#Law & Order
American Kennel Club (AKC)
United States of America

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We urge the American Kennel Club to seek an injunction to block the new APHIS rule from going into effect.

In June of 2012, the AKC published a petition in "support of the AKC’s comments to the USDA in opposition to the proposed regulations as written." That petition received over 74,000 signatures.

In September of 2013, the final version of the APHIS rule was published in the Federal Register and will become the law on November 18, 2013.

In its petition, the AKC wrote: "As the leader and expert in breeding and maintaining dogs for more than a century, the AKC supports responsible breeders and dog owners through its educational and inspections programs. As the only purebred dog registry with a care and conditions of dogs policy - which we have recently enhanced to create a comprehensive policy for the welfare of all dogs - more than 55,000 inspections have been conducted since 2000. We know through experience that regardless of the number of dogs owned or the manner in which breeders interact with potential puppy buyers, a “one size fits all” breeder regulation is unfair and unenforceable."

In the preamble to its petition, the AKC wrote: "It is unreasonable to expect small breeders, who may keep a handful of intact females in their homes, to be able to meet exacting USDA commercial kennel engineering standards that were never intended for home environments. Other pre-existing restrictions such as local ordinances, insurance or licensing may also prevent hobbyists from adapting their facilities."

That situation has not changed. Statements and the implied nuances of representations made by government officials during conference calls and generic responses to specific questions, such as we will make decisions on a "case by case" basis are rarely ever successfully used as a defense to subsequent allegations of non-compliance with the "letter of the law" as set out in the final regulation. In short, the validity of those representations have the life span of a "love letter written in the sand at the water's edge during low tide".

Living under USDA licensing is NOT an option for the average home-based retail seller. The average house cannot be converted to a USDA compliant facility. Federal standards for licensed facilities dictate sanitation measures not feasible in a normal home, surfaces that are impervious to moisture, ventilation, bio-hazard control, veterinary care, exercise, temperature controls, waste disposal systems, diurnal lighting, drainage systems, washrooms, perimeter fencing, as well as transportation standards for regulated animals.

Given the immense uncertainty and confusion about how the rule will actually be enforced, it is imperative that the AKC act to seek an injunction.

We call upon the AKC to seek an injunction against the new APHIS rule before it goes into effect on November 18, 2013.

We maintain that the irregularities in the process by which the rule was adopted provide compelling grounds for seeking an injunction.

We maintain that there is so much uncertainty about how APHIS will interpret its rule, that it would be irresponsible for the AKC not to seek an injunction.

We maintain that if the rule goes into effect and is interpreted in manner that is destructive to us and our dogs, we and the AKC will have little or no recourse.

We reject the statements made by APHIS about how it intends to interpret and enforce the rule. We believe that those non-binding statements are primarily intended to to avoid a legal challenge to the rule.

As breeders and dog owners who financially support the AKC, we call upon the AKC to honor its mission statement and "work to protect the rights of all dog owners" by seeking an injunction, and maintain that it has an obligation to do so.

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The AKC Please Lead the Fight Against the New APHIS Rule petition to American Kennel Club (AKC) was written by Alaskan Malamute Legislative Awareness and is in the category Law & Order at GoPetition.