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Senator Pete Flores and Representative Brad Buckley, DVM File Legislation to Reform the Texas Licensed Breeders Program 

February 13, 2023

Commonsense changes will provide better oversight of commercial breeders, improve conditions for thousands of dogs and cats, and protect consumers. 

AUSTIN, TX – Today, February 13, 2023, Senator Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton) filed SB 876 and Representative Brad Buckley (R-Killeen) filed HB 2238 to strengthen the Texas Licensed Breeders Program that was created in 2011.

“Since 2011, the Texas Licensed Breeders Program has successfully established basic standards of care in commercial breeding facilities to prevent cruelty before it happens,” said Shelby Bobosky, Executive Director of THLN. “However, loopholes and unenforceable requirements in the Program prevent it from working as lawmakers intended. The Program needs to be reformed to achieve what it was created to do: prevent cruelty in commercial breeding facilities. We are grateful to Senator Flores and Representative Buckley for filing this legislation to protect animals and Texans alike from unscrupulous commercial breeding facilities,” said Bobosky.

SB 876 and HB 2238 will successfully reform the Texas Licensed Breeders Program in two main ways:
-Lowering the number of breeding females threshold from eleven to five. This allows the Program to cover all commercial breeders in Texas, so pregnant females, puppies, or kittens receive basic care to avoid illness and injury. This number still provides an exemption for hobby breeders.

-Removing the sales threshold. Many breeders conduct cash-only sales, which are untraceable. Thus, proving sales is a major loophole that prevents accountability and enables cruelty in commercial breeding facilities. By removing the sales threshold of 20 dogs and/or cats per year, the Program can monitor more commercial breeders as it was intended to do.

“As a former Game Warden for Texas Parks and Wildlife, I know Texans value, respect, and want to protect animals,” said Texas Senator Pete Flores. “SB 876 makes important improvements to the Texas Licensed Breeders Program safeguarding dogs and cats in commercial breeding facilities. This will help ensure that these animals are cared for as we care for the dogs and cats that are part of our families at home,” finished Flores.

“Texans have proven time and again that our dogs and cats are part of our families,” said Representative Brad Buckley, DVM. “As a veterinarian, the health and wellbeing of animals is always my top priority. The reality is there are irresponsible breeders who do not prioritize the health of animals and we must hold them to a higher standard. Reforming the Texas Licensed Breeders Program will improve conditions for thousands of dogs and cats and protect those families that choose to love them,” finished Buckley.

“As the author of the 2011 bill that established the Texas Licensed Breeders Program, I wholeheartedly support making two common sense changes to the Program,” said Senator John Whitmire. “The original intent was to provide greater protection to our animals and by closing these loopholes we will be fulfilling that promise.”

“Right now, commercial breeders are operating outside of regulation. The commonsense changes laid out in SB 876 and HB 2238 can promote accountability and ensure basic standards of care apply to all dogs and cats in commercial breeding facilities,” concluded Bobosky.

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