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Legislation

IMPORTANT DOG LEGISLATION

2-22-2017

AKC - Missouri: Support Bill to Prohibit Breed-Specific Laws, in Committee:

Missouri: Support Bill to Prohibit Breed-Specific Laws, in Committee Tomorrow (2/22)

February 21, 2017
www.akc.org/government-relations/legislative-alerts/mo-hb905-house-hearing


The Missouri House Local Government Committee will consider a bill tomorrow (Wednesday, February 22), that seeks to protect the rights of responsible dog owners in Missouri by prohibiting municipalities from enacting breed-specific policies.  It would also void any current local breed-specific policies or regulations in the state.  

Municipalities would still be permitted to protect public health and safety by enacting other policies (including policies for at-large dogs), so long as these laws do not target specific breeds.

All who reside or participate in dog events in Missouri are encouraged to contact the House Local Government Committee prior to tomorrow's hearing and ask them to support House Bill 905.

Talking Points:

The AKC supports House Bill 905, which protects the rights of dog owners while still allowing communities to enact laws that hold all owners accountable.  Seventeen states currently have laws that prohibit breed-specific legislation.  Visit the Breed-Specific/Dangerous Dog Laws page in the AKC Legislative Action Center for more talking points on this issue.

What You Can Do:

All who reside or participate in dog events in Missouri are encouraged to contact the House Local Government Committee prior to tomorrow's hearing and ask them to support House Bill 905:

Rep. Lyndall Fraker (Chair)
Phone:  573-751-3819
E-Mail:  [email protected]

Rep. Tom Hannegan (Vice Chair)
Phone:  573-751-3717
E-Mail:  [email protected]

Rep. Joe Adams (Ranking Minority Member)
Phone:  573-751-4265
E-Mail:  [email protected]

Rep. Donna Baringer
Phone:  573-751-4220
E-Mail:  [email protected]

Rep. Rick Brattin
Phone:  573-751-3783
E-Mail:  [email protected]

Rep. Ingrid Burnett
Phone:  573-751-3310
E-Mail:  [email protected]

Rep. Derek Grier
Phone:  573-751-9765
E-Mail:  [email protected]

Rep. Jay Houghton

Phone:  573-751-3649
E-Mail:  [email protected]

Rep. John McCaherty
Phone:  573-751-3751
E-Mail:  [email protected]

Rep. Dave Muntzel
Phone:  573-751-0169
E-Mail:  [email protected]

Rep. Rob Vescovo
Phone:  573-751-3607
E-Mail:  [email protected]

Rep. Fred Wessels
Phone:  573-751-0438
E-Mail:  [email protected]

Rep. Kenneth Wilson
Phone:  573-751-9760
E-Mail:  [email protected]

AKC Government Relations will continue to closely monitor this legislation and provide more information as it becomes available.  For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at (919) 816-3720 or [email protected].

12-29-16: 

RESOLUTION 2 —2017

Regular Winter Session

Submitted by—Board of Directors

Policy on Inherited Disorders in Responsible Breeding of Companion Animals

RESOLVED, that the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) House of Delegates

approve the policy on Inherited Disorders in Responsible Breeding of Companion Animals as

shown below.

Inherited Disorders in Responsible Breeding of Companion Animals

The AVMA supports the responsible breeding of companion animals such that only animals

without deleterious inherited disorders are selected for breeding. Companion animals exhibiting

inherited characteristics that negatively affect the animal’s health and welfare should not be

bred, as those characteristics and related problems are likely to be passed on to their progeny.

This would include inherited conditions such as brachycephalic syndrome, some joint diseases,

bone deformation (e.g., radial hypoplasia “twisty cats”, munchkin), heart and eye conditions, or

poor temperament (e.g., Springer rage syndrome). The AVMA encourages veterinarians to

educate breeders, pet owners and the public on the responsibilities involved with breeding and

selecting pets to ensure that they are not contributing to poor welfare issues.

Statement about the Resolution

snipped

 This policy

focuses on opposing the intentional or careless breeding of characteristics that have the

potential to negatively impact the animal’s health and welfare (e.g., brachycephalic syndrome,

munchkin) and recognizing responsible breeding of animals includes direct efforts to detect and

avoid passing on known inherited disorders (e.g., hip dysplasia in large breed dogs; mitral valve

disease in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels).

3-24-2015: IL Alert: Bill Increasing Regulations, Fees for Breeders to be Considered Tomorrow (3/25)

March 24, 2015

The Illinois Senate Licensed Activities and Pensions Committee is considering a bill tomorrow (Wednesday, March 25) that would require anyone who owns at least 6 female dogs to provide proof of zoning compliance and significantly increase their license fees. 

Illinois residents are strongly encouraged to contact the committee prior to noon tomorrow (3/25) and express your concerns with Senate Bill 108 as currently written. 

Summary:

Current law in Illinois defines a “kennel operator” as anyone who owns, has possession of, or harbors at least 6 female dogs “capable of reproduction”.  All who meet the current definition must be licensed by the state. 

Under Senate Bill 108, the application for a license must include several new requirements, including providing proof of zoning compliance.  Zoning regulations vary widely and are normally determined by local governments.  This could potentially require those who keep just a few dogs in their home to obtain expensive business licenses in order to prove compliance. 

Among other provisions, SB 108 would also amend the definition of “kennel operator” to include situations where animals are kept overnight for a fee or compensation and the number of dogs then meets the threshold in current law. 

The bill also significantly increases the application and renewal fees for kennel operator licenses, and requires the Illinois Department of Agriculture to automatically refuse a license for any infraction, rather than allowing the department to weigh situations on a case-by -case basis.

Contact the Senate Licensed Activities and Pensions Committee:

Respectfully contact the members of the committee prior to tomorrow’s meeting at 1:00 pm and express your concerns with Senate Bill 108 as introduced.  If you are a constituent, please be sure to mention that when calling:

Iris Y. Martinez, Chair (Dist. 20- Chicago)
Phone: (217) 782-8191

Emil Jones III, Vice Chair (Dist. 14- Chicago)
Phone: (217) 782-9573

Darin LaHood, Minority Spokesperson (Dist. 37 - Peoria)
Phone: (217) 782-1942

Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (Dist. 49 – Plainfield)
Phone: (217) 782-0052

Gary Forby (Dist. 59 – Benton)
(217) 782-5509

William Haine (Dist. 56- Alton)
(217) 782-5247

Napoleon Harris III (Dist. 15- Harvey)
Phone: (217) 782-8066

Toi Hutchinson (Dist. 40 – Chicago Heights)
Phone: (217) 782-7419

Martin Sandoval (Dist. 11- Cicero)
Phone: (217) 782-5304

Pamela Althoff (Dist. 32- McHenry)
Phone: (217) 782-8000

Jason Barickman (Dist. 53- Bloomington)
Phone: (217) 782-6597

Michael Connelly (Dist. 21- Wheaton)
Phone: (217) 782-8192

 

11-11-2014  The APHIS Lawsuit:

The Judgement:

http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/district-of-columbia/dcdce/1:2013cv01982/163615/39

 

HSUS:

http://www.humanesociety.org/news/news_briefs/2014/11/court-tosses-puppy-mill-lawsuit-110714.html

 

KODA:

http://www.keepourdomesticanimals.com/

 

9-24-2014

SPECIAL REPORT-HSUS TAKING ACTION FOR ANIMALS 2014

SAOVA Friends,

The HSUS annual conference Taking Action for Animals (TAFA) was held June 27-30, 2014 in Washington DC.  HSUS describes the conference as one that promotes “mainstream solutions” and provides attendees education to become a better advocate for animals.   In other words, TAFA serves as a huge pep rally for animal rightists to connect, bolster their morale, and in the words of HSUS: “recharge their batteries.”  In his conference speech Wayne Pacelle told the audience, “TAFA is an attempt to attract the elite in the animal protection movement to help train you and educate you so then you can fan out all over the country and spread these messages and heighten your own level of effectiveness as an advocate.”

The various conference speakers included many of the old guard from the animal rights industry:  Gene Bauer and Bruce Friedrich (Farm Sanctuary); Carole Baskin (Big Cat Rescue); Sara Amundson (Humane Society Legislative Fund); Keith Dane (HSUS Equine Protection); Jonathan Lovvorn (HSUS VP Animal Protection and Litigation); Nancy Perry (Sr. VP Government Relations, ASPCA).

Nick Cooney and Nathan Runkle from Mercy for Animals (MFA) were also among the speakers.  MFA is probably best known for their undercover videos of animal agriculture which Runkle calls the “lifeblood” of the organization. MFA considers itself part of a “social justice” movement where portraying production agriculture as harsh and cruel will move people toward a vegan diet. 

Although not her first appearance, a newer face at TAFA was Lisa Fletcher, host of “The Stream” on Al Jazeera America and wife of Wayne Pacelle, who describes herself as a friend to all animals and vegan food maniac.  You may remember reading recently that Fletcher provided a platform for longtime radical activist Paul Shapiro, HSUS VP on Farm Animal Protection, on a segment of her show covering new USDA regulations.

Other TAFA scheduled speakers included, State Rep. Eddie Lucio III (TX); Jill Kline (Education and Advocacy Manager, Wisconsin Humane Society); Christine Coughlin (Pres. Minnesota Voters for Animal Protection); and Nicole Paquette (VP, HSUS Wildlife Protection/former Texas State Director).

TAFA also offered a series of workshops for the attendees.

“Becoming a Political Animal” workshop was moderated by HSUS director and former member of Animal Liberation Front, John Goodwin. Presenters included former state senator Roy Afflerbach (PA); Matt Dominguez, HSUS Public Policy Manager Farm Animal Protection; and Wayne Pacelle. Workshop attendees were instructed on effective lobbying at all levels of government from city council to Congress.

“Giving Farm Animals a Voice” workshop presenters included Erica Meier, Executive Director, Compassion Over Killing, and Kristie Middleton, Corporate Outreach Manager, HSUS Farm Animal Protection who shared strategies for effectively waging initiatives against farm animal cruelty.

Kelly Peterson, HSUS Senior Vice President for State Affairs moderated a workshop with former and current legislators to teach activists what “humane legislators” need to hear in order to pass animal protection laws.  The discussion panel included Delegate Eric Luedtke (MD); Representative Diana Urban (CT); and former Tennessee state Representative Eric Swafford, now HSUS Director for Rural Outreach and Development. We will cover this portion of the conference in more detail in a later article.

THE HSUS PLAN AND PROGRAMS

When Pacelle addressed the audience his speech centered on the four policy sections that HSUS uses to break down the animal protection movement. They are: Public Education and Awareness; Hands on Caring; Corporate Reform and Corporate Policy; and Public Policy and Enforcement.

Pacelle noted it is now a universal value in our society to oppose cruelty to animals.  With anti-cruelty statutes in every state carrying felony penalties it reinforces the fact that people who are cruel to animals are going to pay a price to society, either with incarceration or fines.  Pacelle continued, “That is the meaningful sort of legal framework for us to build upon.” 

As part of the HSUS “hands-on” programs, teams of staff and volunteers are assembled for disaster response, animal rescue, and for animal fighting and puppy mill cases.  According to Pacelle, HSUS can leverage images from these programs to raise public awareness that animals are in crisis situations every day across the country.

Pacelle then covered the third portion which is Corporate Reform.  Pacelle stated, “We live in a capitalist society where corporations produce the products that so many of us consume. They employ millions and millions of people. We want them as part of their broader mission of social responsibility to include animal welfare. We ask them to try to reach a higher standard. So this is where the anti-animal testing policies come in and the no gestation crate policies. This is vital work for us and we in HSUS spend a tremendous amount of time on it.”’

The final segment of Pacelle’s speech, which focused on Public Policy and Enforcement, should be a major wakeup call for everyone on how far the HSUS tentacles continue to invade our communities pretending to dispense mainstream values.

Pacelle introduced this segment saying that laws in a civil society are not only designed to keep order but to reflect the values which are basic to society.  The laws are not designed to change everybody; they are designed to deal with those who are increasingly viewed as (moral) outliers in society. The law addresses these outlier cases of people who are engaging in conduct that is no longer acceptable. The conduct may have been acceptable at one point, but it is no longer acceptable today.  Pacelle reminded listeners that it is up to them to advance social progress for animals just like the other great causes of civil rights, anti-slavery, and women's rights.

He then announced that HSUS now had State Councils in place in half the states in order to expand the HSUS reach and support HSUS state directors.  The councils cover equine and farm animal protection, law enforcement, faith, and park animal protection and HSUS plans to have these councils in all 50 states.  Pacelle informed the audience that these structures were being created to empower those committed to the animal rights industry and to advance the ideals of social reform.  He reminded listeners that social reform is not perfectly linear with consistent forward progress.  Felony and increased animal cruelty penalties, ending use of gestation crates, corporations enacting animal welfare policies sometimes move a step or two forward toward progress and then a step back.  To quote Pacelle, “That's the nature of a social movement -- especially when you've got big adversaries.”

We may be used to the animal rights rhetoric and vegan agenda; however the really disturbing part of this new “structure” plan is the HSUS District Leader Program now in place.  This program is designed to engage people in all 435 Congressional Districts and have those District Leaders lead political efforts to advance federal legislation by concentrating on influencing members of Congress.

Below is the ambitious position description for a District Leader as posted on the HSUS website.

The purpose is to help HSUS advance and accelerate animal protection priorities for companion animals, farm animals, and wildlife with legislation at the local, state, and federal levels.  Under the guidance of HSUS staff, the Leader is to develop an action plan for successful completion of one goal related to Legislative Advocacy; one goal for protection of Companion Animals, Eating with a Conscience, or Wildlife Protection; and one goal related to growing the “movement.”  The Leader is also expected to participate in the state Humane Lobby Day.  The Leaders are expected to organize grassroots activities, attend community events and meetings, and will be given a 'Toolkit' with program ideas.

Qualifications for District Leader positions include a commitment to the mission of HSUS; willingness to cultivate strong relationships with elected officials and lawmakers; and willingness to recruit new members, among other requirements and abilities.  It should be noted that these are volunteer positions and HSUS membership or greater philanthropic commitment is required.

Pacelle explained to listeners that this new structure being developed for the District Leader program was very important.  It is not just political.  The Leaders will work with school districts to establish Meatless Mondays; connect with small farmers to unite them against “factory farms;” work with animal shelters on spay/neuter initiatives in the community.  The program is designed to build an army in every community in the United States and it is well underway.

In addition to the District Leaders, HSUS plans to include within this framework County Leaders in all 3,100 counties across the U.S.  Quoting Pacelle, “Our ambition is to have thousands and thousands of people involved.  If we get this done, we’re going to be hell on wheels.”

PLEASE CROSS POST WIDELY

The world not only belongs to those who show up, it's controlled by the best informed and most motivated. Cross posting is encouraged.

Susan Wolf

Sportsmen's & Animal Owners' Voting Alliance

Working to Identify and Elect Supportive Legislators

[email protected]  or [email protected]

 

4-28-2014:

Missouri Senate To Consider Prohibiting BSL on MONDAY (April 28)

 

April 25, 2014

http://www.akc.org/news/index.cfm?article_id=5449

 

The Missouri Senate has just scheduled floor debate for the Senate version of the bill to prohibit Missouri counties and municipalities from enacting breed-specific legislation.   All current breed-specific ordinances in the state would also be voided.

 

Those who reside or participate in dog events in Missouri are strongly encouraged to contact the Missouri Senate and ask them to SUPPORT Senate Bill 865.

 

Use the Missouri State Senate’s “Legislator Lookup” link to enter your zip code and find the name and contact information for your State Representative.  Contact information for the full Missouri State Senate may be found here. 

 

Talking Points:

 

The AKC supports Senate Bill 865, which protects the rights of dog owners while still allowing communities to enact dangerous dog laws that hold all owners accountable.  Fifteen states currently have laws that prohibit breed-specific legislation (BSL), and two additional states have already passed legislation this year to enact similar prohibitions on BSL.

 

This bill is virtually identical to House Bill 1116, which is pending on the House floor.

 

Read AKC talking points on breed-specific legislation Read AKC Issue Analysis "Why Breed-Specific Legislation Doesn't Work"

View AKC’s Position Statement: “Dangerous Dog” Control Legislation

 

AKC Government Relations will continue to closely monitor this legislation and provide more information as it becomes available.  For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at (919) 816-3720 or [email protected].

 

4-16-2014:

Missouri House Could Discuss Prohibiting BSL As Soon As TODAY!

April 16, 2014
http://www.akc.org/press_center/article.cfm?article_id=5430

AKC Government Relations has just learned that the Missouri House of Representatives could have floor debate as soon as TODAY (April 16) on House Bill 1116 – a bill that would prohibit localities from regulating specific breeds of dogs.  Any existing ordinances and regulations would be voided.  After floor debate, the bill will be scheduled for a vote in the House. 

This bill has become very controversial and it is important that Representatives hear positive, respectful messages encouraging them to support this important legislation.  During the floor debate, an amendment will likely be offered to allow certain localities to enact mandatory spay/neuter policies for specific breeds.  The AKC opposes this amendment. 

Those who reside or participate in dog events in Missouri are strongly encouraged to contact the Missouri House of Representatives and ask them to support House Bill 1116 as currently written.

Use the Missouri House of Representative’s “Find my legislator” link to enter your zip code and find the name and contact information for your State Representative.  Contact information for the full Missouri House of Representatives may be found here.  

Talking Points:

The AKC supports House Bill 1116, which protects the rights of dog owners while still allowing communities to enact dangerous dog laws that hold all owners accountable.  Fifteen states currently have laws that prohibit breed-specific legislation (BSL), and two additional states have already passed legislation this year to enact similar prohibitions on BSL.

2-20-2014 Iowa Alert: Onerous Breeder Bill Passes Committee - Contact the Senate TODAY
2-18-2014 Iowa Alert: Your Opposition needed on Anti-Breeder Bill SF 2166

A bill recently introduced in the Iowa Senate would likely have an extremely damaging impact on small breeders and fanciers and further prevent them from participating in traditional rescue activities.
http://www.akc.org/press_center/article.cfm?article_id=5310

1-31-2014 APHIS UPDATE:

NO permission to share!, as there are assumptions here, and I do not want assumptions to be out there as fact as so often happens :-(  .

 

Many of you have probably seen, either on Facebook or on one of the yahoo lists, that there was a paragraph relating to USDA/APHIS and the Retail Pet Store Regs, stuck in the 2014 Farm bill. 

That bill was passed by the House and will probably be passed by the Senate soon.

On one of the thousands of pages, there was a tiny bit that was very important to Dog and Cat breeders. 

It still needs to be sorted out, but following is the least complicated explanation of it. 

It is my supposition and ONLY my supposition that there was some work being done by insiders. 

Maybe USDA/APHIS was the one that got this stuck in there.

They saw a flaw (and was pointed out by thousands of unhappy breeders), had help in seeing the flaw by some inside work, and got a friendly Congress Member to add it.

 

From Animal Legal Resources, a Wisconsin law firm that works FOR dog owners.

ALR has some interesting news to report today:

 As many of you know, we at ALR have been strong supporters of the AKC, UKC and NAIA lobby efforts in promoting causes and expressing concerns of the hobby breeding community especially in response to the changes in the APHIS regulations pertaining to licensing dog dealers.

We see some encouraging signs that those efforts have been productive in language incorporated in the Conference Committee Report on the reconciliation process engaged in by Congress during the process of passing the recent Farm Bill.

The USDA derives its authority to regulate from Congress.

The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) is the law that creates the authority for the Secretary of Agriculture to regulate certain activities including some sales of pets and use of animals in exhibition.

In the recent Farm Bill Congress amended the AWA with the addition of the following language “that a dealer or exhibitor shall not be required to obtain a license as a dealer or exhi  bitor under this Act if the size of business is determined by the Secretary to be de minimus.”

Adding exhibition to the de minimus exclusions to those who should not be required to obtain licenses.

The magician who has one bunny as a portion of his act won’t now need a USDA license to continue to do his magic act.

The Congressional Committee in their report to Congress also made reference to the recently enacted rules pertaining to hobby dog and cat breeders who have four or fewer breeding females.

The committee recognized the confusion in the industry with the USDA definition of breeding female and made the following statement in their report.

“The Managers urge APHIS to clarify that only those female animals capable of reproduction AND ACTIVELY BEING USED in a breeding program qualify as breeding females.”

We believe that statement was in response to many breeders concerns that show dogs capable of breeding are not used actively in a breeding program and animals too young  to complete health testing or screenings prior to entering a breeding program are not considered breeding females by hobby breeders.

We applaud the efforts of organizations and those individual breeders who took the time to contact their legislators about their concerns.

While this language in the report has not yet been adopted by the USDA, we believe the strong urging by Congress will push the agency into adopting such a definition quickly.

It does not require a rule change to do so. We will keep you updated as to how the USDA will address this urging by Congress.

 

An Opinion on APHIS by a Whippet breeder:

Sent: Thu, Dec 5, 2013 10:32 pm

Subject: An answer to AKC 'Perspectives' (for Delegates) article on new APHI

 

As many of us know, an article appearing in the December issue of the AKC's 'Perspectives' (for Delegates) newsletter discusses the new APHIS rule in considerable detail. This newsletter is available ONLY to AKC Delegates; permission to make this article public was denied based on grounds that Delegates should have time to discuss it with their (AKC member) clubs, first.

 

That has left me with two unsatisfactory choices:

 

1. Agree that (to paraphrase an old saying) 'Oh, don't worry' should have a greater head start in the round-the-world race before the truth is allowed to start tying its shoes; or,

 

2. Post a response now even though most people won't be able immediately to read the article.

 

I have chosen #2 and encourage interested pet breeders and other owners to seek out and read a copy of the article itself. If you're a member of an AKC member club, your delegate has access and is supposed to be discussing it with you. This is the best general writing I've seen on the details of the rule and this discussion is one that the pet fancy -- especially the hobby and small commercial dog breeder and dog lover -- urgently needs.

 

The title is "Now that the dust has settled," and the author is Sherry Wallis. While I have written this response to be as stand-alone as possible, it presents ONE side of the story and does not cover the details in the article itself: YOU SHOULD READ AND CONSIDER THE ARTICLE TOO.

 

This, from the middle of the first page shows the general problem with this article:

 

"Most hobby breeders can be exempt with just some slight adjustments to selling practices. Others may need to obtain a USDA license."

 

That's DEAD WRONG: Adjustments will be substantial for most breeders who try to comply without getting a USDA license and very few of those who can't make them will be able to get a license. The average 'adjustment' to this new rule will be partial compliance, dread and trying to hide; some breeders will be able to maintain that stance until they quit for other reasons, some will be unable to cope with the risks and will quit early, and a few will be busted and ruined.

 

The root of the problem is that the article relies throughout on APHIS STATEMENTS about what their new rule means rather than WHAT THE RULE ITSELF SAYS and THESE TWO THINGS ARE VERY DIFFERENT. Furthermore, APHIS has gone out of its way to confuse us by saying they'll figure things out as they go and by giving conflicting answers.

 

A government agency can say "our rule is not what we mean" but they cannot change its legal power by doing so and when (as in this case) the difference between 'what we mean' and 'our rule' is substantial you can count on getting whatever is worst sooner or later.

 

Furthermore there are two pro-regulation interest groups involved: The animal rights movement (which wants breeding of pets ended) and the large scale commercial breeders (who want small scale competitors costs to be increased). Both groups have plenty of money and are certain to sue USDA to compel enforcement to the letter of the rule if they think 'the letter' would be better for them.

 

The draft rule was published well over a year ago and during a public comment period of months there was detailed discussion of the problems. APHIS had the information, the power, and plenty of time: If they wanted to enforce a rule different than the original draft, why didn't they CHANGE THE RULE before final publication? Since they didn't change the rule, why would we assume that what they say about it now can be trusted?

 

A few examples of the problems:

 

1. The rule says that you can be exempt by selling all pets face to face from your own premises. APHIS says that it's okay to do the sale face to face somewhere else.

 

2. The rule says you're exempt if you breed and sell working dogs, dogs for breeding/preservation of bloodlines, for hunting and for certain other special purposes. APHIS says that this means you must intend selling them ALL for the stated purpose and that too many sales as pets could require them to investigate. How many would be 'too many'? They don't have a number and will have to "go case by case,"

i.e., make it up as they go along.

 

3. The rule says you're exempt if you keep four or fewer breeding females and sell only their offspring. APHIS says NOTHING that recognizes that hobby breeders routinely have a substantial number of intact females that will never be bred (or bred again) and all the signs are that an intact bitch that is beyond early puppyhood would be counted.

 

Furthermore, the number counted is those 'maintained.' APHIS has not clarified whether a handler who has a bitch to show over a weekend or bringing one back for return to her owner is 'maintaining' that animal and must therefore keep fewer of her own. How many bowls of kibble for a visitor would be 'maintaining'? Does it matter if your sister feeds and walks her two bitches herself while she is staying with you Christmas week?

 

We simply don't know if there can be a visiting bitch that doesn't count toward your limit.

 

What about the breeder who takes in a rescue not of her breeding? Or a 'puppy back' in lieu of a stud fee? The article mentions the breeder/rescuer problem but suggests only that one contact APHIS for guidance. They'll be glad to talk to you but good luck getting anything to hang your breeding program on.

 

4. APHIS has said both that the standards for in home breeder licensing are the same as those for a breeding kennel, and that enforcement will be adjusted for home breeders. Their recent publication of a handbook for inspectors that takes both sides of that hasn't made things better.

 

Nor are the issues limited to breeders: ANYONE who sells a pet animal she didn't breed must now do so face to face (or get licensed) even if she's a rescuer, a show handler, or just your Mom who picked up a litter of kittens from an abandoned barn. "Oh they would never enforce the rule against my Mom," right? Well, we both hope so. The handler?

Would one of the competitors she beat this weekend both know she shipped a stud fee puppy and be able to find the APHIS anonymous tip line number? Rescuers who never breed may be safe for a while -- or maybe not.

 

This only scratches the surface of the conflicts and vague information about the new rule. An additional level of confusion and danger comes from APHIS statements that inspectors will have broad discretion to interpret the rule. So the REAL rule you have to live with may depend on both who your inspector is and whether he likes you or not, and may change when you get a new inspector.

 

The broadest issue with this rule is: There is NO now-unlicensed small breeder in the U.S. who can at minimal cost be certain of compliance.

Those who rely on face-to-face will need to ditch some sales and raise the cost of others in whatever situations they would normally have made exceptions. Those who want to go with four-or-fewer will be unable to have a substantial ongoing program and will have to be fanatical about visitors and not reselling dogs they didn't breed.

Non-breeders who sell occasionally will need to decide how much risk they'll take with 'face to face but NOT on my premises' and adjust as enforcement changes. And most of the few who attempt licensing will be ground down by the constant risks and problems.

 

That "Now that the dust has settled" title would be a bad joke if it were funny. The TALK about a future rule has ended; the next phase is ENFORCMENT. This is just the BEGINNING.

 

THIS RULE IS A CATASTROPHE. We cannot predict how bad the consequences will be in January 2014, the next year, or the year after that because the timing is up to APHIS and their handlers at HSUS but all the tools are there: We would be fools to assume that they won't be used.

 

Experience with other HSUS-driven laws and regulations suggests they'll start out slowly but that movement toward no small scale home breeding will be steady, with fewer breeders each year than the year before and the pace of enforcement action tuned to maintain this 'progress' with minimum controversy. The complication is that the large commercial breeders have BUSINESSES that will profit from squashing small competitors as soon as possible; they might not be satisfied with 'slow but steady.'

 

The real answer is we don't know how rapidly this will go. All we can be sure of is the direction AND THAT BECAUSE LOST GENE POOLS, BLOODLINES, AND SKILLED BREEDERS ARE LOST FOREVER, COMING BACK WILL BE NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE.

November 19, 2013  (excerpts from a GSD list emails regarding APHIS clarification):

So do some still think they are not after us?

Looks like the "Plant Employees" and the  "this was a rule generated by political pressure from somewhere." are Care to guess who that "Political Someone is? 

They are ready, willing and able and are already doing their homework and having "Complaints" ready to process. And they say they are against slaughterhouse, just not breeder slaughter.

11-14-13

Here's a set of notes that were posted by [another list person] with permission to cross-post.

All the identifiable aspects have been removed. The original author works for USDA-APHIS and is also a hobby breeder.

*****************

I've been enjoying a wonderful break from email that started accidentally when I had to change the connection to my internet line, and had a delay in reconnecting. I tell you, it feels great to ignore email for a few weeks!

Looks like USDA became a hot topic again while I was gone. I spent last week in a regional USDA Animal Care meeting in MO, and the main topic of conversation by far was the retail pet rule. There is a lot I'm not supposed to talk about yet, but a few things were made pretty clear, and no one said they were confidential.

1) Right now, they have a group that has "self-reported" that they will need to be licensed under the new rule. They also have a stack of complaints on people that have been reported by others as needing to be now licensed. The stack of complaints is much higher than the stack of self reporters.

2) Initially (take note of that word), those complaints will generate a letter to the object of the complaint, asking if they need to be licensed. They will not be sending out inspectors to look into them. 

Initially. During the first round. At least, that was the party line. Later, it is clear they will be using the internet to help determine if someone needs licensing.

3) The definition of breeding bitch is animal that can be "physically bred". They said this was a huge question from hobby breeders, and the AKC, and that hobby breeders just didn't seem to "get" this point at all. Being a big mouth, I said it was USDA that didn't get it, that to a true show breeder, a bitch WASN'T a breeding animal until it had health clearances, was shown to be good enough to breed, and to many breeders, had finished its Championship. That you could not make assumptions based on commercial kennels. And I asked if someone could show 40 years of records showing they had never bred a bitch before 2 years of age, who was USDA to say a 1 year old bitch in that home was a breeding animal? I really don't think I made any progress, but at least one person fairly high up the food chain said I had given them something to think about, and that person may pursue it. Not holding my breath.

4) They have been thinking about the keeping animals in the house thing, and have prepared a document that will be posted soon offering guidelines to inspectors. Those guidelines will differ from the regs in some ways. It was the best thing I saw at the meeting (for what it's worth), in all the handouts. They said they will let us know when it is posted, so I will put it here when that happens.

5) They said they had heard every question, but I asked one they said was new. If a buyer's representative comes and completes the sale, can an exempt breeder then ship the puppy, vs the buyer's representative, without becoming an intermediate handler? Important to many of us, who have dealt with buyers who try to arrange their own shipping, vs doing it myself and getting it right, and doing it safely. They said they would get back to me on that one.

6) It was very, very, very clear that this was a rule generated by political pressure from somewhere. No one at this meeting was truly enthused about it (highest level there was the regional directors, no one from headquarters was present), and everyone recognized that there is still a lot about enforcing it that is to be determined. Even though it will be effective in a couple weeks. Oh, there was one inspector, I think from OH? MO? who was very gung ho, wanted to know why we weren't out there looking for people already, even though the rule wasn't even in place yet! She kept pushing and pushing.

7) At one point, someone said they had been told there would be 5,000 new breeder licensees in SoCal. I said no, they would have 5,000 breeders saying they are exempt! 5,000 is an exaggeration, anyway, I think.

Any puppy sold for breeding can be sold sight unseen. A very important point, if you are selling a puppy as a show prospect. And so many things can keep a puppy from ever being bred, yes? Even if anyone was doing follow ups years down the road?

9) It was a little confusing, as I was both "us" and "them", on both sides of the issue. I had to make it clear that I would not be personally affected by this rule, but was personally involved because of the community I belong to! I'm pretty sure some wished I had skipped the meeting.

This rule is going to have some benefits, in regulating some people who need it. The breeders who were so bad they dropped USDA licensing after fines and cases, and just sell over the internet using pictures they steal from breeders who do it right. Those people importing underage puppies from the Ukraine or Korea, and selling them in the airport parking lot. We just have to keep from being run over as collateral damage, or put out of business as a part of the intent by someone out there!

While I hope this email does not get forwarded willy-nilly, if you do have the irresistible urge to forward it, please take off my email addy. I don't need a ton of questions I can't answer without risking my job. That happened with another email I posted here.

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Subject: forgot one thing

They (those presenting a segment on rescuers) were shocked, absolutely surprised, when the subject of rehoming a dog came up. Couldn't believe that a breeder might get back a dog at 8 years of age THAT HAD BEEN BORN ON THEIR PREMISES and rehome it. The assumption was, no breeder ever takes back an older dog and finds it a new home. I found that very funny, and sad.

I hadn't realized that animals such as rabbits, ferrets and those little critters (even rats or snakes too!) include to be the 4 intact female across included species rule!

Wondering if that would include the mice trying to move in out on my porch for the winter...

>Not snakes.  But other small animals ONLY if you breed them and sell their offspring.  The Barn Cat will not count UNLESS you sell her offspring.

The Dog Press is close to yellow journalism, imo,  and she REALLY has never liked AKC.
>>

This was posted privately, but will post again… for any interested.

Ah Xxx, I’ll try to cover your points.

But.. Pets have ALWAYS been covered in AWA, USDA/APHIA.  They are covered under Retail Pet Store.  Animals sold as pets (with exceptions, to be brief snakes, birds for some) are Regulated by USDA.  The previous rule only allowed THREE breeding females, but that was basically ignored for years and years.  But when APHIS started strictly inspecting the larger kennels (being pushed by Congress via HSUA), this revised rule came about.  They increased the breeding females to 4.  There are loads of ways that people can sell sight unseen, but people are concerned that the rule doesn’t definitely and definitively state those exceptions.  For instance.  Livestock are not covered under the Act.  However, if you sell domestic animals as pets, (potbellied pigs, mini goats) they MAY need to be licensed.

You can have as many breeding females as you want…. if you only sell them face to face… someplace.

However, you can have a friend or relative or somebody who knows the buyer, see the pup, and then you can ship it You can ship pups if your breed to preserve your blood lines (or for many * purposes*.. hunting, security, working, etc.), sell for that purpose.  The person to whom you sell the pup may not use the dog for that purpose, but you  SOLD it for that purpose.

If you board dogs, And breed dogs… as long as you keep your businesses separate (maybe through records, maybe through kennels, etc.), you can have more than 4 breedable dogs on your premises, but that will have to be cleared with USDA for your business plans.  That goes for those people who handle, and more.

If you have a business of rehoming dogs, you may need to be licensed if you sell (adopt) them sight unseen.  You don’t needs a license if you sell them (adopt) face to face.  A person transporting them to sell sight unseen may need a USDA Transport license.

>> Rabbits I don't think are included....not cattle or horses...etc...

>Rabbits are covered if sold as pets, not for breeding purposes, fur or meat.

APHIS, AKC, AND YOUR RIGHTS

 

The USDA APHIS regulation is the ultimate Animal Rights victory, achieved by $millions in political payoffs and unimpeded by AKC.

 

Nov 15, 2013 | TheDogPress.com

Barbara J. Andrews, Editor-In-Chief

 

So Hobby Breeder, meet your demise because despite repeated warnings since 2005, animal rights have just trumped human rights. Is it too late to stop APHIS regulations from going into effect? Probably. Hobby breeders have always been too busy, too late, and too easily conned. So now what? Are we going to just talk about it or DO something about APHIS legislation?

 

Think hard before you answer that question. Doing something starts with holding AKC accountable for allowing paid politicians to strip away American birthrights.

 

Our constitutionally protected right to be governed only by consent has been usurped by a political agenda known as Animal Rights. The only consent evident here is that of AKC in allowing APHIS to go unchallenged with only a weak squeal of protest.

 

First lesson in war: know your enemy by his actions not by his words.

 

This edition was delayed for over a week while we made repeated attempts to contact AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson and/or AKC Director of Government Relations, Sheila Goffe. After a long-standing friendly relationship, suddenly neither is permitted to talk to TheDogPress. AKC knows its press release rhetoric is challenged and that truthful answers regarding the roll over for APHIS would be devastating to breeder relations.

 

Our registration fees don’t compare to the income generated by commercially bred puppies and their buyers. Since implementation of AKC’s instant pet shop registration{1} (PRIME) most pet shop buyers become AKC customers for countless other income-producing services such as pedigrees, goodies for the new puppy, credit card services, pet insurance, etc.

Before you digest the following, swallow this bitter pill. Show and hobby breeders are not the loudest voice reaching AKC ears. We never were and when you wrap your head around that truth, a lot of things make sense.

 

Now chew on this. Not one in a million of “us” has ever sat in on an AKC Board meeting with PAWS’ sponsor Senator Rick Santorum {2}. Nor were we aware that the AKC President and Hunte Puppy Mill President had a sit-down meeting in Jan. 2002.

 

The AKC Board has accomplished nothing against animal rights legislation. It has however taken credit for small victories by legislative groups, including its counterparts, the Cat Fanciers Association and The International Cat Association.

 

If I am wrong, I welcome correction but that would have to include an accounting of money spent fighting specific legislative agendas. Airfare and travel expenses to send a staff member to CA to put in an appearance against HB 1634 and visit her boyfriend don’t count. Neither do “legal fees” paid to a prestigious firm that had never handled anything in this category.

 

AKC sends out carefully worded press releases designed to allay the anger and fomenting distrust of show and hobby breeders. After defeating PAWS, and then PUPS, both of which were supported by the American Kennel Club, we are now overwhelmed by the $millions that flowed into USDA in support of the newly contrived APHIS federal regulations.

 

We cannot hope to equal the flood of funding that generated the new APHIS rule and purchased legislative support. We can however, seek to educate and inform more than 111,000,000 VOTERS who own companion animals in America - APPA’s 2013 pet owner survey {3} is powerful persuasion for legislators. Money buys politicians who generate legislation. Money can sway public opinion and HSUS is a master at that but take hope, money can’t buy votes that come from the heart.

 

What does AKC plan to do with the $$$ gained by this month’s solicitation of (some) AKC member clubs to send $$$? None of that money will be earmarked for supporting attorney and former D.C. lobbyist Frank Losey in his heroic effort to enlist the help of an attorney licensed to practice in the District Of Columbia.

 

In fact, AKC surrogates have been busy undermining and demeaning the INJUNCTION ACTION.

 

Attorney Frank Losey states “As of today, I have seen no documentation that suggests that the AKC supports the effort to challenge the USDA Retail Pet Store Rule in Court, nor has it indicated that it would or has made any financial contribution to support such a judicial challenge.”

 

Fortunately dog clubs and individuals have been generous with donations to fund an injunction to stop the implementation of the APHIS regulation. The Associated Dog Clubs of New York State (ADCNYS) spearheaded efforts to challenge the legality of the recently passed USDA/APHIS Rule. Pledging an initial $1000, ADCNYS will be the “first named plaintiff in the filing for an injunction to halt implementation” of the APHIS rule. They call it "STAND TOGETHER; STAND PROUD" and that is what breed and kennel clubs are doing from coast to coast.

 

If all this is a bit hard to swallow, take a deep breath and start with the American Kennel Club’s avid support of PAWS. Then move forward to HSUS and Federal PUPS Legislation as covered by a registered Lobbyist.

  

Before you click out of this page to go to the above site, ask yourself - Are “they” scanning the internet and newspaper “dogs for sale” ads? Does AKC share information on how many litters you have bred or co-bred? Or how many female dogs you own? And lastly, knowing what you now know, do you trust the American Kennel Club to not share your private personal information with USDA, APHIS, HSUS, or anyone else with power or an open checkbook?

For busy fanciers who have not kept up with the work-around, or for those who only have 3 female dogs and think you are exempt, you should know that the APHIS rule applies to “anyone who maintains more than four females capable of being bred, of all regulated species combined, must be licensed as a USDA dealer if they sell ANY pet sight unseen, or if they sell a pet that was not born and raised on their premises.” ADCNYS

 

Still not worried? Well then, “…regulated species include dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, and other animals kept as pets, and the threshold for licensing is more than four females of these species combined - not four of any one species. All "breeding females" on the breeder's premises are counted, regardless of ownership.”

 

Don’t risk a $10,000 fine for unknowingly being out of compliance with the federal APHIS regulation. Click Associated Dog Clubs of New York State for more information and how you can help.

September 28, 2013

A SAOVA message to sportsmen, pet owners and farmers concerned about protecting their traditions, avocations and livelihoods from anti-hunting, anti-breeding, animal guardianship advocates. Forwarding and cross posting, with attribution, encouraged.
APHIS Final Rule Revising Pet Seller Exemptions and You

SAOVA Friends,

As you know by now, APHIS published the Final Rule September 10, 2013 which revises the definition of "retail pet store" under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) licensing and regulations. The new definition of retail pet store means a place of business or residence where the seller, buyer, and animal are physically present in the same location. Not only dogs, but cats, rabbits, mice, small exotic animals, and other small pets will no longer be sold at retail without either public or APHIS oversight. If you cannot qualify for the retail pet store exemption in the AWA by selling only face-to-face, then you must either obtain a federal license or be limited to 4 or fewer females bred and raised on your premises. This limit of 4 is an aggregate number of females regardless of species (i.e., 2 dogs, 1 cat, 1 rabbit).

The transaction does not have to take place at the seller’s home. A meeting place can be set up to transfer the animal. However, everyone needs to be aware that many municipalities have ordinances restricting sales in public places and should plan accordingly. It appears APHIS will allow a third party to be designated as the agent to stand in for the breeder or buyer in the face-to-face transaction, but this needs additional clarification.

Anyone selling dogs for hunting, breeding, security purposes, or as working dogs is excluded from the definition of Dealer and from the definition of Retail Pet Store.

APHIS held a teleconference to announce the final rule. If you could not attend, we urge you to read the transcribed call which is posted at the SAOVA website http://tinyurl. com/nyb4s5g

In general, APHIS says this rule is driven by purpose of breeding and method of delivery for the sale; and that their goal is only to end sight-unseen sales. However, since breeding programs do not fall into nice neat categories, and scenarios change from breeder to breeder and species to species, covering the retail sector with such a regulation creates many areas of uncertainty for the average breeder.

The list of questions is long:
Can hunting dog kennel owners sell pets
Can breeders ship sight-unseen where relationships have been well established
Can litters be whelped inside the house
Are rescues still exempt if they ship sight-unseen
Can animals, other than rabbits, be shipped for preservation of the species
Do the APHIS regulations take precedence over state license regulations
How can we believe the answers from APHIS staff who do not understand the questions
Does APHIS plan to offer any protection for newly licensed breeders so that kennel photos are not added to the ASPCA “puppy mill” data base and other sensationalized uses
If you are reported to APHIS as needing a license, are investigators required to have a warrant to enter your premises
Is everyone on the same premise required to be licensed if one person must be licensed

The rule is overly complicated, inconsistent, and certainly not easy to understand. The internet and chat groups are full of conversation about this rule with a number of interpretations and a wide variety of opinions being circulated. APHIS also posted another Question and Answer Fact Sheet with their explanations to some of the major concerns submitted during the rule making process. Again as last year, the Q&A contains many half, incomplete, or misleading answers. The reality is that the final interpretation of the rule and its definitions will be at the discretion of APHIS inspectors and staff.

Rather than attempt to analyze the rule and/or interpret how it will impact hundreds of thousands of breeders in dozens of varying situations we’ll review what we do know regarding the new rule and current AWA standards.

The Final Rule was published in the Federal Register September 18, 2013 and is effective 60 days from publication. APHIS plans a phased implementation of the rule. Kevin Shea, APHIS Director, stated in the teleconference, “We will be trying to identify the facilities that aren't currently licensed that should be licensed under the rule. We'll be doing this, using publicly available data - breed registries, advertisements that folks are doing on the internet, etc., to identify the facilities that we need to approach about getting licensed.” APHIS is still finalizing their “outreach” plan and we will share that information when it becomes available.

The AWA Standards of Care for housing, facilities, exercise, cleaning, sanitization, employees, housekeeping, and pest control will not be revised.

Living under USDA licensing is NOT an option for the average home-based retail seller. The average house cannot be converted to a USDA compliant facility. Federal standards for licensed facilities dictate sanitation measures not feasible in a normal home, surfaces that are impervious to moisture, ventilation, bio-hazard control, veterinary care, exercise, temperature controls, waste disposal systems, diurnal lighting, drainage systems, washrooms, perimeter fencing, as well as transportation standards for regulated animals.

We are very concerned about the Q&A section regarding use of your homes. The answer is disingenuous and we trust those who have read it do not believe they can continue utilizing their homes once they are licensed. The revised APHIS Q&A asks the question: Will regulated breeders who keep their dogs in their homes have to put them in a kennel? APHIS answers “generally not” and proceeds with a misleading explanation that APHIS will determine if your home meets their standards; and states that a number of currently licensed wholesale breeders maintain their animals in their homes.

IF you can give up a room in your house and convert it to be the moisture proof, sterile environment described above, AND gain approval from an APHIS inspector, you may be able to crate or pen animals in that room. This room would then be for either adults or puppies/kittens but not both. Under the USDA standards puppies and kittens under 4 months of age cannot be housed in the same primary enclosure with adults, other than the dam/queen or foster dam/queen. Since the remainder of your house does not meet the above requirements, allowing animals to roam freely would cause you to be in violation of the AWA. And unless your bedroom is coated in epoxy and has a floor drain, you won’t be doing any whelping there.

A separate facility will be needed for females by two weeks prior to whelping. Even if you make one room in your house compliant with the AWA standards, females cannot be whelped in that room. That means an additional room will be required, plus one for each additional litter within the next 3.5 months.

Any room in your home used for whelping or birthing must meet USDA standards – impervious to moisture – meaning tile floor and vinyl-coated walls.

All surfaces touched by animals must be waterproof and sterilized every two weeks with your choice of live steam under pressure, 180 degree water and detergent with disinfectant, or a combination detergent/disinfect ant product.

You must have a separate food preparation area from your kitchen.

In addition to a written exercise plan and veterinary plan you must now have an emergency plan that documents your awareness and understanding of your responsibility to protect your animals in emergency situations.

The USDA license may classify you as a commercial business. You will need to know the allowed uses for your property in the current zoning and land use regulations and whether home businesses are allowed. Your property tax status may be affected and your tax liabilities could change, depending on state and local laws.

Finally, your information, photos of your property, and inspection reports will be the subject of Freedom of Information Act requests by activists. Inspectors will always write you up for something or it looks as if they are not doing their jobs, thus giving activists something to read and complain about. Activists are not above taking the information out of context and using it to suit their purposes.

The new rule centers on shipping sight-unseen which at this time presents unanswered questions, and could target you for investigation as to whether you need a license. Until APHIS issues meaningful dialogue on their intentions and we know how inspectors should interpret the new rule, it might be best to delay use of commercial shipping if possible. If you have more than four females, rely on shipping to keep your program viable, and have no alternative options, then you will have to contact USDA and ask for an application kit and begin the licensing process.

When you contact APHIS with questions, record the answers. If you make the decision to go forward and apply for a license, record the conversations and the inspections and have a witness with you during the pre-licensing process.

It is impossible to predict the full impact and potential damage on breeders once this rule is actually in place and enforcement begins. In the meantime, please do not start reducing your kennels, catteries, and small businesses, and jeopardize the years of hard work that went into building your breeding programs. There is more to learn on this rule and what can be done so that we can continue to pursue our hobbies, avocations, and livelihoods. Many people are working on your behalf and we will not go down quietly.

http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDAAPHIS/bulletins/8a3a32#.UjMuT40sADI.facebook

 

Animal Care Seeks Comments Regarding Proposed Changes to its Policy 3 - Veterinary CareUSDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service sent this bulletin at 09/13/2013 10:19 AM EDT.

 

USDA's Animal Care unit enforces the Animal Welfare Act – the federal law requiring that humane care and treatment be provided to certain animals that are:

exhibited to the public; bred for commercial sale; used in biomedical research; or transported commercially.

 

The Animal Welfare Act's regulations provide greater detail on how a regulated facility is to interpret the law. In addition, Animal Care has developed policies to serve as guidelines for interpreting the Animal Welfare Act regulations.

 

We are proposing changes to Policy 3 ' Veterinary Care. The proposed changes will cover the following topics: expired medical materials; pharmaceutical-grade substances in research; surgery; pre- and post-procedural care; program of veterinary care; declawing and defanging practices in wild or exotic carnivores or non-human primates; health records; and euthanasia.

 

We are seeking your comments on these proposed changes. To view the changes and Policy 3, please access the following link: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2013-0089-0001.

 

Animal Care will accept comments for two weeks; the deadline is Sept. 27, 2013.

USDA/APHIS FINALIZES RULE IMPACTING PET BREEDERS

9-10-2013
Today, the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA/APHIS) released a finalized version of
new federal regulations that narrow the definition of a “retail pet store” with the purpose of bringing internet-based pet breeders and sellers under the regulation of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).  The rule, originally proposed in May 2012 and essentially unchanged, effectively expands USDA oversight of pet breeders to include people who maintain more than four “breeding females” of any species and sell even one pet “sight unseen”. 

To view this alert in its entirety, go to http://www.akc.org/press_center/article.cfm?article_id=5117.