Dog, cat breeder licensing bill moves ahead

Diane Dunkert
Diane Dunkert of St. Paul held her rescue dog Gert, as she testified before a House committee Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013 in support of a bill that would license and inspect certain dog and cat breeders in the state. Next to her is Rep. John Lesch, DFL-St. Paul, chief sponsor who's been working for six years to pass the legislation.
MPR Photo/Sasha Aslanian

A bill that would require licensing and inspection for dog and cat breeders was approved by the House Civil Law Committee Wednesday.

Supporters say it would help prevent the kinds of cruelty and abuse that now only come to light if a complaint is made. Dr. Lisa McCargar, a veterinarian who's rescued animals, testified in support of the legislation.

"Almost every animal that I examined from large-scale breeding facilities consistently showed similar symptoms and conditions," McCargar said. "Poor body conditioning, being underweight, matted coats, urine and feces-stained coats and skin, wounds, scabs, overgrown nails, severe dental disease, ear infections, external parasites, multiple species of internal parasites, or worms."

Opponents argued the bill is unnecessary because many counties already have ordinances for dog breeders.

The breeder licensing bill now moves to the House Public Safety, Finance and Policy Committee.

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