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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2012/05/10/national/a105919D72.DTL

http://tinyurl.com/7xe3h4p

USDA seeks change to regulate Internet pet sales
By TRACIE CONE, Associated Press
Thursday, May 10, 2012 (05-10) 11:42 PDT (AP) --

Dog breeders who skirt animal welfare laws by selling puppies over the
Internet would face tighter scrutiny under a rule change proposed
Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The change would subject dog owners who breed more than four females and sell the puppies electronically, by mail or over the phone to the same oversight faced by wholesale dealers as part of the Animal Welfare Act.

That law, written in 1966, set standards of care for animals bred for
commercial sale and research. Retail sales were exempt from inspections
under the assumption that anyone who visited the store could see whether the animals appeared healthy and cared for.

-more-
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Further to the newstory I posted earlier.....

This announcement today is a proposed rulemaking by USDA. It is not the final rule. There will be a 60 day period for comments. When I find out how and where you need to go to make comments, I'll let you know.

The worst thing I've seen so far appears to be that sale of one puppy when the buyer doesn't come to your house will throw you into the commercial breeder category of the Animal Welfare Act. This is the same classification that HSUS oft refers to as a "puppy mill".

Read the APHIS press release <http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/2012/05/pdf/retail_pets_051012.pdf> and the proposed rules <http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/2012/05/pdf/docket_APHIS_2011_0003.pdf>, both in PDF format.

Eric Johnson
 

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There is some merit to what they are saying - there are some horrible people out there that keep dogs caged 100% of the time - breed every cycle and are in it strictly for the dollar with no regard for the dogs - We had a person leasing from us who made a solid income driving up to Oregon and bringing puppies back to the Bay Area of California and selling the dogs for a lot more - I suspect they may have been one of these places but it wasnt my business and I didnt have any way to check - these were all designer breeds - she made a trip once or twice a month - and only had a couple of contacts - no way someone has that many dogs and allows people in to see their set up -
At our place we have a waiting list for dogs and will not take any offers from people that want us to ship - but it sounds like any one that ships a dog could fall into this category -
Thanks for the heads up
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
"This proposed rule would rescind the “retail pet store” status of anyone selling, at retail
for use as pets, the animals listed above to buyers who do not physically enter his or her place of business or residence in order to personally observe the animals available for sale prior to purchase and/or to take custody of the animals after purchase."

Rescinding the "retail pet store" status of one who sells dogs means that the person is a dealer and will have to acquire a USDA license and is subject to the requirements of a dealer. This means the dogs can't live in the house, etc. The USDA states in their prosposal that it will cost between $5000 and $15,600 to build an adequate shelter. Remember, the dog can't live in the house as it's no longer a pet, it's a part of your business as a dealer.

So, if you sell a single puppy to someone who has not been in your place of business or residence, you're a dealer. If the buyer is flying in to Atlanta and you drive the puppy to the airport, you're a dealer. If you deliver a puppy to a person at a field trial or hunt test, even if they have bought from you before, you're a dealer.

What's more, this is being done with administrative rules, not a law. Thus, writing your Congress Person isn't worth much. The USDA is writing the rules needed to administer a law (Animal Welfare Act of 1966) already passed by Congress. IOW, Congress has acted already and left it up to the USDA/APHIS.

Eric
 

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How's that bigger goverment working out?:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't think too many here realize just what could happen.

The Animal Welfare Act was passed in 1966! This isn't new.

What the USDA orignally did was create within the rules two categories, a dealer and a retail pet store. Hobbyist breeders were considered a retail pet store and needed no regulation.

Now they are changing the definition of "retail pet store" so that includes only those sellers who require a buyer to come to the brick and mortar "store"....your residence. If you deliver a puppy away from your residence without the buyer having come at least once to see the puppy, you are a dealer. The requirements for a dealer are so monumental that it will be cheaper for most folks to pay a fine and stop breeding that to create the living conditions required of a dealer.

Eric
 

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Eric Johnson;966938What's more said:
This is being done in almost all areas of the law, and the Supreme Court at least was showing larger and larger amounts of deference to such regulations.

It would help to know if these are legislative regulations or interpretive regulations. The former would actually be authorized by statute; a lot of tax provisions have language instructing the IRS Commissioner to promulgate regulations with respect to the statute, and these are entitled to more deference.

Interpretive regulations are simply the regulating agency's litigating position, and they probably set out more "safe harbors" than anything. IOW, if you do this you are within the statute. These are not entitled to as much deference, and I have seen at least two dismissed as being flatly incorrect.

Let us know when you find out where to send the comments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Let us know when you find out where to send the comments.
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/animal_welfare/2012/retail_pets_faq.pdf

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/2012/05/pdf/docket_APHIS_2011_0003.pdf

The first link is to a Q&A. It includes the address of the internet portal for comments though the 60 day comment period technically hasn't started.

The second link is to the draft of the proposed rulemaking including alternatives, cost analysis, and the actual proposed rule. However, the proposed rule is out of context so it's a little hard to fathom. The narrative explanation in the first few pages is pretty clear....or as clear as it can be for now. Co-ownerships, stud fee puppies, etc aren't dealt with so if you have them, you run the risk of being declared a dealer.

I just realized when I signed in, all the RTF Classifieds could be a target for USDA scrutiny looking for remote sales. If I were a breeder, I'd plan on stopping advertising there.

Eric
 
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