message from TX-RPOA~Update Associated Dog Clubs of New York State against the USDA
How is it that their is such little regard for PROTECTED CONSTITIONAL CIVIL LIBERTIES-including a government agency?!? Hard to believe that they can create laws that are impossible to meet and private citizens then have to pay for attorney help to fight it.
October 9th Oral Hearing Report is posted on the KODA site:
http://www.keepourdomesticanimals.com regarding the Associated Dog Clubs of
New York State (ADCNYS) lawsuit against APHIS/USDA’s new rule requiring
licensing of all pet breeders with more than four “breeding females”
(undefined), who sell/transfer even one offspring “sight unseen.” Shocking,
but true: HSUS sought and was granted the right to intervene as a
“defendant.” And one of the reasons HSUS cited for intervening was their
concern that USDA would withdraw the Rule and do a new rulemaking! Only
Phil Hecht (KODA) and Tim Johnson (DOJ) spoke. HSUS lawyers Aaron Green and
Kimberly Ockene were present and at the table with USDA but they did not
speak. USDA regulations are NOT simply basic standards of animal care and
are impossible to meet in a home setting, which HSUS knows! State Animal
Cruelty Laws apply equally to ALL animal owners, so this new law is an
agenda and isn’t necessary.
Interesting also to read this Press report on the lawsuit hearing:
WASHINGTON DC – Chihuahua breeders are snapping at new federal rules that
regulate Internet pet dealers. And they’re part of a larger pack.
From Russell terrier owners in Lexington, Ky., to miniature Australian
shepherd fanciers in Red Oak, Texas, dog breeder organizations – and some
feline allies – are challenging the Agriculture Department’s imposition of
tougher standards on pet breeders who sell to remote buyers.
The licensing and inspection standards imposed last year were billed as a
crackdown on Internet puppy mills. Groups such as the Chihuahua Club of
America, the American Russell Terrier Club and the Miniature Australian
Shepherd Club of America, though, think the rules also burden innocent pet
“The rules are an unjustified regulatory overreach,” attorney Philip
Herbert Hecht said during a court hearing Thursday, adding that federal
officials “have used a blunderbuss to kill a fly.”
The new rules regulate “sight unseen” sales, where the buyer and seller are
physically separate. The Agriculture Department estimated that the new
rules cover 2,600 to 4,600 dog breeders and roughly 325 cat breeders.
Skeptics say this underestimates the impact.
The Agriculture Department further estimates that covered breeders would
have to pay only several hundred dollars to comply. Skeptics contend the
costs could be much higher, particularly for breeders who must make
Covered breeders must ensure that their kennels meet requirements that
cover space, sanitation, ventilation, lighting and other elements*.*
Betsy Atkinson, for instance, is a New York dog breeder who estimated in
an affidavit that it would cost “between $10,000 and $15,000” to modify her
kennel to federal standards. Seattle-area resident Kornelia Surmann
declared in an affidavit that she stopped breeding the rare Kurilian
because she couldn’t afford the compliance costs.
The Obama administration defends the rules as appropriate, and well within
the Agriculture Department’s authority.
“The secretary of agriculture believes monitoring must be in place when
there is a risk of animal mistreatment,” Justice Department attorney
Timothy A. Johnson said Thursday, adding that the costs are “more than
outweighed by the benefit that animals will be treated humanely and well.”
During the 50-minute oral argument Thursday, U.S. District Judge
Christopher Cooper didn’t explicitly tip his hand. At times, though, he
pressed the government’s attorney about what evidence demonstrates the
seriousness of the problem.
“How many complaints were there?” Cooper asked, following up later by
asking, “What in the record supports the proportionality of the response?”
Johnson conceded he lacked specific information on complaints, while Hecht
said documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act revealed there
have only been “a handful.” Taken together, this could undermine the
Agriculture Department’s defense of the rules, which, Cooper said, impose
“some fairly significant burdens.”
The hearing was to consider a motion for summary judgment, on a lawsuit
that’s rooted in the Animal Welfare Act
<http://awic.nal.usda.gov/government-and-professional-resources/federal-laws /animal-welfare-act> .
The 1966 law imposed licensing and inspection standards but exempted retail
pet stores, at a time when that meant traditional brick-and-mortar stores
or small home-based breeders.
Online pet sales have since proliferated, leading the Agriculture
Department’s inspector general to warn in a 2010 report that “some large
breeders circumvented” the law by selling animals over the Internet while
calling themselves retail pet stores.
“An increasing number of these unlicensed breeders are not monitored for
their animals’ overall health and humane treatment,” investigators noted.
Bills to regulate Internet pet sales were subsequently introduced, but the
Agriculture Department in 2012 proposed eliminating the Internet sales
loophole on its own. After chewing over more than 75,000 public comments,
officials imposed the new rules in September 2013.
While brick-and-mortar retail pet stores where buyer and seller physically
meet are still exempt, businesses that sell pets “sight unseen” over the
Internet or through other means must now be licensed and inspected. The
rules cover any owner who maintains at least five breeding females.
The rules cover other types of pets as well, including gerbils, rats,
chinchillas and snakes.
“We know that if the federal standards are being met, the animals are
getting humane care and treatment,” Edward Avalos, the Agriculture
Department’s undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs, said
when the rules were imposed.
The Humane Society of the United States <http://www.humanesociety.org/> has
entered the case in support of the department’s rules, declaring at one
point that they mean vulnerable animals “will finally get the protection
Hecht, based in Washington, and fellow attorney Franklin W. Losey, based in
Navarre, Fla., filed the suit last December asking a judge to set aside the
rule as unjustified and beyond the Agriculture Department’s authority.
A key question for Cooper will be how much deference he owes the
Agriculture Department experts who crafted the rules.
Posted by: “RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERS ALLIANCE” <RPOA@TEXAS.NET>
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Disclaimer connected to this blog…Things said are f my opinion and the opinions of others -B