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Tennessee: Committee Will Consider Continuation of Commercial Dog Breeder Law

Tennessee Senate Bill 2468, which would delete a provision that terminates the Commercial Breeder Act, has been placed on the calendar of the Senate Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee for February 26, 2014. If SB 2468 is enacted, the Tennessee state Commercial Breeder Act will remain in full effect rather than terminating on June 30, 2014.

History

The Tennessee Commercial Breeder Act was passed in 2009 and went into effect January 1, 2010. The act licenses, regulates and provides for inspection of commercial dog and cat breeders. It considers a commercial breeder to be a person who possesses or maintains 20 or more unsterilized adult female dogs or cats for the purpose of selling the offspring as companion animals.

This law was enacted based on fiscal projections that it would generate more than $1 million dollars per year from licensing revenue received from an estimated 500 licensed breeders. The actual number of licensed breeders as of fiscal year 11-12 was 20, actual licensing revenue was $70,200, and the increased cost to taxpayers to administer the program was $365,600. See Comparison of Actual and Estimated Fiscal Note Impacts, pages 8-10.

The act includes a “sunset clause” that states: The provisions of this act will terminate and expire on June 30, 2014. Senate Bill 2468 seeks to delete this sunset clause. (A companion bill, House Bill 2385, has been assigned to the Tennessee House Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee.)

Additional Information

In 2013, United States Department of Agriculture rules were enacted that federally regulate pet sellers who sell pets over the Internet or otherwise transact pet sales “sight unseen.” The new USDA rule may serve to make state regulation of commercial breeders redundant.

What You Can Do

Dog owners and responsible breeders should contact members of the Senate Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee to express their position on SB 2468.

Senate Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee

Senator Steve Southerland, Chair, (615) 741-3851, sen.steve.southerland@capitol.tn.gov
Senator Mae Beavers, 1st Vice Chair, (615) 741-2421, sen.mae.beavers@capitol.tn.gov
Senator Jim Summerville, 2nd Vice Chair, (615) 741-4499, sen.jim.summerville@capitol.tn.gov
Senator Mike Bell, (615) 741-1946, sen.mike.bell@capitol.tn.gov
Senator Charlotte Burks, (615) 741-3978, sen.charlotte.burks@capitol.tn.gov
Senator Ophelia Ford, (615) 741-1767, sen.ophelia.ford@capitol.tn.gov
Senator Todd Gardenhire, (615) 741-6682, sen.todd.gardenhire@capitol.tn.gov
Senator Dolores R. Gresham, (615) 741-2368, sen.dolores.gresham@capitol.tn.gov
Senator Frank S. Niceley, (615) 741-2061, sen.frank.niceley@capitol.tn.gov

For questions or more information, please contact AKC Government Relations at doglaw@akc.org or
(919) 816-3720.

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