Monday, June 11, 2012

Trojan Horse

A proposed change in USDA rules would bring almost every pet breeder under federal guidelines, forcing them to build commercial kennels and submit to unannounced inspections by either the public or the USDA. The new proposal would appease the blood-lust of animal extremist groups like the HSUS, PETA, ASPCA, and In Defense of Animals. These groups support a surge in the war against pet breeders, and using the US Federal government to aid in their vendetta makes it even more objectionable. Imagine our own federal income tax dollars spent in the quest to shut down any in-home pet breeding. Nauseating.

The new proposal comes at a time when we find the Federal government under heavy pressure from the HSUS and other AR groups to over-regulate animal breeders under the guise of improving animal welfare. Anti-hunting, anti-breeding, and anti-agriculture bills are popping up all over, and our legislators still don't seem to be clued in yet to the AR agenda.

The idea with the new USDA proposal is supposedly "to close a loophole for pets sold on the Internet." The truth is, there is no "loophole" that needs closing. Pet breeders are heavily regulated already at the Federal, state and/or local levels. With the federal budget deficit, there are insufficient resources to enforce the rules for commercial breeders as currently defined without bringing thousands of new entities under the USDA umbrella. And, so-called "Puppy Mill Bills" have been passed in almost a dozen large states, making federal intervention unnecessary in those locales.

A comment period is currently open until July 16. Please do go to the site to voice your objections and request the proposal be withdrawn:

To view previous comments and get an idea of what others have already said, check here:

Now, ay, here's the rub. Should enough people complain that the USDA withdraws the new rules, there is a bill pending in Congress that will accomplish pretty much the same goal. This bill is PUPS and we have blogged about it here previously. PUPS would tag anyone with ownership of ONE bitch, who sells "X"-amount of dogs or puppies in a year, as a commercial breeder. Makes no difference if you are an active hobbyist who does some breeding but still operates at a financial loss as most do….it's just a numbers game played with the intent to stop breeding by any means possible.

PUPS has nearly enough sponsors to be passed should it come to a vote. And, if the new APHIS regulations are not implemented once the July comment period closes, then I strongly suspect that PUPS will be brought up almost immediately for a vote quicker than we can say "WHAM BAM THANK YOU MA'AM ".

So it is important to continue to oppose on both fronts….PUPS as well as the new APHIS regulations.


  1. APHIS requires that your kennel be open for inspection at any time, without notice. You must therefore ALSO hire someone to cover for you when you are traveling to meet halfway, deliver at a show, etc. That person needs to be able to explain and perhaps defend your operation: The teenager who feeds the dogs and cleans up twice daily won't do; in many families even a spouse wouldn't be able to handle this.

    Comments only cover the tip of the iceberg with regards to 24-7 "PRESENCE" at your "home/kennel" if you fall under the coverage of the proposed Reg.


    Classic example: Brother of Wife of Licensed Breeder dies, and all family Members attend the Funeral - - Away for but three hours. They receive a citation for not having any one present when the APHIS Inspector made a NO NOTICE Visit. THEIR APPEAL IS DENIED

  2. I oppose this rule change as it is involved in taking away our citizens rights to property. Here are very good reasons WHY WE DON'T WANT UNINVITED PERSONS IN OUR HOMES: 1) Unannounced federal employees conducting inspections. 2) Shoes carry diseases (especially Parvo Virus, deadly to puppies). 3) Harassment and vandalism from "animal rights" fanatics. 4) Danger of stolen dogs or property by visitors sizing up facilities and security.
    There is no need to regulate this segment of our society and their care of animals as they are doing it correctly according to HSUS. So why the rule change? Makes no sense.

  3. This proposal would also affect rescue and fosters who for the most part do not have intact dogs and do not have litters, but tend to deliver dogs at other places than their homes.

    I think this will have just as negative an impact on rescue groups.

  4. Being USDA compliant first of all means
    raising ALL dogs in kennels--NO dogs allowed in the house, not even older, spayed or neutered pets. And if you want to keep more than four breedable females but not allow all buyers to come to your home and never, ever ship a puppy to anyone else, or meet anyone half way,
    then you must build a USDA compliant kennel, with temps kept between 55 to 85 degrees if my memory is correct--and with not one but TWO
    separate kennels houses--one for all dogs and another for your bitches with litters--with two drains in each kennel house--with all surfaces
    being non-permeable and able to withstand 180 degree steam cleaning temps, plus you need a separate toilet and sink and kitchen to fix dog
    food. And the dogs can never be without food or water, even when you are cleaning dishes--and on and on and on--many pages of specifications for a USDA compliant kennel.

    So--IF your building codes and zoning regulations would allow you to build such a kennel on your property in the first place--as for instance in the state of Georgia, even if you are zoned AR--agricultural/residential--you might be zoned correctly to be able to build such a kennel, but you cannot have customers come to your home to do business as it's still zoned "residential"--do you think that the many thousands of AKC small hobby breeders that may own--or CO-OWN--as those co-owned females count toward that four or less number too--could afford to spend the $50,000 to $100,000 estimated costs to build such a kennel?

    And you can be sure that local regulators will want you to build a separate septic tank for such a large dog structure, or be like my friend out in the Seattle area who had to build a separate septic tank just for dog urine for less than a dozen Cockers, but has to haul all
    dog waste to the dump in special bags for waste--while her neighbors can keep an unlimited number of horses on the same acreage.

    And here in Florida one has to have all animal shelters built back at least 100 feet from any lot lines, which in my area requires owning AT
    THE VERY LEAST five acres. And I could barely fit my open to the air, temporary kennels and dog yards here on our six acres, as our two
    three acres lots are so long and narrow.

    Not to mention that you must be there AT ALL TIMES just in case a USDA inspector decides to inspect you or it's a whopping big fine. A $10,000 fine for not being there when an inspector came by, when everyone in the family was at a funeral for a close family member.
    And the USDA has written up infractions for such things as cobwebs or a dead fly in the kennel, and we can expect more of the same as the AR's are infiltrating APHIS.

    These rules were originally written for the care of laboratory animals used in medical experiments, but have been ridiculously extended to pet breeding. And as written, only the larger commercial dog kennels that are already USDA compliant and can afford to hire employees will easily meet these new regulations, leaving the smaller hobby and show
    kennels no choice but to reduce their breeding females to four or less, or allow all potential puppy buyers to come to the home, therefore opening up their home to the rampant puppy diseases like parvo or distemper and/or criminals posing as puppy buyers who will come back to rob you--or rob you right on the spot and steal your puppies and maybe your bitches too--or AR's pretending to be puppy buyers and checking out your kennel in order to report you to animal control with false charges.

    And how long do you think that it will be before the AR's come back and say that that number needs to be lowered to less than four

    But you don't have to take my word for it. Read the regulations yourself, starting at section 3.1:

  5. I don't think HSUS et. al. actually took pen in hand to write this rule change. I believe USDA did that all by itself, thinking that this would "cure" all the ills and evils that HSUS has persuaded them of.

    It brings tears of rage to my eyes to see how gullible USDA is - to swallow all the tripe they have been fed, doing NO independent research or even basic fact-checking, and simplistically drafting a rule to slap gnats with a baseball bat.

    Te question at the foundation of this process is WHY they are doing it - this way, at this time.

    Look back at history: SCOTUS's bottom line in DDAL was that evidence did not show that Congress intended to have APHIS inspectors dictating how pet breeders raised pets within their own homes. So PAWS was tried, and failed. So PUPS was conjured up, and was steaming right along, making good progress but not guaranteed to produce the desired result, when HSUS succeeds in getting one of its operatives transplanted in plain sight at the helm of the APHIS enforcement machine. All of a sudden it dawns on USDA that it does not take an act of Congress to whack ethical, competent pet breeders off at the knees; it can be done with a simple (compared to legislation) rule change! The premise is that USDA had this authority all along, but simply had not realized it until it was pointed out by - guess who?

    There definitely is a problem element in the pet breeding biz - or rather, the dog breeding division - that needs to be addressed. Whether that is best done by federal action is debatable. Whether that is best done by wiping out a huge segment of the breeders we represent warrants a resounding NO. But it isn't any accident that USDA's proposed rule change would do that. It is the result of HSUS infiltrating the culture of USDA, reshaping its mission in its collective memory, and persuading those in authority that the end justifies the means - when to HSUS, the end is the end is the end... And couching it in terms of "consumer protection" makes it feel really warm and fuzzy: they're using my tax dollars to protect me from taking responsibility for how I spend my discretionary income. Hey - it's the American Way, right??