Over half of the U.S. states in the Gulf Shore Region have, or had, state breeder licensing laws. In this installment of the series, we discuss the six-state laws enacted in the region over four decades. Only one of these state laws has expired. If you do not know which one, then read on! All but one of the Region’s state laws use the format of a state license or permit with state administration of the law. In the first installment of this series, Regions Two and Five had no state breeder licensing that was combined with state-level administrative enforcement. In those regions the state laws fell into two other categories. California had a state mandate for care and facilities without state licensing. Nevada fell into the category of mandating local licensing subject to state requirements for care and facilities. As a reminder, this article is not a legal review; instead, it provides a starting place for breeders to begin their analysis and determining if and how the law applies to them.
Enacted in 1988, the Kansas Pet Animal Act regulates breeders, animal distributors, shelters, rescues, and research facilities. The Kansas breeder licensing plan starts with a minimum threshold of activities below which no one needs to be licensed. The no license required cap is a low bar at two or fewer litters, and 29 or fewer animals are sold or offered for sale in a given year. Anyone exceeding either of those limits must be licensed as a hobby breeder, retail breeder, or animal breeder depending on the type of premise they maintain. A hobby breeder premise is any premise “where all or part of 3, 4, or 5 litters of dogs or cats, or both, are produced for sale or sold [or exchanged], offered or maintained for sale per license year. This provision only applies if the total number of dogs, cats, or both, sold, offered or maintained for sale is less than 30 animals [language added].” A retail breeder is one who exceeds either of the hobby breeder limits -- all or part of six or more litters or 30 or more dogs or cats, or both, are sold, or offered or maintained for sale, primarily at retail and not for resale to another, while a person who primarily sells at this level at wholesale for resale to another, must be an animal breeder. It is presumed under the statute that a person is keeping animals for sale whenever 20 or more dogs or cats, or both, are maintained by that person. The license year ends on September 30.
The Animal Health Commissioner in the Department of Agriculture (commissioner) is authorized to adopt rules and enforce the provisions of the act. The regulations include standards of care, facility standards, record-keeping mandates, and information regarding investigations and inspections. The frequency of routine inspections is dependent on the passing rate of recent inspections. Hobby breeders working outside the home should note that notice is not required for inspections. The 2018 amendment complicated things for the hobby breeder by adding a $200 no-contact inspection fee. This happens when the owner (or their representative) fails to make the premises available for inspection within 30 minutes of the inspector’s arrival. The 2018 amendment also increased the hobby breeder license fee from $95 to $250.
Hobby breeders that happen to be a United States Department of Agriculture licensed pet dealer do not have to worry about meeting two sets of care and facilities standards. The rules anticipate that possibility. Only federal rules and regulations in 9 C.F.R. 3.1 through 3.12 will apply to breeders licensed with the United States Department of Agriculture as “animal distributors and animal breeders” under the Animal Welfare Act.
The law also created the pet animal advisory board who is responsible for reviewing the act and recommend changes to the law or rules. The board consists of ten designated members, one of whom shall be a licensed hobby breeder.
More information on the Kansas Pet Animal Act, including the law and regulations, is available at https://agriculture.ks.gov/divisionsprograms/division-of-animal-health/animal-facilities-inspections
Colorado was the second state in the Gulf Shore Region to regulate breeders, and it is the most comprehensive of the state laws in the region. The 1994 Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act (PACFA) requires anyone maintaining facilities that adopt, breed, board, groom, handle, sell, shelter, trade, or otherwise transfer pet animals to be licensed. Pet animals include cats, dogs, birds, fish, and any other species of wild or domestic animals, including hybrids, sold, transferred or retained to be kept as a household pet. It does exclude livestock and animals used for working purposes on a farm or ranch.
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