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The State of Minnesota functions on a two-year cycle (biennium).

This biennial session is 2013-2014. The 2014 legislative session began February 25, 2014. (The months in between the sessions are known as "interim months.")

The Dog and Cat Breeder Bill (to license and inspect commercial dog and cat breeders) was introduced. Bill numbers are S.F. 36 and H.F. 84. NOTE: As part of the bill-making process, the House Bill was included as a provision in the House Omnibus Supplemental Appropriations Bill. The new House bill number (omnibus bill) is H.F. 3172.

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STATUS for Dog and Cat Breeder Bill (S.F. 36/H.F. 84):

In the 2014 legislative session:

• H.F. 84 was heard in the House Agriculture committee on Wednesday, March 5, and passed! The bill was referred to the House Environment and Agriculture Finance Committee.

• S.F. 36 was heard in the Senate Jobs, Agriculture and Rural Development Committee on Monday, March 10, and passed! The bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

• S.F. 36 was heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, March 13, and passed! The bill was referred to the Senate State and Local Government Committee. 

• S.F. 36 was heard in the Senate State and Local Government Committee on Monday, March 17, and passed! The bill was referred to the Senate Environment, Economic Development and Agriculture Finance division.

• H.F. 84 was heard on March 18 in the House Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Finance Committee, and it was laid over for inclusion in the House Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Finance omnibus bill. This is good news, and is part of the bill-making process. The bills passed through all the policy committees and moved to the finance stage. By including it in an omnibus bill that means it is part of a larger bill with several other bills. 

• On Tuesday, March 25, the omnibus bill (which includes H.F. 84, the Dog and Cat Breeder Bill) was approved by the House Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Finance Committee. It was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee. This Committee appropriates funds to state agencies that deal with environmental and agricultural activities. To read more: Pet breeders, farm produce, toxic chemicals find a place in enviro bill

• On Monday, March 31, the omnibus bill (which includes the Dog and Cat Breeder Bill) was heard in the House Ways and Means Committee and passed! The number H.F. 84 is no longer used; the new number is H.F. 3172 (House Omnibus Supplemental Appropriations Bill).

• On Thursday, April 3, The House of Representatives debated the House Omnibus Supplemental Appropriations Bill (H.F. 3172). This omnibus bill included a provision for dog and cat breeder regulation (H.F. 84, the MN Dog and Cat Breeder Bill). It passed with a vote of 70-59!

S.F. 36 was to be heard in the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday, April 9; however, that morning legislators determined that S.F. 36 (MN Dog and Cat Breeder Bill) did not require a hearing in the committee. Instead, the bill was sent to Conference Committee to be discussed. This is good news.

NOTE: The purpose of a conference committee, as defined by the MN House of Representatives: "It is a committee made up of members from each house appointed to reconcile the differences between two versions of a bill that has been passed by both bodies. Each conference committee has either three or five members from both the House and the Senate." Members of the conference committee from both the House and the Senate have been assigned.

• Further actions will be posted here.

 

In the 2013 session, the following occurred:

• H.F. 84 passed the House Civil Law Committee (amended).

Article/video from House Civil Law hearing: House Information Services

• H.F. 84 passed the House Public Safety Finance and Policy committee

• H.F. 84 passed the House Government Operations committee (amended)

Because Minnesota operates on a two year biennial session, all work accomplished in 2013 carried over to the 2014 session. The bills continued where they left off; they did not need to be heard again in the committees they passed in 2013.

 

Much has been progress made

Following the 2013 legislative session, Rep. Lesch (author of H.F. 84) held multiple meetings with representatives of the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA), the pet breeders, the Board of Animal Health, members of the Speak Up for Minnesota Dogs and Cats coalition and others to reach consensus on language in H.F. 84. With new language that came out of the meetings, Rep. Lesch believes this has put the bill in a better position to receive and pass necessary committees in 2014.

A lot has been accomplished (and continues to be accomplished — see hearing actions above for 2014 session):

• In the 2013 session, H.F. 84 passed THREE committees in the House without any harmful amendments being added (see links above).

• The Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association offered additional language to H.F. 84's veterinary program provision. The new language requires breeders to establish and maintain a written protocol for disease control and prevention, euthanasia and veterinary care of animals.

• Governor Mark Dayton publicly supports the bill.

• The Board of Animal Health supports the House amended bill.

• Legislators were inundated with calls — hearing from Minnesotans who want the suffering of dogs and cats in inhumane breeding facilities to end.

• The lobbying team met multiple times (and continues to meet) with members of all the necessary committees.

• Over 50 Minnesota shelters and rescues, the Minnesota Animal Control Association, the Animal Law Section of the MN State Bar Association, and thousands of Minnesotans support S.F. 36/H.F. 84.

• Over 400 Minnesota veterinarians and certified vet techs have signed letters supporting S.F. 36/H.F. 84 with more signing on regularly.

• Over 20,000 petitions signed by Minnesotans were delivered to State legislators in support of S.F. 36/H.F. 84.

 

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