Ohio bill would mandate veterinary care for breeder dogs

Ohio bill would mandate veterinary care for breeder dogs

Apr 14, 2009
By dvm360.com staff
Columbus, Ohio -- Ohio is the latest state to take on so-called "puppy mills."

Legislation was introduced last week that would establish stringent guidelines for those operating breeding kennels in the state.

The governor of Pennsylvania recently signed a similar bill into law earlier this year and several other states, including Colorado, are working on their own versions of a bill.

Ohio's proposed legislation establishes several parameters for breeding kennels, including enclosure size, exercise periods, food, water and shelter, flooring and temperature.

The legislation also would require breeders to provide regular veterinary care and treatment for "any disease, illness or injury."

It states the breeder should provide regular care to the dogs' fur and nails and maintain appropriate protection against parasites, as well as keeping up to date with vaccinations.

Euthanasia may only be done by a veterinarian or someone under the direct supervision of a veterinarian and tail docking, ear cropping, removal of dew claws and debarking may only be done by a veterinarian.

The bill also would establish a kennel control authority board consisting of one member of the senate appointed by the president of the senate, one member of the house of representatives appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, and the following seven members appointed by the governor:

• Two members representing animal care and welfare organizations in this state;
• One member who is a county dog warden;
• One member who is a veterinarian;
• One member representing pet stores in this state that are licensed under this chapter as regulated dog breeding kennels or regulated dog breeding intermediaries;
• One member who is a member in good standing of a national breed parent club of the American kennel club;
• One member representing the public.

Jack Advent, executive director of the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association, says the legislation is "warranted."

"The vast majority of breeders are responsible and they do a wonderful job taking care of their animals, but there are some bad apples," he says. "We've identified puppy mills as one of our legislative priorities."

Advent says the legislation hopefully will deal with those people who are not responsible without penalizing those who are responsible.