Monday, April 10, 2006

AKC / USDA Kennel Inspections?

AKC...errr....USDA kennel inspections

Thought you'd find this interesting, see below:

Yesterday, an AKC inspector went to the kennel of someone I know.

This person has been contributing to AKC's coffers in the capacity of showing and breeding top-quality dogs for over 30 years. These dogs are kept in great conditions. Thoughout the inspection, the inspector kept referring to USDA requirements and telling the kennel owner that the kennel did not meet USDA requirements. This person is not a commercial breeder and when the inspector was told that in that particular state hobby breeders were not required to get a USDA license, the reply was,"Not yet." In fact, I was told the AKC form actually has a check off box at the top to indicate whether or not it is a USDA inspection, which seems to indicate that AKC is going to go this route. It might also imply that AKC might decide that all AKC breeders should have USDA standard kennels (to keep up with the puppy mills, I guess).

What are some of the shortcomings this particular kennel did not satisfy for a USDA inspection? First, some of the kennel enclosures (for small breed dogs) were framed in wood. The kennel owner was told that USDA does not allow wood to be used. Secondly, during the day the dogs are put in a kennel which has inside/outside runs. The kennel area is heated and has A/C. The runs are not covered but instead are shaded by a large tree. My friend was informed that the USDA requires all runs where the dogs are "housed" to be covered.

The inspector was told that the dogs are not "housed" outside but are always in the house at night and during inclement weather. Even better, a large paddock exercise area apparently doesn't pass USDA muster either because according to the inspector USDA does not allow "dirt" surfaces. I guess grass grows on dirt. I wonder if pea gravel is excluded as well?

Well, this kennel passed AKC inspection but if the AKC is going to mirror the USDA standards for long term, responsible hobby breeders I think the bottom will really drop out of AKC registrations as most people I know will not put up with this type of officious and unwarranted intrusion of their privacy.

And obviously, despite what has been proclaimed by AKC that the new markup of PAWS exempts hobby breeders, it would appear AKC appears poised to adopt USDA commercial standards for all those who register with their services.

Anne M. Hier
Dog Shows Then and Now:An Annotated Anthology

Elizabeth Brinkley. MFA in Theatre
Dante Kennels, est. 1974
Latrobe, PA

Hermine Stover
Responsible Dog Owners Of The Western States 23280 Stephanie Perris CA 92570
951 943 0990
fax 943 9199

1 comment:

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