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Postby Admin » Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:28 pm

PIJAC Member Newsletter

July/August, 2017

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President's Letter

The last two months have been extremely busy for PIJAC staff. In addition to legislative battles in Hawaii, California, Massachusetts, and elsewhere, we have been traveling literally across the world to represent the responsible pet trade.

I traveled with PIJAC Director of Legislative and Regulatory Engagement Josh Jones and Government Affairs Specialist Courtney Hogan to SuperZoo in Las Vegas, where our Board of Directors met. I was pleased that some of our members attended this meeting and provided their perspectives on issues.

Culminating more than a year’s worth of effort, Courtney and I were joined by PIJAC Board Chair Laura “Peach” Reid in presenting the PIJAC Small Animal Care Standards to the industry. These voluntary best practices will provide uniformity for the care, transportation, and biosecurity of birds, small mammals, and reptiles by breeders and distributors.

Also at SuperZoo, PIJAC hosted a meeting between representatives of the herp and aquatics sectors and the World Wildlife Fund to discuss animal chain transparency.

As you may know, Hawaii Governor David Ige vetoed Senate Bill 1240 after listening to his state’s fishers, divers, and scientists. SB 1240 would have effectively phased out the aquarium fishing industry, risking jobs and diver safety. PIJAC worked behind the scenes to coordinate meetings, communications strategy, and more on behalf of the state’s industry. We will continue to support local efforts on this, as the Governor’s veto made it clear that discussions on this issue will be ongoing.

Another victory was passage of House Bill 6334 into law. This shelter registration and oversight law was supported by PIJAC and the state’s shelter community after a former shelter owner was twice caught abusing animals. That owner was sentenced to over a year in prison last year.

The industry didn’t just see victories, unfortunately. Just this week, we were disappointed by a loss in Cambridge, Massachusetts. There, the city council banned the sales of all non-rescue pets except for fish. This is a cause for concern for all of us – there is no pet industry without a responsible, reliable supply of pets – and we expect similar bans to be pushed elsewhere.

Thank you for your continued support of PIJAC and our mission to promote conscientious pet ownership and animal welfare, foster environmental stewardship, and ensure the availability of responsibly raised companion animals.

What's Going On

The most significant travel was done by PIJAC Vice President of Government Relations Robert Likins. Robert and PIJAC President Mike Bober traveled to Indiana to meet with Canine Care Certified dog breeders; Bob also went to Singapore for the Aquarealm Conference, and most recently to Geneva for a CITES conference. He’s on a much-needed vacation this week!

Director of Communications Dustin Siggins also traveled to meet dog breeders. PIJAC Board of Directors member Chris Fleming took Dustin to six kennels, as well as to distributor Pinnacle Pet. This week, Dustin visited Fish Mart, Inc. in Connecticut, where PIJAC Board of Directors Chair Laura “Peach” Reid showed him the ins and outs of distributing small mammals, birds, and fish.

As Chris put it – “If Dustin is going to be writing for us, he’d better know what he’s talking about.”

Mike went to Kansas City, Missouri for a meeting of the Breeders Leadership Council. He and Courtney also visited Orlando for Petland’s 50th anniversary celebration, where Mike presented Petland founder Ed Kunzelman with the PIJAC President’s Gold Medal Award of Excellence.

Josh attended the All Maryland Reptile Show in early July, and was at a July 15 Arlington County, Virginia board meeting to support local advocates of exotic pet ownership. PIJAC and local advocates were pleased that most concerns related to the ownership of snakes, hedgehogs, and sugar gliders were addressed in the most recent draft of the County exotic pet ordinance.

In addition to her SuperZoo travel and presentation, Courtney traveled to Morristown, New Jersey to support the area’s pet stores against a sales ban. The Town Council tabled the proposed ordinance.

The California state Senate is expected to pass a pet sale ban, Assembly Bill 485, in the next few weeks. Despite consistent engagement by PIJAC and other industry leaders, we have been unable to make headway with legislators. We are asking the industry to contact Governor Jerry Brown and urge him to veto this statewide sales ban.

PIJAC is supporting proposed rulemaking in Kansas that streamlines and consolidates some regulations, and creates uniform requirements for all Kansas Pet Animal Act licensees. While the regulation adds some fees for inspections, it consolidates housing, facility, enclosure, and other standards for almost all pet professionals. It also requires a certificate of veterinary inspections for dogs and cats imported into the state.

This regulation’s public comment deadline is August 21.

Committee Updates

PIJAC Zoonosis Committee

The PIJAC Zoonosis Committee is continuing to work on a rat and mouse care sheet, and on its most recent call reviewed the Avoiding Human Illness section. An infographic for the Aquatic Turtle Care Sheet was finalized, with a Spanish version forthcoming.

PIJAC Aquatics Committee

The PIJAC Aquatics Committee is awaiting the results of research by two research teams into cyanide detection. The committee is also discussing greater engagement with hobbyists in light of this year’s legislative battles in Hawaii, including participating in November’s Aquatic Experience trade show.

PIJAC Herp Committee

The PIJAC Herp Committee held its most recent call yesterday afternoon. Committee members reviewed feeder rodent best management practices and continued discussion on a possible herp law symposium. Possible media and communications outreach was also discussed. The committee is also working on revisions to the PIJAC Aquatic Turtle Care Sheet, and consumer education materials.

PIJAC Small Animal Care Committee

The PIJAC Small Animal Care Committee proudly unveiled the finalized Small Animal Care Standards to the industry. More than 40 industry leaders were present for the unveiling at SuperZoo.

Pet Age named PIJAC Board Chair Laura “Peach” Reid a “Woman of Influence” in the industry. Check out her interview with Pet Age at Superzoo.Learn more

The annual cost of dog ownership is over $1,000.Learn more

Millennials are why the pet industry’s revenues are booming.Learn more

Study after study shows the power of the human-animal bond. One study, however, says that household pets don’t improve children’s health.Learn more

Industry and non-industry actors are demanding access to U.S. Department of Agriculture breeder records.Learn more


In the Next Month

PIJAC continues to move forward with several communications initiatives to promote both PIJAC and the industry at large. We hope to be able to announce by September that they are finalized.

We are continuing to keep an eye out on New Jersey legislation. Senator Ray Lesniak may continue his drive to drastically reduce access to pets in the Garden State, so PIJAC is watching closely.

As you know, PIJAC tackles scores of bills each year. Please let us know if we are missing anything, and if you want to see where we’re active, be sure to check our Legislative Action Center!

As always, the responsible pet industry is best at making its case to legislators, regulators, the press, and the public when we work together. Please ask your business partners, allies, and others to join PIJAC here!

Thank you for reading. Look for PetAlerts and Issue Updates in your email inbox or check for the latest news and info on what you can do to impact legislation important to pets and your business
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