Monday, March 1, 2010

IA: HF 2280 seeks to provide regulations of commercial establishements for dogs and cats

Iowa Legislative Recap
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[Monday, March 01, 2010]
Recently, both houses of the Iowa General Assembly passed versions of House File 2280, which seeks to provide for regulation of commercial establishments that handle dogs and cats. The now–enrolled version of this bill provides the following:

Major Provisions:

•With only one small change regarding racing Greyhounds, the bill continues to use the definition of "commercial breeder" currently found in Iowa law. While arguably low, the threshold contained in the definition—a person must own or harbor four or more breeding males or females to be considered a commercial breeder—was not under consideration for change by this bill. If an individual was considered a commercial breeder or kennel before this bill passed – they will be considered one now. The exception to this is kennels that raise greyhounds for racing. Henceforth, they will be considered commercial kennels, regardless of whether they sell, lease exchange their dogs for a consideration or offer to do so. As always, we encourage all breeders to ensure that they know, understand and follow the laws of their jurisdiction.

•The bill does not change the current law that exempts noncommercial kennels (dogs for the purpose of hobby, hunting, training, show, field, obedience, and guard dog kennels) from having to adhere to the requirements that commercial establishments must adhere to.

•The bill will permit the Iowa Department of Agriculture to monitor a commercial establishment for the limited purpose of determining whether the permittee is providing the proper standard of care. Such inspections may be conducted only during normal working hours, and only if the Department has reasonable cause to suspect that the permittee is not providing for the required standard of care. Reasonable cause is to be proven only by a written complaint made by an identified person or a USDA report for federal licensees ordering the correction of a breach in standard of care.

•Pounds, animal shelters, research facilities, pet shops, boarding kennels, commercial kennels, dealers, commercial breeders, and public auctions are now required to maintain records. The Iowa Department of Agriculture is permitted to inspect those records.

•The bill empowers the Iowa Department of Agriculture to develop care and conditions standards for commercial establishments.

•A person operating a commercial establishment that violates a standard of care will be guilty of a simple misdemeanor and subject to a civil penalty of up to $500; and will be provided a period of up to 15 days to come correct care and conditions violations. A person operating a commercial establishment without being licensed will be guilty of a simple misdemeanor and subject to a civil penalty of up to $1,000.

•The fee to license a commercial kennel is $175.

If you live in Iowa and have concerns about HF 2280, please contact Governor Chet Culver and express your concerns. The Governor has three days from the day he receives the bill from the General Assembly to veto the bill.
Governor Chet Culver
State Capitol
1007 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319
(515) 281-5211

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