Wednesday, March 5, 2008

VA: HB 538 passes senate....first bill of it's kind to limit # of bitches

HB-538 (PAWS-Plus for Virgina) has passed the Senate by a vote of
34:5. This bill would create a first-in-the-nation limit of 50 dogs
any breeding operation, with expensive new provisions for breeders
maintain over 29 bitches (cumulative for the year) for breeding

Other new provisions would apply to all species: There are new rules
about access to places where animals are kept, some of which may
apply to other species and there's this new all-species provision:

> § 3.1-796.122:1. Sale of animals after cruelty or neglect
> conviction; penalty.
> Any person who has been convicted of a violation of any law
> concerning abuse, neglect, or cruelty to animals that sells, offers
> for sale, or trades any companion animal is guilty of a Class 1
> misdemeanor. However, a person may dispose of animals under the
> provisions of a court order.

Since it had already passed the House but in a slightly
different form the next step will be a 'committee of conference' to
resolve the differences between the two versions. Committees of
conference are limited to splitting differences; they cannot add new
provisions or remove something that is in both versions.

The conference committee usually happens quickly, the (slightly)
revised bill then goes in the same form to both houses and is usually
passed promptly and sent on to the Governor for signature.

There was an amendment; it was called 'technical' which would
ordinarily mean no more than punctuation or perhaps a minor internal
inconsistency. We do not have the text of that amendment yet.

Links to the various forms of the bill may be found at:

Anyone reading this who is thinking, "well 29 bitches sounds like a lot. And 50 dogs is a Lot." You just don't understand how dog breeding for show dogs. Not every dog is kept for breeding. Some dogs are kept, because the have "show potential" but during a developmental stage- they no longer have "show potential". An example of this would be the issue of teeth. Show dogs must have a full count of teeth and they can not be misaligned in any way. Dogs do not get all of their adult teeth until they are around 6 months. This means that until that dog is 6 months, it is unknown if it will be a "show dog" or not. Another example is size. For many breeds, there is a hight requirement. Dogs often do not reach their full hight until 10-11 months of age. For breeds with hight restrictions, it is unknown if they are "show dogs" until they have grown.

In one year a breeder may "grow out" a number of puppies and only end up keeping one to breeding age- many of those puppies never overlapping in time and place at the kennel, but in a "cumulative" total- they count.

Many, many people buy young adult dogs that "didn't make it" as show dogs.

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