Raleigh, N.C. — A bipartisan group of House lawmakers filed a bill Thursday that would define the standards of care large commercial dog breeders must provide to their dogs.
"This bill will create standards under our animal cruelty statute so that animal control officers will have some tools when they go into these facilities with unscrupulous breeders," said Kim Alboum, state director of the Humane Society of the U.S., which is backing the measure.
It's a pretty limited toolbox. House Bill 930 is a very modest bill compared to others that failed in recent sessions. It would not require breeders to register, be licensed or submit to regular inspections.
The bill would only require breeders with 10 or more breeding females to provide their dogs with the basics.
"This bill will define housing, and it will define food, water and necessary veterinary care – just very simple responsible care for animals in breeding facilities," Alboum said.
Breeders found to be in violation of the requirements laid out in the bill could be charged with a misdemeanor and fined anywhere from $25 to $1,000.
Under current law, the vast majority of dog breeding operations who sell to the public in North Carolina are not regulated by either the state or federal government.
"We hope that all parties can be happy with it," Alboum said. "It's been a four-year battle to get to this point of this compromise bill. We just hope that this bill will move forward this year."
The sponsors of the measure are Rep. Jason Saine, R-Lincoln, Rep. Nathan Ramsey R-Buncombe, Rep. Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson, and Rep. Rayne Brown, R-Davidson. Rep. Pricey Harrison, D-Guilford, is co-sponsor.