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U.S. Senate: Proposal Could Require USDA to Publish Privately Identifiable Breeder Information

AKC Legislative Alert

Several months ago, a last-minute amendment was made to section 760 of the 2020 House Agriculture Appropriations bill that would require the USDA to make privately identifiable information about licensed breeders, including home addresses, pet inventories, and other sensitive information, available to the public online. That measure currently awaits reconciliation and attention from Senate appropriators.

This week, an amendment proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein to the Senate FY 2020  combined “minibus” Appropriation Bill would add the same troublesome provisions to the Senate version.

AKC urges you to contact members of the Senate Appropriations Committee and urge them to protect privacy rights by voting against any amendments to the FY 2020 Appropriations Bill that would require USDA to release privately identifiable information about pet breeders as part of the USDA’s online Animal Care Information System (ACIS).

Scroll down for contact information

Background

 In July 2016, APHIS formally initiated a comprehensive review and update of ACIS, including its website, publications, and correspondence to eliminate out-of-date content, improve the information provided, and balance its commitment to transparency with applicable laws, including rules protecting personal privacy. The review and removal of this information from the APHIS’s website was prompted by litigation surrounding the publication of information on non-finally-adjudicated violations and privacy concerns. As part of this review, the APHIS/ACIS public search tool was taken off-line temporarily on February 3, 2017 and APHIS immediately began reposting inspection reports, with the appropriate redactions of personal information. It is these privacy protections that some now seek to remove.

When most people think of the term “pet dealer”, they typically think of professional pet breeding facilities where a large number of animals are kept, and hundreds are bred and sold each year. However, current USDA Animal Welfare regulations require that any individual who maintains more than a combined total of four “breeding” (unspayed) female small mammals including hamsters, gerbils, cats, dogs, etc. and transfers one sight unseen is subject to licensing as a USDA pet dealer (breeder). As a result, many individuals who live in residential areas, may keep several species of family pets in their home, ranging from the kids’ hamsters, to a barn cat or two, along with several dogs that participate in conformation or performance events — and breed only rarely, are also subject to USDA licensing.

Yesterday, the USDA released a notice of proposed modifications to its ACIS database, along with a discussion of federal privacy laws governing use of records, and the routine use of existing records. For more information about this notice, click here.

Click here to read AKC’s October 21st letter to U.S. Senate Appropriations

What you can do

AKC encourages you to contact key members of the Senate Appropriations Committee  and Senate Agricultural Appropriations Committees listed below by phone or email.  We particularly urge constituent residents of Alabama, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Oregon, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Kansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana, to reach out to these Appropriators.

Please urge them to protect privacy rights by voting against any amendments to the FY 2020 Appropriations Bill that would require USDA to release privately identifiable information about pet breeders as part of the USDA’s online Animal Care Information System (ACIS).

Sen. Richard Shelby ( Alabama)

Phone: 202-224-5744

Email clay_armentrout@shelby.senate.gov

Sen. John Hoeven (North Dakota)

Phone: 202-224-2551

Email daniel_auger@hoeven.senate.gov

Sen. Jack Reed (Rhode Island)

Phone: 202-224-4642

Email elyse_wasch@reed.senate.gov

Sen.  Jeff Merkley (Oregon)

Phone: 202-224-3753

Email laura_updegrove@merkley.senate.gov

Sen. Mitch McConnell (Kentucky)

Phone: 202-224-2541

Email katelyn_bunning@mcconnell.senate.gov

Sen. Susan Collins (ME)

Phone: 202-224-2523

Email olivia_kurtz@collins.senate.gov

Sen. Roy Blunt (MO)

Phone: 202-224-5721

Email dan_burgess@blunt.senate.gov

Sen. Jerry Moran (KS)

Phone: 202-224-6521

Email tom_bush@moran.senate.gov

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (MS)

Phone: 202-224-5054

Email tim_wolverton@hydesmith.senate.gov

Sen. John Kennedy (LA)

Phone: 202-224-4623

Email johnkennedy@johnkennedy.com

Short URL: http://caninechronicle.com/?p=173976

Posted by on Oct 30 2019. Filed under Breaking News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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