USDA & Purdue Developing a Dog Breeder Accreditation

German Shepherd Dog breeder in Lehigh Acres

Finally. The Purdue University Center for Animal Welfare Science is currently developing uniform care standards for dog breeding and rearing, and will carry on doing so over the next two years. Animal welfare organisations think such a program has the potential to reduce animal suffering and puppy farming.

The United States Department of Agriculture has been following this initiative and offers its full support on the creation of standardised dog care that could potentially lead to a privately-operated dog breeder accreditation program. The agency’s Inspection Service said, earlier this year, they have the ambition to create a private accreditor program for professional dog breeders within the next five years. The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, Pet Food Institute, and World Pet Association are funding the project.

The director of the centre, Candace C. Crooney, PhD, has informed the public of his intention of creating a set of voluntary standards that must be applicable and enforced at any scale of dog breeding. It would make sure that each breeder meets with the standards of what a dog needs in terms of socialisation, comfort, hygiene, enrichment and well-being assessment. All the aforementioned, whether the animals are destined as family pets, working dogs or specimens bred for research.

We want to be a little bit careful that we don’t rush to release standards that haven’t been properly vetted and tested, but we do realize that there’s an industry that’s waiting for this information, hungry for this information, so we’re really trying to be aggressive about our timeline.

The work includes studying aspects of welfare where scientific literature is lacking.

Candace C. Crooney

This program aims at stopping cruel practices by dog breeders. (Credits: sites.si.edu)
This program aims at stopping cruel practices by dog breeders. (Credits: sites.si.edu)

When Dr. Croney previously announced this project, in 2014, she was stating that too many variations were present among state-based breeding standards legislation. She also found a too important lack of studies on animal welfare’s causes and consequences.

The public is becoming increasingly concerned that existing state laws, typically written as minimum standards, do not fully address important elements of dog care and well-being, such as health, genetics, reproductive soundness, and behavioral wellness.

Candace C. Crooney

This program, for now, is thought to be a voluntary activity that will top-op the already-existing federal government requirements and USDA inspections that thousands of dog breeders must comply to.

Animal Welfare Campaigners See a Brighter Future

Reactions from animal welfare organisations and defenders already started to be published and there is a noticeable enthusiasm.

A great positive reaction from Robin Ganzert, CEO of the American Humane Association, who believes in this project and thinks the standards being created here should help eliminate the “demonstrable” cruelty found in too many dog breeding businesses. It is, according to her, a good step forward for both buyers and sellers.

“It’s very important for all of us who celebrate the power of the bonds with animals in our lives to make sure that we are able to have healthy animals brought into our homes,” she said. “And so, I think this program will go a long way to ending the abuse and the poor welfare practices we have seen in puppy mill types of facilities.”

Dr. Robin Ganzert

For Dr Michael J. Blackwell, senior director of veterinary policy at the Humane Society of the United States, such a program if actually led to its application will provide the institutions with a much better oversight of the dog breeding industry, included the questionable and poor care offered in too many kennels, shelters and breeding businesses.

Iowa's Puppy Mills May Soon Stop...
Iowa’s Puppy Mills May Soon Stop… (Credits: Taylor Manders)

Dr. Smith-Blackmore, as reported by the AVMA, hopes the program will be an all-or-nothing form of accreditation rather than ­a tiered form. She thinks a tiered form may unintentionally give legitimacy to dog breeders operating with substandard care. Dr. Smith-Blackmore also prays for the program to cover the transportation conditions, often source of appalling treatments for dogs traveling long distances..

The wish many quality breeders and most organisations have is the regular verification of the accredited breeders’ continuous compliance to the standards imposed by the program. Some hinted at a webcam live stream so the conditions of life the dogs are in can be checked instantly if need be, as tested in the poultry industry.

Dog Breeders Receive This News With Pleasure

Dr. Croney who is leading this program has express her surprise at how great the reactions were from the dog breeders she has been talking to.

Consumers are hoped to require from stores and breeders the accreditation along with up-to-date paperwork for each and every sale, so the stores and traders will themselves require such certifications from the breeders. Quickly enough, the quality breeders will thrive and the puppy farmers will disappear.

I think the public’s interests will probably drive that support for working only with accredited breeders.

Dr. Blackwell

This is theoretically, let’s hope it translates into real progresses.

We created, along with veterinarian help, a comprehensive dog breeding guide for you to read and enjoy!

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