Wednesday, September 11, 2013

USDA Strikes Again!

Way back in 1966, the USDA was given the authority to regulate commercial dog breeders. Hobby breeders were OK with that, as they felt exempt. After all, they were not commercial breeders and never would be, right??

Well, surprise surprise. It took a few decades, but now the animal rights nuts have succeeded in their campaign to regulate just about everyone who is NOT a commercial breeder right out of existence. Here's what we get for allowing the USDA carte blanche over our trade.

Despite literally hundreds of thousands of written objections from groups and individuals, new rules are going into effect that will force many small breeders to apply for a commercial breeders' license with the USDA.

If you so much as ship one dog "sight unseen" to a buyer in another state or another country, you will need to apply for the privilege of USDA licensing and submit to unannounced inspections. Got a job outside your home? Travel to show your dogs? Too bad for you! You need someone at home during business hours so the almighty government bureaucrats can tell you how you should be raising your animals.

Why should breeders be forced to allow strangers to traipse through their homes? People have had puppies stolen at gunpoint by allowing strangers in. Other have been turned in to the local animal control department by AR nuts with an agenda who came into their home under the guise of wanting to buy a puppy. There is no animal welfare regulation anywhere that trumps human rights. Not in MY book.

Some of the biggest violators of animal welfare will, however, be exempt from this new rule. Every day we hear on the news that some fly-by-night "rescue" has sold sick dogs, or an animal shelter has imported dogs from another country, so they can have products to sell. Not one SHRED of regulation involved there.

If that isn't bad enough, anyone who owns more than four "breeding females" also will be required to apply for a USDA license. What is a "breeding female", you might ask? Why, it is ANY intact bitch over the age of four months old. Doesn't matter if they are actually ever bred, or not. The USDA has declared that only they shall determine if an intact female is exempt from being considered a "breeding female". You can bet your bottom dollar, if she is intact, she will be considered "breedable".

Small breeds with tiny litters require that we keep many more than four intact females to have a meaningful breeding program. We might like to keep them intact and grow them on for evaluation, or so that we have a variety of bloodlines to ensure health and genetic diversity. We might like to keep them intact so they can have the necessary hormones to develop normally and avoid painful orthopedic problems like hip dysplasia, patellar luxation or bone cancer.

But none of that matters one whit to the USDA.

What's all the fuss about anyway, why not just get a license and keep all the intact dogs you please?

I'm glad you asked.

People NEED to know that while they are frantically trying to decide if they should go the USDA route or not ---- it is IMPERATIVE that they know the first greatest risk is that all USDA facilities (those holding licenses) are listed publicly with the following information:

Names (These would be the breeders)
Address (Yes, that's your home! Online for anyone to see)
Phone numbers (No - you get no privacy!)
The number of animals at the time of inspection.
Any violations.

Aerial views of your house and property are available online once an address is obtained. From there you are easy prey for harrassment from any animal rights anti-breeding nut job. Because, you know, according to the animal rights people, every USDA commercial breeder is a PUPPY MILL.

Ever checked the website of "CAPS"; the "Companion Animal Protection Society"? They dedicate their existence to harrassing pet shops and commercial breeders until they can manage to bully them out of existence. There are big groups on Facebook dedicated to finding all USDA-licensed facilities and publishing them on FB in order to hunt down, harass and, in essence, destroy them.

Being a USDA licensed breeder is a big red flag screaming "COME AND GET ME".

The government's idea is that these new rules will help to regulate commercial breeders who currently skirt the AWA by selling online instead of through a retail pet store. If anyone can avoid the iron thumb of the USDA, I say more power to them! We already have state and local laws to cover animal welfare.

Neither the federal, state nor local agencies have the funds to fully enforce all the intrusive laws currently in effect, so enforcement will primarily be complaint-driven.

This makes us literally sitting ducks for these anti-breeding humaniac crusaders.

On a more mundane level, people who breed dogs as a hobby already operate in the red, but now they will find they need to spend even more money to paying annually for a Federal license.

This factor alone could force many people to stop breeding wonderful dogs. How many more breeds will face extinction?

To get your USDA license, you will need to comply with all requirements of the Animal Welfare Act. This includes housing standards that are difficult to meet in a home environment. Carpets and upholstered furniture are forbidden in the dogs primary enclosure. Stuffed toys are a no-no. Concrete is preferred. Regular use of harsh disinfectants is required. Want to raise a litter in your bedroom? Fuggedaboudit.

Free run of the house is a red flag. APHIS admits as much in their Q&A "Factsheet". Most hobby breeders allow their dogs free run of the house, and wouldn't want to have to change that.

Phooey on the USDA!

A Federal Bill dubbed "PUPS" or the "Puppy Uniform Safety and Protection Act" was proposing similar requirements, but now they don't even need to pass that bill, we've already got the government flexing its muscle to control us without even so much a a vote on the matter!

Where is Ron Paul when we need him? Abolish the USDA!


  1. I thought if you didn't ship it didn't matter how many dogs you had. Whip me with a noodle I hope that's right. Otherwise I have 60 days to get rid of an intact female that I've never bred and never will. Hard to find a perfect home in 60 days.

    Also if you read the last two paragraphs in the rule it says that rescue is exempt because they deliver dogs face to face but ones shipped across the country to be sold off the bus in other states may be affected.

    1. No, there is a four-bitch rule. You can't have as many as you like. And yes, "rescue" is exempt. Some of the worst animal abuse offenders! Of course this cannot be enforced and even if they did include shelters and rescues, do you honestly think they would actually go after those groups? Nope. Just breeders. Breeders are the bad guys. End of story.

  2. Here's what it says in the opening lines: We are revising the definition of retail pet store and related regulations in order to
    ensure that the definition of retail pet store in the regulations is consistent with the Animal
    Welfare Act (AWA), thereby bringing more pet animals sold at retail under the protection of the
    AWA. Specifically, we are narrowing the definition of retail pet store to mean a place of
    business or residence at which the seller, buyer, and the animal available for sale are physically
    present so that every buyer may personally observe the animal prior to purchasing and/or taking
    custody of that animal after purchase, and where only certain animals are sold or offered for sale,
    at retail, for use as pets. Retail pet stores are not required to be licensed and inspected under the

  3. the 4 limit will only matter if you SHIP dogs to pet home buyers.Shipping is via air, or ground transportation. The new owners must come to you , and they can fly in & take a pup back as excess baggage.You can have as many breeding bitches as you like if you do not do any shipping.

    1. No you are mistaken. The four limit is completely unrelated to whether or not you ship. You cannot have as many bitches as you like if you don't ship. Dunno where you got such an idea.

    2. In the recently-released FAQs there was an estimate of how many more breeders will be required to license with the USDA once this rule kicks in. Their estimate: "....does not include breeders who will not be affected by the rule because they do not sell pets, because they don’t have more than four breeding females, or because they sell pets face-to-face.”

      More than four breeding females OR selling sight-unseen. If you meet those conditions you are expected to apply for a USDA license.

      Not “AND”. The word is “OR”

      In other words, if you breed working dogs you are specifically exempt. If you have four or fewer females you are exempt OR If you only sell “face-to-face” (no shipping sight unseen) you are exempt.

      Shelters and rescues are also exempt according the the FAQs.

  4. you can believe what you want but if you read the law, or listen to the APHIS conference, that is NOT what they said . It is only if you ship.

    1. I have read the new rules (it's NOT a law) and I have listened to the conference. I have also carefully read the FAQs. If you have four or fewer breeding females you are exempt. You must also only sell those born and raised on your premises, how do you like them apples? Here is the pertinent section of the new rules:  Restoring and amending the exemption in § 2.1(a)(3)(vii) so that any person including,
      but not limited to, purebred dog or cat fanciers, who maintains a total of four or fewer
      breeding female dogs, cats, and/or small exotic or wild mammals, and who sells, at retail,
      only the offspring of these dogs, cats, and/or small exotic or wild mammals, which were
      born and raised on his or her premises, for pets or exhibition, and is not otherwise
      required to obtain a license, is also considered a retail pet store for regulatory purposes.

    2. Well now that I went back and listened to the conference call again, I am less sure. One of the USDA guys did say, if you don't ship sight unseen, this new rule doesn't apply to you. I am going to do some further investigating and get back to you!! Thanks for commenting.

  5. According to some interpretations of the 91-page published rule, the four-bitch limit doesn't apply unless you ship sight-unseen. However, my understanding (limited, granted) is that ANYONE who ships sight-unseen must register as a USDA breeder, so why is there any mention even made of this four-bitch limit? I listened to the conference call again and one of the USDA reps did say, if you don't ship sight-unseen, this rule does not apply to you, PERIOD. However, I am skeptical. We'll have to see how it plays out.
    Shipping is a necessity for those with rare breeds and it is generally done "sight-unseen" by the buyer. However, all dogs shipped must have a veterinary health certificate and a rabies shot, so this claim of people shipping unhealthy dogs is just plain BULLSHIT. If they are lying about the need for the rule change then they would also lie about who would ultimately be affected.

  6. Maybe if you are shipping sight-unseen you should register? Seems like it would be more "mill" like if you are breeding so many that you've exhausted the local market and need to ship animals? I don't know, I've never been a breeder just always bought from a breeder. When I wanted a cat that use to be considered "rare" (hypoallergenic), I flew to another state and flew back with the kitten. I would have never had it shipped to me, but that is just me I guess.

    1. Rare breeds are FREQUENTLY shipped "sight unseen". Traveling across country to pick up a new pup for your breeding program is signifigantly less possible when you have multiple dogs in a home, and finding a pup within less than a days drive is extremely difficult for rare breeds. It has nothing to do with being a mill. Infact, many of these rare breed breeders are breeding less than 1 litter a year, but will ship half or more of a litter out sight unseen and the 4 bitch rule is so easily broken its not funny.....

  7. One of the very best Dobermans I have even owned was shipped to me sight unseen. All arrangements were done via email and telephone.

    Of course, I was able to check out the breeder via several friends I had in the breeder's area AND equally important, the breeder was able to check me out the very same way. Ten months and an AKC obedience title later we met face-to-face for the first time.

    We need to be able to find the breed and dog of our choice when and were we may and not via some damnfool gov'ment rule written by drones who know nothing about breeding animals and work very, very hard to maintain that fine state of total ignorance.

  8. Does anyone know of some german shepherd breeders in Indiana? I am looking at getting a puppy, but I want to make sure it a purebred.