Say What?

aphisThat’s what the government told us! The same government that had an open comment period for concerned citizens to offer their opinion on the proposed new APHIS regulations. They heard from every segment of the population and made exactly ZERO changes to their new proposed regulations, and then told us just to call them and describe our situation and they would tell us whether we fell under these regulations, Well, “Yeah, umm… NO! Do you really think I can trust you?”

Of course I can’t! The USDA has become overrun with Animal Rights Extremists and Terrorists, so if their mission is to outlaw animal usage by humans, do I really think they would apply logic, science or even a common sense approach to dog breeders?

One of the sticklers, for me, is the very lack of definition of “breeding females.” One would think, hope and expect that an agency of the Government would provide clear directives and definitions to the regulations they impose on those they are charged with regulating, but if they did that, it would be so much harder to catch unsuspecting, and well-meaning, individuals in those “gotcha” moments that could ruin the lives of its tax-paying citizens. (You know, those tax-paying citizens that pay their salaries.) BUT, they have zero definition of what a breeding female is. It could be any female of any species that is not surgically altered, but they won’t just say that. They tell you to call them and they will make a case-by-case decision. Say what?

I will use a real life example of a friend of mine: Say person Z is a dog breeder and has 20 dogs, 3 cats, 5 chickens, 2 Nigerian Dwarf goats and 3 horses. Now, of those 33 animals on Person Z’s farm, 22 are genetically female. This person would fall under APHIS if they ever place an animal sight unseen– even if they send a dog across the country to their cousin, their FAMILY!
Now, let’s take a closer look at those 24 females: 5 are hens. There is no rooster, so no breeding would be taken place, but technically they “could” be bred! 2 are ancient goat does! There is no buck, so no breeding would be taking place, but technically they “could” be bred! 2 are horses (mares) and of those 2, only 1 SHOULD or WOULD ever be bred. The other has too many health issues to even attempt to list, but she technically “could” be bred. 1 is a cat, and is spayed, so she can’t count as “breedable.” 14 are dogs (bitches). {Now, remember, this person is a hobby/ show breeder} Of those 14, A, B, and C are 12 years old or older and spayed because of pyometras and in their lifetimes they have combined to produce exactly 2 litters for a total of 3 puppies. D is 9 y.o. and has produced a total of 1 litter of 2 puppies in her lifetime. E is 9 y.o. and has never been bred and currently has T-cell lymphoma. F is 9 y.o. and has never been bred. G, H and I are 8 y.o. and have never been bred and didn’t pass a couple of their health clearances so wouldn’t be bred. J is 7 y.o. and didn’t pass a couple of her clearances and would never be bred. K is 6 y.o. and has passed EVERY health clearance and has been bred ONCE producing 4 puppies. L is 3 y.o. and had 1 litter producing 3 puppies. M is 2 y.o. and didn’t pass a couple of her health tests so she would not be bred. N is just coming 2 y.o. and has yet to finish her health tests. So, according to the term breedable, A, B, and C don’t count, but D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M and N do. That is more than 5, even though D, E, F, G, H, I, J and M haven’t been or wouldn’t be bred, leaving only K, L and N that as a hobby/ show breeder they would possibly breed. So, out of the 11 that are technically breedable, only 3 would possibly be. Add that to the possible breeding of 1 of the livestock animals (the healthy mare) this individual has, in any common-sense/ logical interpretation 4 breedable females.

But, what do you suppose the powers-that-be would say if this person picked up the phone and called the government and explained their situation? Does any logical person living in reality think the government would say, “Oh, don’t worry about APHIS, it doesn’t apply to you!” Of course NOT! They would demand to come onto the property and inspect and make their own determination. Question: When did Animal Ownership equate to invasion of privacy by the Government? What probable cause would they have to search and inspect such a person’s property? And if they can search theirs, what is to stop them from “inspecting” yours?


6 thoughts on “Say What?

  1. Totally agree with your point about the vagueness of the definition of breeding females, but you are incorrect in the species, which are defined. The livestock are not regulated under the referenced laws and regulations. Of the animals you mentioned, only the dogs and cats would be included. Problem enough to be sure, but we do need to be accurate on our end when discussing the issue, not adding to the confusion.

    • That change is actually relatively recent. I actually contacted my lawyer to double check your assertion. He told me that originally, APHIS and the Pet Store Rule included the livestock, but it was later revised because of uproar. It is notable, that the uproar of the pet-breeding community did nothing to change the propoded rules at they were institued without any changes, even after tens of thousands of comments during the open comment period.

  2. but those female dogs that did not pass health tests, did not produce the puppies the breeder wanted, etc., etc., should have been spayed. The risk of pyometra is not only an issue, but the cost of a ‘dirty’ spay – as is spaying female w/ an infected uterus will be 2-3 times the cost of a non complicated surgery, plus the potential to loose the dog anyway. Agree basically with all you say about the USDA, they don’t have a clue about breeding dogs/cats, but horses fall under a different regulation, as does all livestock, birds and reptiles — but if the children had a Female Hamster, Gerbil, Rabbit, Rat, etc. that would be ‘counted’ as ‘breeding female’.

    • To spay simply because there is no intent to breed doesn’t play in my performance athlete dog book. For me, the disadvantages of spaying far outweigh the relatively minor risk of pyo.

    • The horse, if bred, could fall under different regulations, but only if bred and in this case, WOULD qualify to be counted as a breeding female to the dog breeder. Why? The author explains: lack of definition of breeding female in the administrative rule. I can’t figure out why they have left this out yet. Beyond the typical ‘gotcha’ that the anti-breeding zealots placed high up in USDA/APHIS, such as Sarah L. Conant, chief of inspections for APHIS, could very well want in there. Say WHAT? Please do, we need people to realize what’s going on.

      And there is also this other thing about spaying, very troublesome. It’s the one about allowing animal owners to make their own decisions about the health care for their animals, in consultation with their veterinarian. I hope you aren’t someone who believes in mandatory spay neuter – or are you? There is an avalanche of studies being completed on the affects on health of altering our animals, and for dogs, we are being told that there is a longevity benefit and cancer prevention benefit of leaving our pets intact for as long as possible, recommended “middle age” according to the average lifespan of the breed. I’ve lived my entire life, almost 70 years, with intact dogs, and never once have I or my family been responsible for even one unintended pregnancy. About 25 years ago, when S/N was beginning to be pushed heavily as the answer (the only one, apparently) to the killing of unwanted dogs in shelters, I chose to spay my new puppy at 6 months, that magic age when it MUST be done! Up until that girl, I had never altered a dog, they all died intact of old age. That sweet bitch, though, became the poster child for the negative effects of early spay – no functioning thyroid by age 4.5, a cruciate ligament tear that ended a nationally ranked tournament agility career at age 8, and death by hemangiosarcoma at age 10.5. I no longer will spay or neuter a dog without good reason until they reach at least middle age. It’s my decision, and my vet’s very strong recommendation. If I were a breeder, I see no reason to put my dogs’ future health at risk to please the government.

  3. To spay based simply on lack of intent to breed doesn’t play well in my performance athlete dog book. The disadvantages brought on by spay/elimination of critical hormones far outweighs the relatively minor risk of pyo, imo. And why should we need to be rushing to spay all of our females to avoid Big Brither’s attention? That’s insane.

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