The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has developed a model bill and regulations to help states ensure the well-being of dogs bred and sold as pets but not protected by the Animal Welfare Act or similar regulations.

The AVMA Executive Board approved the model bill and regulations at its April meeting at AVMA headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill.

The documents were produced, in part, in response to state veterinary medical associations asking the AVMA for assistance in developing new legislation or deciphering pending legislation aimed at regulating dog breeders and retailers.

Since 2009, more than 100 bills have been introduced in state legislatures addressing the regulation of commercial dog kennels, shelters and animal control facilities. The bills vary widely in terms of who is covered, what is covered and their regulatory rigidity, and some contain exemptions that could undermine their sought-after benefits.

"This is an opportunity for AVMA to display leadership on an emerging animal welfare issue," said Dr. Gail Golab, director of the AVMA Animal Welfare Division. "The model bill and regulations are a comprehensive alternative to some of the less well-considered bills we are seeing around the country."

Dr. Golab said that unlike some proposals, the model bill and regulations don't limit the number of dogs that can be bred or sold, prescribe who can raise or sell dogs, or use arbitrary criteria to tell people how to raise dogs. The focus is on good animal welfare outcomes, while allowing some flexibility in how these might be achieved.

"The basic philosophy underlying the bill is dogs deserve appropriate care, and it doesn't really matter where those dogs are being kept, whether they're in a shelter or a pet shop or a breeding facility," Dr. Golab said.

The "Model Bill and Regulations to Assure Appropriate Care for Dogs Intended for Use as Pets" can be viewed on the AVMA website. Background and context for the bill and regulations are available here.

Source
American Veterinary Medical Association

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