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Proposed Rule

Licensing and Inspection Requirements for Dealers of Dogs Intended for Hunting, Breeding, or Security Purposes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

We propose to amend the Animal Welfare regulations to reflect our policy of regulating wholesale dealers of dogs intended for hunting, breeding, or security purposes. We currently regulate these dealers under the same regulations in place for wholesale dealers of other dogs. This action would make the regulations consistent with our policy and would, therefore, clarify licensing and inspection requirements for affected dealers of dogs intended for hunting, breeding, or security purposes.

DATES:

We invite you to comment on this docket. We will consider all comments that we receive by February 2, 2001.

ADDRESSES:

Please send four copies of your comment (an original and three copies) to: Docket No. 99-087-1, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Suite 3C03, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

Please state that your comment refers to Docket No. 99-087-1.

You may read any comments that we receive on this docket in our reading room. The reading room is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 690-2817 before coming.

APHIS documents published in the Federal Register, and related information, including the names of organizations and individuals who have commented on APHIS dockets, are available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/​ppd/​rad/​webrepor.html.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dr. Jerry DePoyster, Senior Veterinary Medical Officer, Animal Care, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 84, Riverdale, MD 20737-1234; (301) 734-7586.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) (7 U.S.C. 2131 et seq.) requires certain dealers to obtain a license from the Secretary of Agriculture in order to buy or sell animals. The AWA further authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to promulgate standards and other requirements regarding the humane handling, care, treatment, and transportation of certain animals by these regulated dealers, as well as by research facilities, exhibitors, and carriers and intermediate handlers. The Secretary has delegated responsibility for administering the AWA to the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Regulations established under the AWA are contained in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in title 9, parts 1, 2, and 3 (referred to below as the regulations). Part 1 contains definitions for terms used in parts 2 and 3. Part 2 contains general requirements for regulated parties. Part 3 contains specific requirements for the care and handling of certain animals. Subpart A of part 3 contains the requirements applicable to dogs and cats.

Section 4 of the AWA (7 U.S.C. 2134) requires that a dealer may not sell an animal to a research facility, or for use as a pet or for exhibition, until he or she first obtains a license from the Secretary. Section 4 also requires a dealer to have a license to buy from or sell to another dealer (i.e., at wholesale). Because dogs sold for hunting, breeding, or security purposes are not sold to research facilities, or for use as pets or for exhibition, dealers in these dogs do not need a license to buy or sell them unless they do so at wholesale.

Section 13 of the AWA (7 U.S.C. 2143) directs the Secretary to promulgate standards of care with which regulated dealers must comply. Because section 4 of the AWA requires the regulation only of wholesale dealers of hunting, breeding, and security dogs, retail dealers of such dogs are not subject to the standards promulgated under section 13 of the AWA.

In accordance with the AWA, on July 19, 1999, we published in the Federal Register (Docket No. 97-018-4, 64 FR 38546-38548) a decision and policy statement that notified the public that, among other things, it is now our policy to license and inspect wholesale dealers of dogs intended primarily for hunting, breeding, or security purposes. This means that we currently regulate these dealers under the same regulations in place for wholesale dealers of other dogs. We instituted this policy to help ensure the humane handling, care, and treatment of hunting, breeding, and security dogs.

However, the regulations at § 2.1 require that all dealers of dogs must be licensed and inspected. Our current definition for “dealer” in § 1.1 includes both wholesale and retail dealers of hunting, breeding, and security dogs. These provisions are inconsistent with our published policy.

Therefore, we propose to amend the regulations to require that only wholesale dealers of hunting, breeding, and security dogs be licensed and inspected. This change would be reflected in the definition for “dealer” in § 1.1. This action would bring our regulations into accord with our policy to regulate wholesale dealers of hunting, breeding, and security dogs.

The licensing requirements for animal dealers are contained in 9 CFR part 2, subpart A, and the care standards for dogs and cats are contained in 9 CFR part 3, subpart A. For information about becoming licensed as a dealer under the AWA, contact the person listed above under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. The rule has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. Start Printed Page 75636

In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 603, we have performed an initial regulatory flexibility analysis, which is set out below, regarding the effects of this proposed rule on small entities. We do not currently have all the data necessary for a comprehensive analysis of the effects of this proposed rule on small entities. Therefore, we are inviting comments concerning potential effects. In particular, we are interested in determining the number of small entities that would be affected by this proposed rule.

In accordance with the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) (7 U.S.C. 2131 et seq.), the Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to promulgate standards and other requirements regarding the humane handling, care, treatment, and transportation of certain animals by dealers, research facilities, exhibitors, and carriers and intermediate handlers.

We propose to amend the Animal Welfare regulations to reflect our policy of regulating only wholesale dealers of dogs intended for hunting, breeding, or security purposes. As such, this action would not result in any changes to our operations. We currently help ensure the humane handling, care, and treatment of hunting, breeding, and security dogs through the licensing and inspection of wholesale dealers of these types of dogs; we regulate these dealers under the same regulations in place for wholesale dealers of other types of dogs.

To comply with our current policy and the regulations, wholesale dealers of dogs intended for hunting, breeding, or security purposes incur costs for licensing, as well as other expenses. The costs of licensing for affected dealers include an annual application fee of $10 and an annual class “A” license fee based on 50 percent of total gross sales or compensation from leased animals. License fee amounts are determined according to ranges shown in Table 1 of 9 CFR part 2, § 2.6.

Among other costs incurred by wholesale dealers of hunting, breeding, and security dogs are expenses related to veterinary care, tagging or tattoo marking for animal identification, recordkeeping, health certification of dogs commercially transported, and maintenance of appropriate facilities and operating standards (see 9 CFR part 3, subpart A). It is reasonable to assume, however, that many of these responsibilities are met by affected dealers simply as a matter of good business practice. When dealers satisfy the facilities and operating standards of the regulations by, for example, providing a safe and healthy environment (including appropriate heating, cooling and ventilation of the dogs' housing to adequate feeding and exercising programs), those dealers are contributing to their dogs' eventual sale value. As another example, records of transactions can only further a wholesale dealer's business success. Therefore, it is in a dealer's financial interest to promote the health and well-being of his or her dogs in accordance with the regulations. However, if any wholesale dealers of hunting, breeding, or security dogs were not in compliance with the regulations in 9 CFR parts 2 and 3 prior to our policy announcement in July, they may have expenses related to these requirements. We do not have information at this time on the number of such dealers or what their expenses might be.

The purpose of this proposed rule is actually to remove regulatory requirements covering dealers who sell hunting, breeding, or security dogs at the retail level. Those dealers would experience no economic effects from this action since we have never enforced those provisions.

The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires that agencies consider the economic effects of rules on small entities. The Small Business Administration determines the criteria by which entities are classified as “small,” using Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) categories. Wholesale dealers of hunting, breeding, and security dogs are included within SIC category 0279, “Animal Specialties, Not Elsewhere Classified.” Small entities in this category are defined as ones with annual receipts of $0.5 million or less. Although data is not available on the number of wholesale dealers of hunting, breeding, and security dogs, or their incomes, it is presumed that the majority are small entities.

While a substantial number of affected dealers may be small entities, we expect that the effect of the proposed rule on these dealers would be insignificant because licensing and inspection requirements would remain the same. This action would simply make our regulations consistent with our policy and would, therefore, clarify licensing and inspection requirements for affected dealers of dogs intended for hunting, breeding, and security purposes.

The alternative to this proposed rule was to make no changes in the regulations. After consideration, we rejected this alternative since this action would make the regulations consistent with our policy to help ensure the humane handling, care, and treatment of hunting, breeding, and security dogs.

This proposed rule contains information collection and recordkeeping requirements. These requirements are described in this document under the heading “Paperwork Reduction Act.”

Executive Order 12988

This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. It is not intended to have retroactive effect. This rule would not preempt any State or local laws, regulations, or policies, unless they present an irreconcilable conflict with this rule. The Act does not provide administrative procedures which must be exhausted prior to a judicial challenge to the provisions of this rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

In accordance with section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the information collection or recordkeeping requirements included in this proposed rule have been submitted for approval to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Please send written comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for APHIS, Washington, DC 20503. Please state that your comments refer to Docket No. 99-087-1. Please send a copy of your comments to: (1) Docket No. 99-087-1, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, suite 3C03, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238, and (2) Clearance Officer, OCIO, USDA, room 404-W, 14th Street and Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250. A comment to OMB is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication of this proposed rule.

This proposed rule would make our regulations consistent with our policy. Under our policy, affected wholesale dealers of dogs intended for hunting, breeding, or security purposes are required to apply for an initial license; apply annually for license renewal; keep and maintain records (for at least 1 year) regarding each animal, including those purchased, acquired, transported, sold, or otherwise disposed of; complete a written program of veterinary care for animals; and provide a health certificate for animals moving interstate or leaving the country.

We are soliciting comments from the public (as well as affected agencies) concerning our proposed information collection and recordkeeping requirements. These comments will help us:

(1) Evaluate whether the proposed information collection is necessary for Start Printed Page 75637the proper performance of our agency's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility;

(2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

(3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

(4) Minimize the burden of the information collection on those who are to respond (such as through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology; e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses).

Estimate of burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average .34 hours per response.

Respondents: Certain wholesale dealers of dogs intended for hunting, breeding, or security purposes.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 5.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 6.4.

Estimated annual number of responses: 32.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 11 hours.

Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Mrs. Celeste Sickles, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 734-7477.

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List of Subjects in 9 CFR Part 1

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Accordingly, we propose to amend 9 CFR part 1 as follows:

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PART 1—DEFINITION OF TERMS

1. The authority citation for part 1 would be revised to read as follows:

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Authority: 7 U.S.C. 2131-2159; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.7.

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2. In § 1.1, the definition for “dealer” would be revised to read follows:

Definitions.
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Dealer means any person who, in commerce, for compensation or profit, delivers for transportation, or transports, except as a carrier, buys, or sells, or negotiates the purchase or sale of: Any dog or other animal whether alive or dead (including unborn animals, organs, limbs, blood, serum, or other parts) for research, teaching, testing, experimentation, exhibition, or for use as a pet; or any dog at the wholesale level for hunting, security, or breeding purposes. This term does not include: A retail pet store, as defined in this section, unless such store sells any animals to a research facility, an exhibitor, or a dealer (wholesale); any retail outlet where dogs are sold for hunting, breeding, or security purposes; or any person who does not sell or negotiate the purchase or sale of any wild or exotic animal, dog, or cat and who derives no more than $500 gross income from the sale of animals other than wild or exotic animals, dogs, or cats, during any calendar year.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 29th day of November 2000.

Bobby R. Acord,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-30765 Filed 12-1-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-34-U