Subject: [pet-law] Easy PAWS
> A lot of confusing stuff has been written about PAWS. This
> is an easy-
> to-read explanation.
> 'PAWS' is the Pet Animal Welfare Statute of 2005, a bill in the U.S.
> Senate (S. 1139) and House of Representatives (H.R. 2669).
> The bill is
> sponsored by Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) who previously sponsored
> the two 'Puppy Protection Acts.'
> PAWS is being backed by HSUS (the Humane Society of the U.S.) and
> DDAL (the Doris Day Animal League), who also backed the two PPA's.
> Surprisingly it is also strongly backed by the American
> Kennel Club.
> More recently PETA has announced that it supports PAWS.
> Under the current federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) anyone who has
> over three breeding female dogs *and* sells any dogs at wholesale, is
> considered a dealer and must get a license from the USDA. Breeders
> who sell *only* retail (that is, direct to the pet home) are
> *not* dealers
> and are not required to be licensed. This 'retail exemption' is why
> hobby breeders are not covered now.
> If PAWS passes, you will be a dealer unless you sell 25 or fewer dogs
> *and* cats together *or* you sell six or fewer litters of
> dogs and cats
> bred or raised on your own premises and no dogs or cats not so
> bred/raised. If you sell a 'puppy back' (stud fee puppy,
> etc) or you
> take in and sell a rescue cat or dog, you must stay under the
> 25 total
> dogs/cats limit or get a license.
> To get a license you must pass an inspection. There are 90 pages of
> regulations. These regulations are written for farm-type raising of
> dogs. All surfaces touched by animals must be waterproof, you must
> sterilize surfaces every two weeks (one allowed way is by
> spraying with
> water at 180 degrees temp.); you must have a food preparation space
> separate from your (human) kitchen; animal pens or cages must be
> considerably larger than the standard sizes of crates used for dogs;
> puppies, as well as bitches that will whelp within two weeks,
> must be kept
> separate from other dogs; and much more.
> It is generally impractical to comply with the regulations in
> your home.
> You might be able to do it with a walk-in basement set-up,
> but most will
> have to build a kennel. Expect costs in the $100,000
> ballpark. You may
> need a zoning variance (you may not be able to get one) and in some
> areas, being a USDA licensed dealer will automatically make you a
> business required to collect sales tax and obey other laws
> for businesses.
> Being USDA licensed is harder than 'you get it right and then
> keep it that
> way.' The regulations change and each inspector has his own
> ideas about
> what's important and what compliance means. You WILL have
> regardless of how hard you try.
> The AKC tells us that the USDA will have to write new regulations
> allowing in-home breeding. It won't happen because the
> large wholesale
> breeders who are already licensed don't want any new competition
> getting a low-cost set of rules. Those big dealers have a
> lot more clout
> than we do.
> The AKC seems to be supporting PAWS for two reasons: First, they
> believe that by making many small breeders subject to
> licensing, they'll
> get more who can meet AKC requirements for registering their dogs, so
> they'll get more registrations.
> Second, PAWS would double or triple the number of dealers to be
> inspected and there's no chance that the USDA will get a big budget
> increase. The AKC hopes it will be allowed to do
> inspections for them.
> Of course it would charge a fee for doing so. However if the AKC is
> allowed to do inspections, very likely HSUS would be too.
> The numbers allowed without licensing -- 25 animals or six
> litters sold
> (whichever is more) are much more restrictive for cats
> because of their
> different reproductive patterns. Some experts believe that
> PAWS will
> end the breeding of purebred cats by fanciers.
> Many dog and cat rescue groups take in and adopt out hundreds of
> animals per year. These animals are kept in ordinary (foster) homes
> during rehabilitation. In law, 'adopting' for any
> compensation is selling.
> PAWS will force rescuers to choose between building a shelter and
> limiting themselves to selling a total of 25 per year.
> Nonprofit status does not matter and there is no way to write an
> exception for rescue. What will actually happen is that
> rescues will dissolve, leaving the various foster homes and
> rescuers to do
> the best they can on their own. Unfortunately many shelters
> will allow
> only incorporated groups to take animals.
> Most home dog breeders will not be affected at first. However, PAWS
> will make many breeders afraid to fight new bad laws. More of the
> state and local breeder licensing laws that are proposed now
> will pass.
> Many of these have one or two litter and 6 to 12 animal
> limits without
> licensing; some require everyone selling a dog or cat to be
> HSUS has said that they consider PAWS a first step. They've
> also said
> that they believe all breeding of pets should be federally
> licensed. If
> PAWS passes, steps two, three, (and so on) will be even worse.
> PAWS is said to be needed because of large and growing importing of
> dogs and cats; this seems to be a complete untruth. It is
> also claimed
> that growing use of the internet allows direct retail selling without
> people being able to see how pets are bred and raised. This
> is true but
> nobody is required to buy this way and the net allows asking many
> questions and comparing sellers' answers. The *AKC* allows puppy
> advertising on its web site; if they think it's bad, why are
> they doing it?
> There is almost no commercial selling of purebred cats. The real
> purpose of the bill is to make it harder to breed cats and
> dogs at home.
> WE MUST BEAT PAWS. The bill is currently waiting for
> hearings in the
> agriculture committees of Congress. Sen. Santorum plans to hold a
> Senate agriculture subcommittee hearing after the August recess.
> PAWS could pass in September or October.
> The most important thing to do to beat PAWS is to call,
> write, or visit
> your Senators and your Representative. Tell them you OPPOSE S. 1139
> (the Senate bill) or H.R. 2269 (the identical House bill).
> Ask friends,
> family, and animal businesses to do the same thing. PAWS
> will be bad
> for dogs, bad for cats, bad for pet rescuers, bad for pet owners (who
> will have fewer choices), and bad for our country.
> An easy way to write your Congressmen is to go to:
Click 'ignore this ad' near the center of the screen and type in your
code where they ask for it. They'll show you your three congressmen;
click 'e-mail', 'compose your own letter' and follow the directions to
enter your message.
THIS MAY BE FORWARDED, COPIED, OR ADAPTED AS NECESSARY!