legislation > follow the vote
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 Regulation Bill (to license and inspect commercial dog and cat breeders) was introduced. Bill numbers are S.F. 36 and H.F. 84. The author of S.F. 36 is Senator John Marty; the author of H.F. 84 is Representative John Lesch.
Each bill must be heard in multiple committees so as to progress through the MN Senate and MN House. To receive alerts about hearing dates and actions, please sign the support petition and you will be added to the email database.
STATUS for 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, 2014 and passed! The bill was referred to the House Environment and Agriculture Finance Committee (no hearing date scheduled yet).
• 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. See below.
• ACTION ALERT: S.F. 36 is scheduled to be heard on Thursday, March 13, at 6:00pm in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Please take action — call each committee member before Thursday and ask them to VOTE YES for S.F. 36 (MN Dog and Cat Breeder Bill). You can leave a message with the legislative aide. Contact information for committee members can be found at: MN Senate Judiciary Committee.
• Other hearings, when scheduled, 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 carries over to the 2014 session. The bills will continue where they left off; they don't have to be heard again in the committees they passed.
Much progress made: Rep. Lesch (author of H.F. 84) has held 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 will put the bill in a better position to receive and pass necessary committees in 2014.
A lot has been accomplished:
• 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 19,000 petitions signed by Minnesotans were delivered to State legislators in support of S.F. 36/H.F. 84.
We are still hearing from opposition:
• Slippery slope argument — that if regulation passes, next year it will go into the barns and farms (this fear-based argument is still being used by certain legislators connected with agribusiness)
• Some breeders say it will put them out of business (this will not happen if a breeder is properly caring for his/her dogs and cats)
• Already have laws on the books (not true — animal anti-cruelty laws kick in after the cruelty has occurred; local ordinances are inconsistent or do not exist)
• Don't need more government (government is already involved; law enforcement and the courts pay the costs of cleaning up the problem if the cruelty is reported)
Please, continue to act — build awareness with legislators and others in your community about the need for dog and cat breeder regulation.
• Contact your own legislators
Your own legislators need to get to know you. Please continue talking with your own legislators and ask for their support of S.F. 36/H.F. 84. Call or send them an email or, better, set up a meeting and discuss why breeder regulation is needed. (Be sure to always state the bill numbers and mention they are the bills authored by Sen. Marty and Rep. Lesch.)
Find who represents you at the State Legislature: MN District Finder
Never spoken with a legislator before? Contact legislators
If your legislator is not supportive of the bill, please let us know who they are and what the issue is; we may be able to clarify an issue or concern for that legislator. Contact: email@example.com
• Educate everyone you know.
Inform others about this issue and tell them how they can help. Distribute flyers. Write letters to the editor.
Information about the issue and bill can be found at: Breeder Bill
For more information about events: Events
For more information about writing letters to the editor: Contact the press
• Involve your veterinarian
Ask your veterinarian and the vet techs to support this effort. Please have them sign the petition on this website (make sure they indicate if they are a vet or vet tech on the form). If you'd like to help gather support from additional vet/vet techs contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please donate. With funds, we can continue to build constituency groups, print legislative materials, commit to advertising, and other to get the bill passed. The work is not over. Please donate today.
Animal Folks MN will be having booths at various events through the State. To help volunteer at events or other activities, contact: email@example.com