Pet breeders in Oklahoma will need a special license next summer if they have more than 11 female cats or dogs used for breeding. Gov. Brad Henry signed a bill into law Thursday that puts regulations into place for pet breeders and seeks to cut down on "puppy mills.”
The bill by Sen. Patrick Anderson, R-Enid, and Rep. Mike Jackson, R-Enid, would create a board to regulate breeders under the Oklahoma Veterinary Board. The breeders also would be required to provide health certificates for animals and be inspected each year. Rules and fees for breeders must be in place by Jan. 1. Breeders will have to get a license by July 1, 2011, Anderson said. An eight-member board will administer regulations and investigation for breeders. Henry’s signature ends a three-year crusade to enact laws to cut down on the number of puppies and kittens exported from the state. Oklahoma is second only to Missouri for the number of large-scale pet breeding operations. In November, voters in Missouri will decide on a ballot measure that seeks to regulate pet breeding in that state. Rep. Lee Denney, a veterinarian who has tried for three years to get legislation passed to address pet breeders, said she was excited the governor signed the measure into law.