HCS/SB 161 - This act modifies provisions relating to agriculture.
SECTION 273.327 - LICENSE FEES FOR ANIMAL CARE FACILITIES
Currently under the Animal Care Facilities Act (ACFA), the maximum fee for obtaining a license to operate certain dog facilities is $500 per year. The act increases this maximum to $2,500 per year. The act additionally requires a licensee to pay a $25 fee each year to be used by the Department of Agriculture for Operation Bark Alert.
SECTION 273.345 - CANINE CRUELTY PREVENTION ACT
The act changes the name of the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act to the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act.
Current law prohibits anyone from having more than 50 dogs when the purpose is to breed them and sell the resulting puppies. The act removes this prohibition.
The act modifies definitions for: "adequate rest between breeding cycles," necessary veterinary care," "pet," "regular exercise," "sufficient food and clean water," "sufficient housing, including protection from the elements," and "sufficient space to turn and stretch freely, lie down, and fully extend his or her limbs."
Anyone subject to the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act must retain all veterinary and sales records for the most recent previous 2 years and make the records available upon request.
The act creates additional requirements for enclosure space size: between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2015, enclosures that were constructed prior to April 15, 2011 must be at least 2 times the space allowed by the Department of Agriculture regulation that was in effect on April 15, 2011; and any enclosures constructed after April 15, 2011 and all enclosures as of January 1, 2016 must be at least 3 times the space allowed by the Department of Agriculture regulation that was in effect on April 15, 2011. Additionally, wire strand flooring is prohibited in any enclosure constructed after April 15, 2011 and for all enclosures, regardless of when constructed, after January 1, 2016.
SECTION 273.347 - PENALTIES FOR ANIMAL CARE VIOLATIONS
The act removes the current criminal penalty provision under the the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act and adds new penalty and enforcement provisions to the ACFA and the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act. Where the state veterinarian or an animal welfare official finds that past violations of the ACFA or Canine Cruelty Prevention Act have not been corrected, the director of the Department of Agriculture may refer such cases to the Attorney General or a local prosecutor who may bring an action seeking a restraining order, injunction, or a remedial order to correct the violations. The court may assess a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per violation. Additionally, the act creates the crime of canine cruelty, a Class C misdemeanor, which occurs when someone repeatedly violates the ACFA or Canine Cruelty Prevention Act in such a manner that poses a substantial risk to the health and welfare of animals in the person's custody or when someone violates an agreed-to remedial order involving the safety and welfare of the animals. A second or subsequent offense is a Class A misdemeanor.
The act makes it a Class A misdemeanor for anyone required to have a license under the ACFA to keep his or her animals in stacked cages where there is no impervious layer between the cages, except if cleaning the cages.
SECTIONS 348.400 TO 348.412 - AGRIBUSINESS LOAN GUARANTEES
Currently, the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority may provide loan guarantees on loans for the purchase or improvement of agricultural property. This act allows the loan guarantees to also be provided on loans for the purchase, expansion, or improvement of an agribusiness.
The act contains an emergency clause for the animal care provisions of the act (sections 273.327, 273.345, 273.347, and Section 1).
The act repeals the provisions enacted in SS/SCS/SBs 113 & 95 (2011).