro's housebill 108 on the floor we are making progress. Please email or call. http://www.ohiosenate.gov/senate2012/...

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2MrsDSF(2 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

this law as passed by the OH Legislature is a travesty for all animal rescues in Ohio. It does not include for-profits like Pet stores, sporting/hunting dog breeders or backyard breeders yet places undo regulations/restrictions on NOT FOR PROFIT/VOLUNTEER animal rescues, sanctuaries and dog foster care providers! A troubling aspect of S.B. 130 is that is fails to put in place reporting and disclosure mechanisms that will allow the Ohio State Tax Commission to track commercial breeders and collect sales taxes. One puppy mill operator testified in the legislature last year that commercial dog breeders bring in $9 million per year to Holmes County alone. The state and local governments did not receive tax revenue from those sales of dogs. That is because many of these commercial breeding operations are not licensed or registered; the county as well as the state is losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales tax revenues. The state has estimated losses of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in sales tax not collected from dog breeders.

Also, S.B. 130 would leave thousands of puppy mills and backyard breeders unregulated in Ohio.

Curiously, S.B. 130 gives carte blanche authority to the Kennel Club of America to regulate rescues. The bill states KCA will issue "[r]equirements and procedures governing animal rescues for dogs, including the licensing and inspection of and record keeping by animal rescues for dogs, in addition to the requirements and procedures established in this chapter". Yet, the KCA Board would only have one representative from an animal welfare organization such as a spca or humane society. An agency run by breeders and the cottage industries they feed would be regulating rescues in Ohio.

Why else S.B. 130 doesn't work for Ohio:

http://www.animallawcoalition.com/com...

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