New Texas Commercial Dog and Cat Breeders Act
Until recently, commercial dog and cat breeders in Texas were free to operate without any government oversight. Unbelievably, there were no minimum standards for large-scale breeding operations. This year the Texas legislature addressed the issue by passing H.B. 1451, also known as the Commercial Dog and Cat Breeders Act.
The act is codified in the Texas Occupations Code Chapter 802 and became effective in June 2011. The new law provides for the licensing and inspection of large-scale cat and dog breeders (any breeder who maintains 11 or more female animals used for breeding and who sells 20 or more animals per year). The law requires all such breeders to obtain a state license and be regularly inspected by the Texas Department of Licensing. Furthermore, large-scale breeders must comply with the following minimum standards:
- Provide confined dogs and cats with enough space to easily sit, stand, turn around and lie down in a normal manner
- Provide adequate amounts of wholesome food and clean water
- Kennels must not be stacked more than three high
- Enclosures must have adequate drainage and flooring
- Provide proper handling, treatment and veterinary care
- Basic grooming
- At least one vet exam per year
- An adequate period between breeding cycles (adequacy of period based on breed)
- Only a vet can euthanize an adult animal or perform a surgical birth
Texas Occupation Code Chapter 802 is not yet available on the official Texas Legislature website since the law was passed during this year's legislative session. However, it will be available in 2012. Alternatively, you may read HB 1451 for more information.
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