New commercial pet breeder regulations adopted

Senators passed a bill May 14 that changes the Commercial Dog and Cat Operator Inspection Act.

LB360, introduced by Wahoo Sen. Jerry Johnson, lists the following as examples of “significant threat” to the health or safety of dogs or cats:
• not providing shelter or protection from extreme weather;
• refusing to seek treatment for acute injuries involving potentially life-threatening, hemorrhaging or medical emergencies;
• not providing food or water resulting in starvation or severe dehydration;
• egregious abuse resulting in trauma from beating, torturing, mutilating or burning; or
• failing to maintain sanitation standards that result in animals walking, lying or standing in feces.

The bill also establishes an annual fee beyond the initial license fee, on a graduated schedule, starting at $150 for facilities with up to 10 dogs or cats and increasing to $2,000 for facilities housing 500 or more animals.

It also incorporates provisions of three other bills:
• LB359, introduced by Johnson, which increases a fee remitted to the Commercial Dog and Cat Operator Inspection Program Cash Fund from $1 to $1.25 per licensed animal;
• LB389, originally introduced by Heartwell Sen. John Kuehn, which implements a re-inspection fee of $150, plus mileage charges necessary to complete a re-inspection; and
• LB377, originally introduced by Seward Sen. Mark Kolterman, which establishes a judicial process for owners whose animals have been impounded in cases of alleged neglect or abuse.

The bill passed on a 48-0 vote.

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