New Regulations for Dog & Cat Breeders Begin September 1st

AUSTIN, April 4, 2012 - On March 27, the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation (Commission) adopted the rules to implement HB 1451, the Dog or Cat Breeders Act. The proposed rules were made available for public comment, discussed and recommended by the Licensed Breeders Advisory Committee (Committee). As is common with many advisory boards, most but not all of the Committee’s recommendations were approved by the Commission for the initial rules. Commission Chairman Frank Denton expressed his intent for further discussion on those items that were not adopted. For a comparison of the recommendations with what the Commission adopted, see here .

“We have in place standards that did not exist before. And those standards may be improved over a period of time but if you look at where we came from prior to the enactment of this legislation and where we’ve come today and where we are going to be by adopting these rules, it’s light years ahead of where we were before,” said Commission Chairman Frank Denton.

Initial licensing requirements include inspection of facilities of applicants who do not currently hold an FDA license. Licensees will undergo a criminal background check. Licenses and background checks have never been required before and will help ensure that Texans are purchasing pets from reputable breeders.

In addition to the licensing requirements, standards of care have been put in place which have never existed in Texas. These standards include temperature controls, ensuring that animals are warm in the winter and cool in the summer. They also include protections from animals being subjected to crates which have protruding or dangerous surfaces. Additionally, standard procedures for feeding and exercise are included, along with standards for regular veterinary care. Taken together, these standards establish a baseline to ensure animal health and well being and begin the regulatory process. This process will evolve as this new regulatory program takes shape and staff begins visiting breeding facilities.

To learn more about the Licensed Breeders Program, visit its website at

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