Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dear Congressman

We need everyone to write to Congress. As of this morning, the Final Pet Seller Rule is listed as the 5th most read on the Federal Register website among 2,133 notices and rules posted this month. Make sure your Congressman is aware of this rule. A short, easy letter is below for you to use. More examples will be posted in the coming week. Thank you.

Dear Congressman

I am writing today in opposition to the final rule issued by USDA/APHIS to revise the definition of retail pet store.

The rule changes the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and USDA responsibility forever by granting authority for federal inspectors to invade the privacy of American homes in order to establish standards for pet care, sanitation, handling, and housing.

While the rule is promoted as closing an “Internet loophole” for unscrupulous puppy sellers, the rule’s dramatic expansion of the AWA would actually encompass many private citizens as well as multiple species of pets. The new rule centers on shipping pets sight unseen requiring certain sellers who do so to be federally licensed. This places unnecessary restrictions on the buyer by limiting the geographic area from which he can purchase a pet without excessive travel. Because the Internet has replaced many traditional advertising methods does not mean it should be used as an excuse to expand the agency's regulatory scope beyond its current enforcement capability.

Considering the agency’s current budget challenges and the general state of the nation’s economy, expansion of this magnitude is not only impractical but irresponsible and is not an efficient use of limited departmental resources.

Please intervene and help us stop this rule.

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