Taking Command
A Publication of the AKC Government Relations Department
July 2017
What’s New from AKC Government Relations
Animal welfare continues to be an issue of concern for state legislatures and local governments. AKC strongly believes no dog should be left in conditions where basic needs are not met. Those who mistreat and harm animals should be held accountable for their actions. Anyone whose animals were seized and are subsequently found guilty of cruelty should be required to pay the cost of boarding and care for those animals. We are concerned, however, about a trend in legislation nationwide that could force innocent owners to permanently forfeit their animals simply because they have been accused of cruelty and cannot afford the cost of long-term boarding and outside care for the duration of the judicial process.
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USDA Announces Updates to Inspection Guide
  The USDA has announced that revisions have been made to its Inspection Guide to provide clarification to USDA inspectors.

The guide is a resource USDA provides to their inspectors to help them properly enforce the Animal Welfare Act. Changes include guidance on providing a more thorough inspection review, using “teachable moments”, and identifying those items that will have a direct impact on an animal’s welfare. 

For more information, you may read USDA’s announcement on these changes, or visit www.aphis.usda.gov.

Also read AKC’s information on the USDA regulations, which includes a chart to help you determine if you need to obtain a USDA license.
CDC Changes Application Process to Import Dogs Considered Inadequately Immunized Against Rabies
  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has announced changes to the application process to import a dog inadequately immunized against rabies. Effective August 18, 2017, an importer must apply online for a Permit to Import a Dog Inadequately Immunized Against Rabies at least 10 days before arriving into the United States with the dog.  
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Another Study Links Sterilization with Certain Health Risks
The results of a retrospective study recently published in Canine Genetics and Epidemiology provides additional evidence of a link between sterilization status and certain health risks. Correlation of Neuter Status and Expression of Heritable Disorders, by Belanger, et al., concludes that several conditions showed an increased risk associated with neutering.
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Taking Command
Legislative Information and Updates
  Ten states, Congress, and Puerto Rico are in session, and seven states are in a special legislative session. AKC Government Relations is currently tracking more than 1,700 bills on the federal, state, and local levels. For more information on these bills, and information on how you can get involved, visit our Legislative Action Center. Here are some highlights of pending canine legislation issues across the country.

Visit the 2017 Legislation Tracking page for the most up-to-date information on state and federal legislation. This site, updated each weekday, provides the latest bill text, status, and links to legislative alerts posted by the AKC. Click on the links below to view highlights of issues that are being tracked by AKC Government Relations:

Federal — issues that may affect all dog owners in the U.S.
State — issues specific to your state
Local/Other — issues at the city, county, and metropolitan levels, and in U.S. territories

Please contact AKC GR at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org for more information or to let us know what’s happening in your local community. 
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