Well, the animal rights wingnuts in the state of Illinois are at it again.
If you have ever sold or given away an animal and you live in Illinois, pay attention.
Or, if you ever hope to be able to buy or be gifted with a pet in Illinois, pay attention...
... because if this piece of excrement passes, there won't be anyone left in the state who's willing to breed or sell anything:
Received from NAIA -- Subject: Illinois HB 707 -- Breeder licensing and more --
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This bill HB 707, would amend the Illinois Animal Welfare Act to replace the term 'pet shop operator' with 'animal caretaker.' If you sell or give away an animal, that's you! There is NO HOBBY BREEDER exemption. Sell, transfer or give away an animal and you and the Pet Shops are all together! Check out the text of the bill and notice what has been added and what has been cut out!
An animal caretaker must be licensed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture and the Department may inspect an AC's premises. Punishments are increased. 'Hoarder,' already defined very broadly is made even worse by further broadening the definition; basically this would let you be charged as a hoarder if you had more than one animal and someone thinks you are not keeping it in good conditions.
The bill itself is here.
What the bill says:
1. An 'animal caretaker' is defined as anyone who sells or offers to sell, exchange or adopt either with or without charge or donation, dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles or anything that is customarily a pet.
2. "No person shall engage in business as an animal caretaker ... without a license issued by the Department [of Agriculture]." If you breed a litter of dogs, cats, birds or any other 'customary' pet, once a year, count on it, you need a license.
The license fee is $25/year License applications will require at least "... age, citizenship, present residence, location of the business licensed under this Act, including the location of all foster homes, description of facilities to be used, present and previous business connections and experience, bank and professional references, whether any license of the applicant under this Act or any federal, state, county or local law, ordinance or regulation, relating to dealing in or handling dogs or cats, ever was suspended or revoked and whether the applicant ever has been convicted of a felony."
3. Animal caretakers must provide the following info for every *dog or cat* available for sale: age, sex, weight, breed, record of vaccinations and vet care/treatment, sterilization or lack thereof, name/address of breeder, name/address of everyone who has owned the animal between birth and this sale.
4. Animal caretakers must provide the usual good care requirements, also vet care at least once a year (sounds like a $50 well pet visit to me) and a 'stimulating and enriching environment.' This is not defined.
5. "Inspection of the premises of licensee to determine compliance with this Act may be made only by the Department." However the department won't have the manpower to actually *do* the inspections of everyone who sells a pet so most likely the actual inspections would be done by local animal control as designated agents of the Department.
6. There are special requirements for birds: "'Good quality, wholesome food' means that prescribed by an Avian veteriniarian" and "'Stimulating and enriching environment' for birds includes but is not limited to, a variety of toys, perches of different sizes materials, and full-spectrum lighting." Got that, bird folks?
7. Violations of any part of the Animal Welfare Act or any regulation or order of the Department are upgraded from a Class C misdemeanor (up to 30 days in jail and/or up to a $1500 fine) to Class A (up to a year in jail and/or up to a $2500 fine).
8. The existing definition of 'hoarder' is changed so that instead of being a person who keeps a "*large number* of animals" in poor conditions, it's just a person who keeps "*a number* of animals" in such conditions. A second offense of hoarding is a Class 4 felony (one to three years in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000) and *every day that the violation continues is a separate offense*.
The bill is slated for a hearing in the Agriculture & Conservation Committee Hearing Feb 16 2005 2:00PM Stratton Building Room D-1 Springfield, IL
Members of the Committee can be found at http://www.ilga.gov/house/committees/members.asp?committeeID=209. Call, write, fax or email all work well.
It's a pretty sad state of affairs when the state government cares so much more for our companion animals than it does for child welfare, the homeless or the elderly.