legislation > MN Dog and Cat Breeder Law
STATUS: SIGNED INTO LAW (Law went into effect July 1, 2014)
The Dog and Cat Breeder Regulation Bill is law in the State of Minnesota. On May 20, 2014, Governor Dayton signed the Omnibus Supplemental Budget Bill (H.F. 3172) into law. This omnibus bill included the Dog and Cat Breeder Regulation Bill.
WHAT THE NEW LAW DOES
The Commercial Dog and Cat Breeder Law licenses and regulates commercial dog and cat breeding facilities in Minnesota that meet the definition of "commercial breeder." A commercial breeder is defined in the law as "a person who possesses or has an ownership interest in animals and is engaged in the business of breeding animals for sale or for exchange in return for consideration, and who possesses ten or more adult intact animals and whose animals produce more than five total litters of puppies or kittens per year."
The intent of the law is to provide protection for dogs, cats, puppies and kittens within these breeding facilities. The MN Board of Animal Health was granted the authority to administer and enforce the law. Whether the intent of the law is properly and effectively enforced will depend on the actions of the Board.
The first step is getting a law passed so standards and requirements can be set for businesses to follow. Citizens must also act as a "watchdog" to monitor and measure the actions of any state agency so as to make sure they are following the intent of the law and, in this case, leading actions to protect animals from harm and prevent cruelty. (This is true of other breeder laws passed in other states; supporters of animal protection must remain vigilant.)
Key aspects of this law include:
The law is titled: Commercial Breeders Licensing And Enforcement. In statute, it can be found under Chapter 347: Dogs and Cats. The statute numbers are:
Minnesota Statute Sections 347.57 - 347.64
A copy can be found at: MN Revisor - Commercial Breeders Licensing and Enforcement
Click on link and scroll down to sections 347.57-347.64.
The law references other laws that must be followed for compliance, such as Chapter 343 and Chapter 346. As noted above, the breeder law also has a "data secrecy" clause which is located in another statute. These "supplemental laws" can be found at:
The law became effective July 1, 2014, when the MN Board of Animal Health (BAH) began registering commercial dog and cat breeders who fall under the bill's language. Breeders who meet the definition in the law were to have obtained a license by July 1, 2015. Once licensed, the BAH is required to annually inspect those breeders and any new breeders who set up facilities covered under the law. The BAH has posted information regarding the program: MN Board of Animal Health - Commercial Dog and Cat Breeders
The Board of Animal Health has started licensing some breeders. List is posted at:
Due to the data secrecy clause in the breeder law, it is difficult to gain access to information about licensing, inspections and other actions conducted by the Board. There is no public data to understand how many facilities have applied and how many have been denied a license. Based on the breeder list (noted above), a number of breeders have been given licenses which have raised questions regarding the actions of the Board.
HISTORY AND OTHER Q&A
For answers to some historical questions regarding the law, go to: Q & A
LED BY MINNESOTANS
Minnesotans worked hard for several years to pass legislation to regulate commercial dog and cat breeders and ensure dogs, cats, puppies and kittens are healthy and safe in breeding facilities.
The SPEAK UP for Dogs and Cats coalition led efforts. Coalition members included: A Rotta Love Plus, Animal Folks MN, Animal Humane Society, Minnesota Animal Control Association, Minnesota Humane Society, Minnesota Voters for Animal Protection, Minnkota Persian Rescue, Pause 4 Paws, Pet Haven Inc. of Minnesota, Retrieve A Golden of Minnesota, Second Chance Animal Rescue and Tri-County Humane Society.
The efforts were also supported by numerous other citizens and organizations, including humane societies, rescue groups, animal control, prosecutors, veterinarians, law enforcement, students, animal protection and advocacy organizations, businesses and community members representing the interests of Minnesota.
As with any law:
All eyes and efforts must now be on the MN Board of Animal Health to monitor their actions and see if they are protecting the welfare of the animals — and properly executing their duties to enforce the intent of the law.