The state Department of Ag, Trade, and Consumer Protection is closing in on new rules for operations in Wisconsin that breed or sell a large number of dogs each year.
The agency begins holding hearings statewide this week on proposed licensing rules for dog sellers, which are part of a state law enacted earlier this year designed to reduce the presence of so-called “puppy mills” in Wisconsin. The rules will apply to anyone who breeds or sells at least 25 dogs a year from at least three different litters.
Donna Gilson with DATCP says the proposed rules include requirements for the living space of animals, access to veterinary care, and proper socialization of the dogs. Breeders or sellers will have to be licensed and submit to annual inspections. The law applies to private sellers, along with humane societies and rescue groups.
The hearings will be held in five cities over the next two weeks. Gilson says they’re only looking for feedback on the proposed rules. She says there has already been some early feedback from people wanting the law repealed. However, Gilson says those concerns need to be taken to the Legislature, not DATCP.
Lawmakers will have to approve a final version of the rules before they go into effect.