Following is the letter I sent to Drs. Woods and Hickam.
Subject: Commentary on proposed commercial dog breeding regulations
Dear Doctor Woods and Hickam:
I appreciate this opportunity to provide commentary on the proposed new rules to be added to the Animal Care Facilities Act (related to Senate Bill 161.1). Following are my requested clarifications and modifications for these rules.
1. In the section defining “Necessary veterinary care”, please provide further clarification that the once a year examination be a hands-on physical examination, and not a visual inspection. A visual inspection is not sufficient in order to determine the dog’s health.
2. In addition to the inspection, please provide some form of clarification about what a “serious illness or injury” is. I believe that we’ll find that a non-breeder’s idea of “serious illness and injury” differs significantly from a breeder’s. The rules are far too vague in this regard.
3. You provide a definition for Pet, and limit it to dogs, but ACFA applies to dogs and cats. How will you reconcile this seeming conflict?
4. I find it disconcerting that you would charge the same fee to a non-profit shelter that you charge a for profit commercial breeder. Though you don’t have as much discretion about charging the fee, due to a law passed as an amendment to another law last year, you do have some discretion about how the fee is calculated. I hope that you consider formulating an algorithm that doesn’t harm legitimate nonprofit shelters and rescue organizations, or, at a minimum, provide for an exemption.
5. The new rules should ensure that existing wire floors grandfathered in should still be sufficient to prevent dogs paws from falling through holes, or dog claws from being caught, and the dogs getting injured.
Again, I appreciate this opportunity to provide commentary on the proposed rules.
See? I can be polite when so moved.
I also cc’d the letter to Jon Hagler, Director of the MDA.