Another Bad Dog Bill-Illinois

Posted on 02/03/2009

Reckless Anti-Breeder Bill Hits Illinois

Speak out against HB 198 early and often!
January 30, 2009

Illinois State Representative John Fritchey has recently introduced HB 198, entitled the Dog Breeder License Act, which threatens to seriously undermine the ability to responsibly breed dogs in the state of Illinois.

NAIA supports laws that improve animal welfare, but HB 198 appears to be nothing more than an attempt to single out and punish breeders with onerous and unnecessary restrictions and requirements.

The bill, which has been referred to the House Rules Committee, would:

  • Require a license for anyone who owns 3 or more intact female dogs for breeding purposes, with fee unspecified.
  • Limit to 20 the number of unaltered dogs over a year old a breeder may maintain.
  • Set the age a dog may be bred to between 18 months and 8 years.
  • Impose sweeping and unreasonable requirements for breeding facilities that would make illegal most hunting kennels and anyone who raises dogs in their homes.
  • Mandate criminal background checks and fingerprinting at applicant’s expense.
  • Require annual, unannounced inspections at breeder’s expense, with costs unspecified.
  • Require certain disclosures to consumer at time of sale. Some are reasonable consumer protection measures; others may make compliance impossible for some.
  • Give breeder in violation 7 days to comply or request a hearing before being ordered to dispose of unaltered dogs or face a fine of up to $5000.
  • Put regulation, enforcement and other discretionary powers in the hands of the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, which lacks the institutional knowledge to properly deal with animal issues.

  • Provide only six months to implement the program, develop forms, train staff and develop complex regulations.
  • Requires voluminous records be kept for five years
  • Exempts shelters and animal control facilities from the requirement of providing to adopters the information pet shops must give consumers, even though they are also transfering animals to consumers.
Click Here to read the full text of this long, convoluted bill.

Although we disagree fundamentally with the overall punitive approach taken by HB 198, the provisions we find particularly unreasonable are its 20 dog limit and excessive kennel standards. This bill is a glaring example of some of the worst animal legislation currently proposed in the country, and NAIA will oppose it emphatically.

Now is the time for all responsible animal owners in Illinois to contact your State Representatives with the message that HB 198 is irresponsible and unfair and must not be allowed to move forward.

While we believe that steps should be taken to identify and eliminate substandard kennels, this bill stretches way beyond that goal and targets all breeders and sportsmen, commercial and hobby, good and bad, large and small. Worse yet, it profiles and punishes responsible breeders who provide the best source of healthy pets to the community.

There are more effective solutions available to help eliminate substandard kennels, from stronger enforcement of existing cruelty and nuisance laws to educating consumers about how to seek out responsible and humane sources of healthy pets.

Please use the talking points below to write an email to your legislator today, educating them about this bill early in the process, before it receives formal consideration.

Thank you for TAKING ACTION on behalf of pets and pet owners!
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