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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1983 

                        CHAPTER 358--S.F.No. 682
           An act relating to animals; providing for the welfare 
          of certain pets and companion animals; imposing a 
          penalty; proposing new law coded in Minnesota 
          Statutes, chapter 346. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  [346.35] [CITATION.] 
    Sections 1 to 10 may be cited as the "Pet and Companion 
Animal Welfare Act."  
    Sec. 2.  [346.36] [DEFINITIONS.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [SCOPE.] Sections 1 to 10 shall only apply 
to veterinarians, animal boarding facilities, and commercial 
animal facilities, excepting section 4, subdivision 9.  As used 
in sections 1 to 10 the terms defined in this section have the 
meanings given them.  
    Subd. 2.  [ABUSE.] "Abuse" means intentionally causing 
unnecessary pain, injury, suffering, or harassment to a pet or 
companion animal.  
    Subd. 3.  [CRUELTY.] "Cruelty" means causing or allowing 
unnecessary pain, suffering, or unjustifiable injury or death to 
a pet or companion animal.  
    Subd. 4.  [EXPERT OPINION.] "Expert opinion" means the 
opinion of at least one licensed Minnesota veterinarian selected 
by an investigating officer.  
     Subd. 5.  [NEGLECT.] "Neglect" means failure to provide the 
minimum care required for the health and well-being of a pet or 
companion animal.  
    Subd. 6.  [PET OR COMPANION ANIMAL.] "Pet" or "companion 
animal" means a nonhuman mammal, bird, or reptile impounded or 
held for breeding, or possessed by, cared for, or controlled by 
a person for the present or future enjoyment of that person or 
another.  
    Subd. 7.  [SHELTER; CONFINEMENT AREA.] "Shelter" or 
"confinement area" means an enclosure provided to protect or 
confine a pet or companion animal when it is not in transit.  
    Sec. 3.  [346.37] [GENERAL PROVISIONS.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [ABANDONED ANIMALS.] Whenever an animal is 
left with a veterinarian, boarding facility, or commercial 
facility pursuant to a written agreement and the owner does not 
claim the animal by the agreed date, the animal is abandoned. 
If the owner or custodian is unknown and cannot with reasonable 
effort be ascertained, or does not within six working days after 
mailing of notice by certified mail to the last known address 
redeem the animal by paying the expenses incurred, the animal 
may become the ward of the veterinarian, boarding facility, or 
commercial facility.  Each veterinarian, boarding facility, or 
commercial facility shall warn its patrons of the provisions of 
this subdivision by a conspicuously posted notice or by 
conspicuous type in a written receipt.  
    Subd. 2.  [GOOD SAMARITANS.] A person is not liable for 
rendering humane assistance to an injured pet or companion 
animal.  
    Subd. 3.  [CRUEL TRAINING OR HANDLING.] A person may not 
inflict cruelty on a pet or companion animal by the use of a 
cruel training or handling device or method.  
    Subd. 4.  [HEALTH CARE.] Adequate health care, including 
parasite and pest control, must be provided to each pet or 
companion animal.  
    Subd. 5.  [INTERPRETATION OF TERMS.] A dispute as to the 
meaning of "abuse," "cruelty," or "neglect" shall be resolved by 
an expert opinion.  
    Subd. 6.  [REPORTS OF ABUSE, CRUELTY, OR NEGLECT.] A 
veterinarian must report known or suspected cases of abuse, 
cruelty, or neglect to the state humane society or a local 
humane society.  
    Sec. 4.  [346.38] [EQUINES.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITION.] "Equines" are horses, ponies, 
mules, and burros.  
    Subd. 2.  [FOOD.] Equines must be provided with food of 
sufficient quantity and quality to allow for normal growth or 
the maintenance of body weight.  Feed standards shall be those 
recommended by the National Research Council.  
    Subd. 3.  [WATER.] Equines must be provided with clean, 
potable water in sufficient quantity to satisfy the animal's 
needs or supplied by free choice.  Snow or ice is not an 
adequate water source. 
     Subd. 4.  [SHELTER.] Equines must be provided a minimum of 
free choice protection or manmade shelter from direct rays of 
the sun when temperatures exceed 95 degrees Fahrenheit, from 
wind, and from freezing precipitation.  Natural or manmade 
shelters must be of sufficient size to provide the necessary 
protection.  Manmade shelters must be structurally sound, free 
of injurious matter, maintained in good repair, and ventilated.  
    Subd. 5.  [SPACE AND CLEANLINESS REQUIREMENTS.] Manmade 
shelters except for tie stalls must provide space for the animal 
to roll with a minimum danger of being cast.  Stalls must be 
cleaned and kept dry to the extent the animal is not required to 
lie or stand in fluids.  Bedding must be provided in all stalls, 
kept reasonably clean, and periodically changed.  The nature of 
the bedding must not pose a health hazard to the animal. 
     Subd. 6.  [EXERCISE.] Equines must be provided opportunity 
for periodic exercise, either through free choice or through a 
forced work program, unless exercise is restricted by a licensed 
veterinarian. 
    Subd. 7.  [HOOF CARE.] All equines must have their hooves 
properly trimmed periodically to prevent lameness. 
     Subd. 8.  [TRANSPORTATION.] A vehicle used to transport an 
equine must have a floor capable of supporting the animal's 
weight safely.  Floors must be of nonskid construction or of 
nonskid material sufficient to provide the animal with traction 
while in transport.  A minimum of 12 inches must be allowed 
between the withers of the largest equine and the structure 
above the animal while it is in a natural standing position. 
Sturdy partitions must be provided at a minimum of approximately 
every ten feet inside the vehicle.  Interior compartments of 
transporting vehicles must be of smooth construction with no 
protruding or sharp objects and must provide ventilation.  Food 
and water must be provided in sufficient quantities to minimize 
stress and maintain hydration.  
    Sec. 5.  [346.39] [DOGS AND CATS.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [FOOD.] Dogs and cats must be provided with 
food of sufficent quantity and quality to allow for normal 
growth or the maintenance of body weight.  Feed standards shall 
be those recommended by the National Research Council.  
    Subd. 2.  [WATER.] Dogs and cats must be provided with 
clean, potable water in sufficient quantity to satisfy the 
animal's needs or supplied by free choice.  Snow or ice is not 
an adequate water source.  
    Subd. 3.  [TRANSPORTATION AND SHIPMENT.] When dogs or cats 
are transported in crates or containers, the crates or 
containers must be constructed of nonabrasive wire or a smooth, 
durable material suitable for the animals.  Crates and 
containers must be clean, adequately ventilated, contain 
sufficient space to allow the animals to turn around, and 
provide maximum safety and protection to the animals.  Exercise 
for 20 to 30 minutes and water must be provided at least once 
every eight hours.  Food must be provided at least once every 24 
hours or more often, if necessary, to maintain the health and 
condition of the animals.  
    Subd. 4.  [SHELTER SIZE.] A confinement area must provide 
sufficient space to allow each animal to turn about freely and 
to easily stand, sit, and lie in a normal position.  Each 
confined animal must be provided a minimum square footage of 
floor space as measured from the tip of its nose to the base of 
its tail, plus 25 percent, expressed in square feet.  The 
formula for computing minimum square footage is:  (length of 
animal plus 25 percent) times (length of animal plus 25 
percent), divided by 144.  A shaded area must be provided 
sufficient to protect the animal from the direct rays of the sun 
at all times during the months of May to October.  
    Subd. 5.  [EXERCISE.] All dogs and cats must be provided 
the opportunity for periodic exercise, either through free 
choice or through a forced work program, unless exercise is 
restricted by a licensed veterinarian.  
    Subd. 6.  [GROUP HOUSING AND BREEDING.] Animals housed 
together must be kept in compatible groups.  Animals must not be 
bred so often as to endanger their health.  
    Subd. 7.  [TEMPERATURE.] Confinement areas must be 
maintained at a temperature suitable for the animal involved.  
    Subd. 8.  [VENTILATION.] An indoor confinement area must be 
ventilated.  Drafts, odors, and moisture condensation must be 
minimized.  Auxiliary ventilation, such as exhaust fans, vents, 
and air conditioning, must be used when the ambient temperature 
rises to a level that may endanger the health of the animal.  
    Subd. 9.  [LIGHTING.] An indoor confinement area must have 
at least eight hours of illumination sufficient to permit 
routine inspection and cleaning.  
    Subd. 10.  [CONFINEMENT AND EXERCISE AREA SURFACES.] Where 
applicable, the interior surfaces of confinement and exercise 
areas, including crates or containers, must be constructed and 
maintained so that they are substantially impervious to moisture 
and may be readily cleaned.  They must protect the animal from 
injury and be kept in good repair.  
    Subd. 11.  [DRAINAGE.] Where applicable, a suitable method 
must be used to rapidly eliminate excess fluids from confinement 
areas. 
     Subd. 12.  [SANITATION.] Food and water receptacles must be 
accessible to each animal and located so as to minimize 
contamination by excreta.  Feeding and water receptacles must be 
kept clean.  Disposable food receptacles must be discarded when 
soiled.  Measures must be taken to protect animals from being 
contaminated with water, wastes, and harmful chemicals.  Wastes 
must be disposed of properly.  Where applicable, flushing 
methods and a disinfectant must be used periodically.  Bedding, 
if used, must be kept clean and dry.  Outdoor enclosures must be 
kept clean and base material replaced as necessary. 
     Sec. 6.  [346.40] [PET BIRDS.] 
     Subdivision 1.  [FOOD.] Birds must be fed at least once 
each day except as otherwise required to provide adequate health 
care.  The food must be wholesome, palatable, and of sufficient 
quantity and nutritive value to meet the normal daily 
requirements for the condition and size of the bird, and must be 
free from contamination.  
    Subd. 2.  [WATER.] Except for birds in shipment for less 
than four hours, all birds must be provided with clean, potable 
water in sufficient quantity to satisfy the bird's needs or 
supplied by free choice.  Snow or ice is not an adequate water 
source. 
     Subd. 3.  [TRANSPORTATION.] Birds may be transported only 
in containers constructed of a smooth, durable material. 
Containers must:  
    (a) be suitable for the species being shipped;  
    (b) be constructed to prevent escape or chewing of the 
container by the bird that may be injurious to the health of the 
bird;  
    (c) have ventilation on only one side to prevent cross 
drafts; 
     (d) provide enough space for the bird to stand up, turn 
around, and obtain necessary food, water, and roosting space; 
     (e) have fresh food and water available to the bird at all 
times if the shipping period exceeds four hours.  
     Subd. 4.  [SHELTER OR CAGE CONSTRUCTION.] A shelter or cage 
for a bird must be constructed of materials that are impervious 
to moisture and can be readily cleaned.  Perches or other space 
must be provided to allow the bird to roost without physical 
harassment from other birds.  
    Subd. 5.  [EXERCISE.] Room must be provided for a bird to 
obtain exercise to maintain itself in good health.  
    Subd. 6.  [TEMPERATURE.] A confinement area must be 
maintained at a temperature suitable for the bird involved.  
    Subd. 7.  [VENTILATION.] A bird shelter or cage must 
provide ventilation with minimized drafts, odors, and moisture 
condensation.  
    Subd. 8.  [LIGHTING.] Shelters or cages for birds must have 
at least eight hours of either natural or artificial light to 
allow for intake of food and water.  Lighting must be of 
sufficient intensity and distribution to permit routine 
inspection and cleaning on a regular basis. 
     Subd. 9.  [SANITATION.] Excreta must be removed from the 
bottom of a bird cage on a regular basis to prevent the 
contamination of the caged bird.  The cage, perches, and food 
and water receptacles must be cleaned on a regular basis. 
     Sec. 7.  [346.41] [RODENTS.] 
     Subdivision 1.  [FOOD.] Food must be made available to 
every pet rodent at least once a day.  This food must be fresh, 
wholesome, palatable, free from contamination, and of sufficient 
nutritive value to meet the normal daily requirements necessary 
to maintain the health and condition of the animal.  
    Subd. 2.  [WATER.] A pet rodent must be provided with 
clean, potable water in sufficient quantity to satisfy the 
animal's needs or supplied by free choice.  Snow or ice is not 
an adequate water source.  
    Subd. 3.  [TRANSPORTATION.] Rodents may be transported only 
in containers constructed of a smooth, durable material. 
Containers must:  
    (a) be constructed so as to prevent escape or injury by 
chewing;  
    (b) provide fresh air to each contained animal and yet 
prevent exposure to injurious drafts;  
     (c) provide enough space for each animal to stand up, turn 
around, and obtain necessary food and water; 
     (d) have fresh food and water available to each animal 
during all shipping periods exceeding six hours.  Food and water 
requirements may be met by providing vegetables or fruits 
sufficient to meet an animal's food and water needs.  
    Subd. 4.  [SHELTER AND CAGE CONSTRUCTION.] Shelters or 
cages must be constructed in a manner that allows cleaning of 
the entire surface area.  The materials used must be of 
sufficient strength to prevent escape or injury by chewing and 
to protect the animal from predators.  
    A shelter or cage with a solid bottom must be constructed 
of materials that are impervious to moisture.  A shelter or cage 
with a wire or mesh bottom must be constructed to allow excreta 
to pass through the spaces in the wire or mesh.  The wire or 
mesh floor must be constructed to prevent injury to the feet and 
legs of the animals. 
     Outdoor confinement areas must provide sufficient shade to 
protect the animal from the direct rays of the sun and shelter 
the animal from rain or snow. 
     Subd. 5.  [EXERCISE.] A shelter or cage must be of 
sufficient height and have sufficient floor space to allow the 
caged animals to obtain proper exercise and maintain good health.
     Subd. 6.  [TEMPERATURE.] A confinement area must be 
maintained at a temperature suitable for the confined animal.  
    Subd. 7.  [VENTILATION.] A shelter or cage must provide 
ventilation to the confined animals.  It must be constructed to 
minimize drafts, odors, and moisture condensation.  Additional 
ventilation must be provided when the ambient temperature rises 
to a level that may endanger the health of the animal.  
    Subd. 8.  [LIGHTING.] Lighting of sufficient intensity and 
distribution must be available to permit routine inspection and 
regular cleaning.  
     Subd. 9.  [SANITATION.] A shelter or cage must be cleaned 
on a regular basis to prevent the accumulation of excreta, hair, 
contaminated or wet litter, and uneaten or contaminated food. 
If the shelter or cage has a solid floor, the floor must be 
covered with clean, dry bedding which must be changed at least 
once a week.  If the shelter or cage has a wire or mesh floor, 
the catch pans or troughs under the cage must be cleaned at 
least once a week.  If the cage or shelter becomes soiled or wet 
to a degree that may be harmful to the caged animals due to 
water leakage, dead animals, or spoiled foods, the animals must 
be transferred to clean, dry quarters as soon as possible after 
discovery of the condition.  The shelter or cage, and food and 
water receptacles, must be regularly cleaned.  
    Subd. 10.  [CHEWING MATERIALS.] A rodent must be provided 
with materials that allow necessary chewing to prevent 
detrimental overgrowth of the animal's teeth.  
    Sec. 8.  [346.42] [OTHER ANIMALS.] 
    Animals not covered in detail in sections 4 to 7 must be 
maintained in accordance with a general standard of care 
necessary for the species as determined by an expert opinion.  
    Sec. 9.  [346.43] [FARM ANIMALS EXCLUDED.] 
    Sections 1 to 10 do not apply to the care or treatment of 
an agricultural or farm animal which is used for food or other 
products or any other agricultural use.  
    Sec. 10.  [346.44] [PENALTIES.] 
    Except where otherwise indicated, a person found guilty of 
failure to comply with a provision of sections 2 to 8 is guilty 
of a misdemeanor. 
    Approved June 14, 1983