Since its passage in the Senate, there has not been much action with the Assembly version of S63.
“Lesniak says he’s planning to amend the bill” to address concerns of pet store owners and their sources, including “eliminating the grandfathering portion of the measure and lifting the restriction on new pet stores to only source from kennels, shelters or animal rescues.”
However, there is no new version of the bill with these amendments to review.
Even with these amendments, the bill and the existing law, impermissibly bans sales to pet stores from licensed breeders who have not been finally determined to have violated the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).
The Pet Protection Act bans sales to pet stores from licensed pet dealer who:
- has been cited on a USDA inspection report for a direct violation of the federal AWA or corresponding regulations during the two-year period prior to purchase;
- has been cited on a USDA inspection report during the two-year period prior to the purchase by the pet store for three or more indirect violations of the Awa or corresponding regulations.
- is cited on the two most recent USDA inspection reports prior to the purchase of the animal by the pet shop for no-access violations.
As recently discussed in Pet Stores Under Attack, only an USDA Administrative Law Judge can make a determination that a licensee has violated the AWA. A noncompliant item on an inspection report does not constitute a violation of the act.
Individual pet stores and customers can (and should) review USDA reports and determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether to purchase from particular breeders.
S63, the year-old amendments to the PPPA and similar ordinances will not (and have not) affected any actual puppy mills, because, as defined by USDA’s OIG, these facilities are large commercial unlicensed breeders. Banning sales from hobby breeders, exempt from USDA licensure because these breeders provide humane care to their dogs, will not affect puppy mills.