Minnesota’s state legislative members formally resumed work on January 8th, 2013. In an effort to establish regulations for commercial breeders in the state, the Minnesota Dog and Cat Breeder Regulation Bill has since been introduced to both Minnesota’s House of Representatives and Senate. Representative John Lesch introduced the bill known as, “House File 84,” to his fellow house representatives while Senator John Marty introduced, “Senate File 36,” to the state’s Senate.
Under the proposed legislation, any person who owns at least ten dogs or cats that produce at least five litters per year will be considered a commercial breeder. If the legislation becomes state law, all commercial breeders operating in Minnesota would have to submit to an annual inspection.
Animal advocates, including Nancy Minion who co-founded the Twin Cities’ Second Chance Animal Rescue, have supported legislation aimed at rehabilitating Minnesota’s commercial breeding business in the past. According to Minion, previous bills faced staunch resistance from parties involved with agribusiness as recently as 2010. Even though the current and past pieces of legislation address the breeding of dogs and cats exclusively, opponents are afraid that the proposed regulations may ultimately lead to increased oversight of the livestock industry.
With the support of hundreds of veterinarians and vet techs, more than 50 animal welfare organizations, Minnesota’s Animal Control Association, and more than 18,000 signed petitions, the Minnesota Dog and Cat Breeder Regulation Bill’s creators and supporters are hoping the bill will provide much-needed regulation of Minnesota’s vast commercial breeding industry at the state level.
As part of the Speak Up for Dogs and Cats coalition, Animal Folks MN is encouraging Minnesota residents to demonstrate their support for this critical piece of legislation by taking the following steps:
Contact your state legislators to discuss how the passage of this bill can help animals to avoid being born into unsanitary, life-threatening, often cramped conditions. Make sure you mention the bill number and the name of its author when speaking with an elected official about the Minnesota Dog and Cat Breeder Regulation Bill.
Encourage everyone you know, including your pet’s veterinarian, to sign the petitions that are being circulated in support of the Dog and Cat Breeder Regulation Bill.
Attend the Speak Up for Dogs and Cats rally on Tuesday, February 19th. The rally will be held at Minnesota’s state capitol building from 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Whether you live in Minnesota or know someone who does, please follow the steps provided by Animal Folks MN to ensure this life-saving piece of legislation becomes state law.