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HF 388

as introduced - 87th Legislature (2011 - 2012) Posted on 02/07/2011 09:49am

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A bill for an act
relating to animals; providing standards of care for dog and cat breeders;
establishing fees; authorizing rulemaking; providing criminal penalties;
appropriating money;proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes,
chapter 347.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

[347.57] DEFINITIONS.

Subdivision 1.

Terms.

The definitions in this section apply to sections 347.57
to 347.64.

Subd. 2.

Animal.

"Animal" means a dog or a cat.

Subd. 3.

Board.

"Board" means the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.

Subd. 4.

Broker.

"Broker" means a person, firm, partnership, corporation, or
association that purchases animals for resale to other brokers or pet dealers.

Subd. 5.

Cat.

"Cat" means a mammal that is wholly or in part of the species Felis
domesticus. An adult cat is a cat 24 weeks of age or older. A kitten is a cat under 24
weeks of age.

Subd. 6.

Commercial breeder.

"Commercial breeder" means a person, other than a
hobby breeder, 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 20 or more adult intact animals and whose animals produce five or more
total litters of puppies or kittens per year.

Subd. 7.

Confinement area.

"Confinement area" means a structure used or
designed for use to restrict an animal to a limited amount of space, such as a room, pen,
cage, kennel, compartment, crate, or hutch.

Subd. 8.

Dog.

"Dog" means a mammal that is wholly or in part of the species Canis
familiaris. An adult dog is a dog 24 weeks of age or older. A puppy is a dog under 24
weeks of age.

Subd. 9.

Facility.

"Facility" means the place used by a commercial breeder for
breeding animals, and includes all buildings, property, confinement areas, and vehicles.

Subd. 10.

Hobby breeder.

"Hobby breeder" means 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 fewer than 20 adult
intact animals or whose animals produce fewer than five total litters of puppies or kittens
per year.

Subd. 11.

Local animal control authority.

"Local animal control authority" means
an agency of the state, county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state that
is responsible for animal control operations in its jurisdiction.

Subd. 12.

Person.

"Person" means a natural person, firm, partnership, corporation,
or association, however organized.

Subd. 13.

Pet dealer.

"Pet dealer" means a person, including a commercial breeder,
that is required to collect sales tax for the sale of animals to the public. "Pet dealer"
does not include a humane society, nonprofit organization performing the functions of a
humane society, or local animal control authority.

Subd. 14.

Possess.

"Possess" means to have custody of or have control over.

Subd. 15.

Veterinarian.

"Veterinarian" means a veterinarian in good standing and
licensed in the state of Minnesota.

Sec. 2.

[347.58] LICENSING AND INSPECTIONS.

Subdivision 1.

Licensing.

(a) The board may grant an operating license to a
commercial breeder and shall enforce sections 347.58 to 347.63.

(b) Beginning July 1, 2011, a commercial breeder must obtain an annual license
for each facility it owns or operates. More than one building on the same premises is
considered one facility. The board shall establish by rule a range for the initial license
fee and the annual license fee not to exceed $....... for each facility where a commercial
breeder possesses adult breeding animals. The range must increase the fee paid by a
commercial breeder in relationship to the number of adult breeding animals possessed by
the commercial breeder at each facility.

(c) The board or its agent shall inspect a commercial breeder's facility before an
initial license is issued. An announced initial prelicense inspection must be performed no
more than 30 days before filing a license application. The initial prelicense inspection
fee must be included with the prelicense application. The application must include an
inspection certificate signed by the inspector in a format approved by the board.

(d) The license application must indicate if a commercial breeder operates under
more than one name from a single location or has an ownership interest in any other
facility. License holders must keep separate records for each business name.

(e) The application must include a notarized statement that includes the following
information:

(1) whether any license held by an applicant under this section or under any other
federal, state, county, or local law, ordinance, or other regulation relating to dealing in or
handling cats or dogs was ever suspended, revoked, or denied;

(2) whether the applicant was ever convicted of animal cruelty; and

(3) the estimated number of adult animals that will be kept, housed, and maintained
by the applicant at the location that is the subject of the application and the estimated
number of puppies and kittens to be kept, housed, and maintained during the term of
the license.

(f) An application from a partnership, corporation, or limited liability company must
include the name and address of all partners, directors, officers, or members and must
include a notation of any partners, directors, officers, members, or others authorized to
represent the partnership, corporation, or limited liability company.

(g) A nonresident applicant must consent to adjudication of any violation under the
laws of the state of Minnesota and in Minnesota courts.

(h) A license issued under this section is not transferable.

(i) A license holder must apply for license renewal annually by submitting a renewal
application on a form approved by the board. The license renewal application must be
postmarked by July 1 of each year. A late renewal is subject to a 50 percent penalty fee. If
a license is not renewed by August 1, the license holder must reapply for an initial license.

(j) A commercial breeder must submit to the board an annual report by August 1 on
a form prepared by the board. The form must include the current number of cats and dogs
at the facility on the date of the report, the number of animals during the preceding year
that were sold, traded, bartered, leased, brokered, given away, euthanized, or deceased
from other causes, and any other information required by the board.

(k) If a commercial breeder is required to be licensed by the United States
Department of Agriculture, the initial application must include United States Department
of Agriculture inspection reports for the past three years for any facility owned or operated
by that commercial breeder. Current United States Department of Agriculture inspection
reports and records must be made available during an inspection, upon request.

(l) A commercial breeder must prominently display the commercial breeder's license
at each facility.

(m) A commercial breeder's state license number must be included in all of the
commercial breeder's advertisements or promotions that pertain to animals being sold or
traded including, but not limited to, all newspapers, Internet, radio, or flyers.

(n) A commercial breeder must notify the board by certified mail within ten days
of any change in address, name, management, or substantial control and ownership of
the business or operation.

(o) The board shall refuse to issue an initial license when a commercial breeder has:

(1) violated any provision of chapter 343 or 346;

(2) failed to meet any of the requirements of this section and section 347.59;

(3) failed to meet any of the requirements of a local ordinance governing the license
holder;

(4) been convicted of cruelty to animals under Minnesota law or under the law of
another jurisdiction;

(5) been denied a similar license issued by another authority, either federal or state,
or if the license has been revoked or suspended; or

(6) falsified any material information requested by the board.

(p) A person who has been an officer, agent, direct family member, or employee of a
commercial breeder whose license was revoked or suspended and who was responsible for
or participated in the violation that was a basis for the revocation or suspension may not
be licensed while the revocation or suspension is in effect.

Subd. 2.

Inspections.

(a) The board may delegate inspection authority to a county
or a city pursuant to a written agreement between the board and an authorized official
of the county or city. The board shall train a delegated agent in the board's inspection
procedures. The board or its designated agent shall inspect each licensed facility at least
annually. The unannounced inspection must be during normal business hours and with the
commercial breeder or an agent of the commercial breeder present. The inspector must
submit an inspection report to the board within ten days of each inspection on a form
prepared by the board. The inspection report form must list separately each law, rule,
regulation, and ordinance the facility is not in compliance with and what correction is
required for compliance. The inspection report form must document the animal inventory
on the date of the inspection.

(b) The board may request a veterinarian not affiliated with the commercial breeder,
a peace officer, a local animal control authority, or a humane agent appointed under section
343.01 to assist in an inspection or investigation. A commercial breeder may also have the
breeder's veterinarian of record available.

(c) If a license to operate is suspended, revoked, or denied, the board or its
designated agent shall have access to the facility during normal business hours to verify
that it is not operating.

Subd. 3.

Fees; rules.

The board shall adopt rules to establish the license fees
required by this section.

Subd. 4.

Enforcement grants to local units of government.

The board may fully
or partially reimburse local units of government for costs incurred by the local unit of
government to perform the work authorized by an agreement under subdivision 1. A local
unit of government seeking reimbursement must apply to the board for grant funding
on forms provided by the board.

Sec. 3.

[347.59] STANDARDS OF CARE.

(a) A commercial breeder must comply with the following:

(1) chapters 343 and 346; and

(2) the requirements of an applicable local ordinance governing the license holder.

(b) A commercial breeder must ensure that animals that are part of the commercial
breeder's breeding business operations are cared for as follows:

(1) cats must not be housed in outdoor confinement areas;

(2) animals exercised in groups must be compatible and free of illness;

(3) females in estrus must not be housed with unneutered males, except for breeding
purposes;

(4) animals must be provided daily socialization with human beings and compatible
animals;

(5) animals must not be sold, traded, or given away before the age of eight weeks;

(6) the commercial breeder must provide identification and tracking for each animal,
which is not transferable to another animal; and

(7) the commercial breeder must provide adequate staff to maintain the facility
and properly care for the animals.

(c) A commercial breeder must not knowingly hire staff or independent contractors
who have been convicted of cruelty to animals under the law of any jurisdiction.

(d) A commercial breeder must comply with any additional standards the board
considers necessary to protect the public health and welfare of animals covered under
sections 347.57 to 347.61. The standards must be established by rule.

(e) A United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) licensed breeder or dealer
who is in compliance with the minimum USDA regulations governing the license holder
as they relate to animal confinement areas as of the effective date of this section does not
have to comply with the minimum confinement area measurements under section 346.39,
subdivision 4, for existing confinement areas in each facility the breeder or dealer owns. If
a USDA licensed breeder or dealer builds a new confinement area after the effective date
of this section, those minimum standards must meet or exceed the minimum specifications
as they relate to confinement area size under section 346.39, subdivision 4.

Sec. 4.

[347.60] INVESTIGATIONS.

The board, a local animal control authority, a peace officer, or a humane agent
appointed under section 343.01 may initiate an investigation upon receiving a formal
complaint alleging violations of section 347.58 or 347.59.

Sec. 5.

[347.61] SEIZURE.

An animal may be seized for a violation of section 347.58 or 347.59 that threatens
the health or welfare of the animal, or where conditions or practices exist that threaten
the health or welfare of the animal. Section 343.235 applies to the disposition of animals
seized under this section.

Sec. 6.

[347.62] CIVIL ENFORCEMENT.

Subdivision 1.

Correction orders.

(a) The board may issue a correction order
requiring a commercial breeder to correct a violation of state statutes, rules, and
regulations governing breeding facilities. The correction order must state the deficiencies
that constitute the violation; the specific statute, rule, or regulation violated; and when
the violation must be corrected.

(b) A commercial breeder may ask the board to reconsider any portion of the
correction order that the commercial breeder believes is in error. The request for
reconsideration must be made in writing by certified mail within seven days after receipt
of the correction order. The request for reconsideration does not stay the correction order.
The board must respond to the request for reconsideration within 15 days after receiving
a request. The board's disposition of a request for reconsideration is final. The board
may extend the time for complying with a correction order after receiving a request for
reconsideration if necessary.

(c) The board shall reinspect the facility within 15 days after the time for correcting
the violation has passed to determine whether the violation has been corrected. If the
violation has been corrected, the board shall notify the commercial breeder in writing that
the commercial breeder is in compliance with the correction order.

Subd. 2.

Administrative penalty orders.

After the inspection required under
subdivision 1, paragraph (c), the board may issue an order requiring violations to
be corrected and administratively assessing monetary penalties for violations. The
administrative penalty order must include a citation of the statute, rule, or regulation
violated; a description of the violation; and the amount of the penalty for each violation. A
single correction order may assess a maximum administrative penalty of $5,000.

Subd. 3.

Injunctive relief.

In addition to any other remedy provided by law, the
board may bring an action for injunctive relief in the district court in Ramsey County or in
the county in which a violation of the statutes, rules, or regulations governing the breeding
of cats and dogs occurred to enjoin the violation.

Subd. 4.

Cease and desist.

The board must issue an order to cease a practice if its
continuation would result in an immediate risk to animal welfare or public health. An
order issued under this subdivision is effective for a maximum of 72 hours. The board or
its designated agent must seek an injunction or take other administrative action authorized
by law to restrain a practice beyond 72 hours. The issuance of a cease-and-desist order
does not preclude other enforcement action by the board.

Subd. 5.

Refusal to reissue license; license suspension or revocation.

(a) The
board may suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew a license as follows:

(1) for failure to comply with a correction order;

(2) for failure to pay an administrative penalty;

(3) for failure to meet the requirements of section 347.58 or 347.59; or

(4) for falsifying information requested by the board.

A license suspension, revocation, or nonrenewal may be appealed through the Office of
Administrative Hearings. A notice of intent to appeal must be filed in writing with the
board within 20 days after receipt of the notice of suspension, revocation, or nonrenewal.

(b) The board shall revoke a license if a commercial breeder has been convicted of
cruelty to animals under Minnesota law or the law of another jurisdiction, or for the
denial, revocation, or suspension of a similar license by another federal or state authority.
A license revocation under this subdivision may be appealed through the Office of
Administrative Hearings. A notice of intent to appeal must be filed in writing with the
board within 20 days after receipt of the notice of revocation.

(c) A commercial breeder whose license is revoked may not reapply for licensure for
two years after the date of revocation. The license is permanently revoked if the basis for
the revocation was a gross misdemeanor or felony conviction for animal cruelty.

(d) A commercial breeder whose license is suspended or revoked three times is
permanently barred from licensure.

Subd. 6.

Administrative hearing rights.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph
(b), if the board proposes to refuse to renew, suspend, or revoke a license, the board
must first notify the commercial breeder in writing of the proposed action and provide an
opportunity to request a hearing under the contested case provisions of chapter 14. If the
commercial breeder does not request a hearing within 20 days after receipt of the notice of
the proposed action, the board may proceed with the action without a hearing.

(b) The contested case provisions of chapter 14 do not apply when the board denies
a license based on an applicant's failure to meet the minimum qualifications for licensure.

(c) A commercial breeder may appeal the amount of an administrative penalty
order through the Office of Administrative Hearings pursuant to the procedures set forth
in chapter 14. A commercial breeder wishing to file an appeal must notify the board in
writing within 20 days after receipt of the administrative penalty order.

Subd. 7.

Other jurisdictions.

The board may accept as prima facie evidence of
grounds for an enforcement action under this section any enforcement or disciplinary
action from another jurisdiction, if the underlying violation would be grounds for a
violation under the provisions of this section.

Subd. 8.

Appeals.

A final order by the board may be appealed to the Minnesota
Court of Appeals.

Sec. 7.

[347.63] PENALTIES.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a violation of section 347.58 or 347.59
is a misdemeanor.

(b) A violation of section 347.58 or 347.59 that results in cruelty or torture to an
animal, as those terms are defined in section 343.20, subdivision 3, is subject to the
penalties in section 343.21, subdivisions 9 and 10.

(c) It is a misdemeanor for a broker or pet dealer to knowingly purchase or trade a
dog or cat for the purpose of resale or trade to another person from a person required to be
licensed but who does not have a valid license.

(d) It is a misdemeanor for a pet dealer who is not the commercial breeder of any
animal to knowingly possess an animal under the age of eight weeks. This restriction does
not apply to humane societies, nonprofit organizations performing the functions of a
humane society, or a local animal control authority.

(e) It is a misdemeanor to falsify information in a license application, annual report,
or records.

(f) It is a misdemeanor for an unlicensed commercial breeder to advertise animals
for sale.

Sec. 8.

[347.64] DOG AND CAT BREEDERS LICENSING ACCOUNT;
APPROPRIATION.

Subdivision 1.

Fees and penalties.

A dog and cat breeders licensing account is
created in the special revenue fund. All fees and penalties collected by the board under
sections 347.58 to 347.63 must be deposited in the state treasury and credited to the dog
and cat breeders licensing account in the special revenue fund. Money in the account,
including interest on the account, is annually appropriated to the board to administer
those sections.

Subd. 2.

Donations for licensing and inspection program.

The board may accept
donations and contributions from private parties for the development and administration
of the licensing program under sections 347.57 to 347.64. Money received under this
section must be deposited in the dog and cat breeders licensing account established under
subdivision 1.

Sec. 9. REGISTRATION.

Beginning July 1, 2011, until June 30, 2012, a commercial breeder shall register
each facility it owns or operates by paying a registration fee not to exceed $....... per
facility to the board. Fees collected under this section must be deposited under Minnesota
Statutes, section 347.64.

Sec. 10. EFFECTIVE DATE.

Sections 1 to 7 are effective July 1, 2011. Sections 8 and 9 are effective the day
following final enactment. The Board of Animal Health shall implement and enforce
section 9 only after deposit of at least $50,000 of private contributions in the dog and cat
breeders licensing account established in section 8.

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