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Bill would regulate commercial dog breeders


A bill in the Michigan Senate would put tighter restrictions on large-scale dog breeders.

The legislation is aimed at preventing puppy mills in which breeders keep dogs in cages, producing litter after litter.

State Sen. Steven Bieda, D-Warren, says large-scale breeders aren't currently regulated by any state entity.

He says the bill would require the breeders to register with the Department of Agriculture.

"The bill would insure the breeders follow the existing standards of care for pet stores and shelters, and mandate the animals be kept in humane conditions," Bieda says. "This bill defines any business with more than 15 intact females meant for breeding as a large-scale breeder. It would also limit the number of female breeding dogs to 50 per facility."

The measure also requires that breeders provide vaccinations, parasite treatment and health certificates signed by a veterinarian and prohibits the sale of puppies less than eight weeks old.

Bieda says Michigan is surrounded by states that already monitor large-scale breeders, including Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.

"There is a concern that some of these large breeding establishments will transfer to Michigan," Bieda says.

The bill has several other provisions. It clarifies stray animal holding periods for animal shelters and requires stray animals with current traceable identification to be held for seven days while the owners are contacted.