This time a bill has been introduced which would mandate that anyone who wishes to breed a dog or cat in Massachusetts must be licensed, their home inspected to insure it is adequate for whelping, and restricted to 1 liter per animal per year. It also makes it a violation to transfer a dog or cat to another owner, whether for sale or just given away, without said license, as well as forbidding the breeding of their arbitrarily selected "dangerous breeds. This bill makes it a misdemeanor for those who don't comply, and naturally prescribes penalties; not less than $500 per animal and up to 90 days incarceration. The bill was introduced by Senator Mark C. Montigny.
As a sporting dog owner, who regularly campaigns in hunt test and trial, and plans to breed I see a big problem with this bill. First of all, what does the state of Massachusetts know about sporting spaniels, and their breeding? Or any dog for that matter? And the inspection? The bill doesn't set any standards of acceptable whelping and raising space, so the decision will be arbitrarily made by the animal control officer conducting the inspection. As for the animal control officers, well, qualifications may vary by community, but I can tell you that around here they are selected for that coveted city job by who they know. Not the kind of authority I want inspecting my home (not that I want any authority inspecting my home). I also disagree with the "dangerous dog" section. Sure, there are some breeds that have a predisposition to be "sharp", but anyone who has been to a dog show can tell you that there is nothing "sharp" about the "dangerous breeds" being shown. This section is grossly unfair to those show dog enthusiasts in Mass that happen to be involved with breeds on the list. In fact, it's contrary to common sense; we want those people breeding those dogs. They're in the game, and understand the responsibility of breeding responsibly. One also must wonder how long it will be until a sporting breed makes the "list". A lot of people have been bitten by Golden Retrieves of late, and some lines of German dogs are known to be "sharp".
So, if you are a Massachusetts sportsman it's time to take action. Take the time to pick up the phone, or compose an e-mail, and let the appropriate senators know of your disapproval of this kind of misguided, uneducated over-reach. You can find your legislators here.
Here is a link to an alert by The Sportsmen's Alliance on the same issue. http://www.sportsmensalliance.org/news/alert-massachusetts-senate-bill-targets-all-dog-breeders-and-sellers/
Also, I would like to thank the Facebook page administrator, Brice, at Patriot Sporting Spaniel Club for alerting me, and many other, by both posting this on the Facebook page, and bringing it up yesterday at the club meeting.