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USDA PRECISION AND INTERPRETATION

 

I think it would be very wise for many on the pet law list to speak with a commercial breeder who is licensed with USDA. I do not know a single licensed breeder who is allowed to have their kennel within the confines of their home.

 

May 2006 | TheDogPress.com

Karen Strange, President, MOFED, Guest Columnist

 

There are many issues included in inspections that are not written in black and white but are subject to interpretation by the inspector. Changes in policy are made constantly so that what was acceptable three months ago may not necessarily be so this week.

 

For instance many breeders, who had dogs who fared better outside in colder weather, installed dog houses. USDA approved many of them. Then igloo dog houses became popular and USDA approved them. Many breeders switched to them, spending a lot of money updating their kennels with new houses. USDA came along and said they were not suitable. The breeders had to eliminate the igloos. It didn't matter how much money they had spent. This is only one instance of the regulations that breeders must adhere to and how quickly they can change. Many of those changes are made from one inspection to the next.

 

I have also had numerous reports that one kennel may pass in flying colors and the next kennel with the same operation may get many written violations. There is no consistency in inspections.

 

When in D.C. recently, we met with a USDA official to raise some concerns that were very costly to breeders and a safety issue for the dogs. He said they were not in the least bit concerned about the cost to breeders but if it posed any type of safety concern for the dogs, they would certainly take it under advisement.

 

Many hobby/show breeders are ho-hum about PAWS, thinking that AKC will ride in wearing white coats to save the day, making special considerations for H/S breeders. I will tell many of you up front that if that happens, there will be uproar like you have never seen before! Double standards will be frowned upon by an industry that has been slammed with propaganda and has been in the trenches fighting for everyone's rights. They have risen from those trenches, carried the weight on their shoulders in the fight against animal rights and know how to play the political games. They are organized and have money and power to back their convictions. They won't step aside.

 

Hobby/Show breeders need to take a very serious look at PAWS and fight it with all their might. They have no idea what it will be like to be under the eagle eye of the USDA. They are in for a very rude awakening working with an agency that won't be impressed with them.

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