I have a draft of the ACFA rules after the modification by the “Missouri Solution”. These are draft until vetted by the Secretary of State.
The Humane Society of the US, the ASPCA, and the Best Friends Society had mixed reviews of the new rules. On the plus side, a veterinarian annual exam must be physical, not visual. In addition, the new rules do at least address some of the original concerns, such as providing a definition of what a “severe” illness or injury is, and what is meant by “extreme” weather conditions.
HSUS, ASPCA, and Best Friends still have their concerns, such as crowded housing, insufficient floor requirements, and the fact that so much of the animal medical care is still under the breeders’ interpretation. I’m concerned about the fact that the new rules demand that housing for the animals ensure they’re not subjected to lower temperature unless acclimated. Well, again, open to interpretation. However, the rules do say that the ambient temperature can’t fall below 45 degrees in indoor enclosures, period. Of course, this doesn’t say anything about the dogs in outdoor enclosures. Again, how the dogs are housed is too frequently left up to the interpretation of the breeder.
The space requirements are not good. The single cage spaces are fine, but then as you look at the space requirements table, you can see that the cages can become quite crowded when adding more dogs. And yes, the breeders will add more dogs.
In addition, the rules were weakened to allow for large groupings in cages, which are going to cause problems no matter how compatible the dogs are.
The draft does not cover the licensing fees, but according to our understanding, rescues and shelters are still being charged the same amount as commercial dog breeders. Nothing like providing a service for the community and being charged for the privilege. I would expect if this continues that communities pay this fee. After all, shelters and rescues taking care of stray, homeless, or rescued dogs means that many less dogs the communities have to deal with.
Yes, I’m talking about you, St. Louis.