SPONSOR: Caskey (Kissell)

COMMITTEE ACTION: Voted "do pass" by the Committee on Public Safety and Law Enforcement by a vote of 15 to 1.

This substitute makes changes to regulations concerning animal care facilities. The substitute:

(1) Increases the licensing fees for operating certain animal care facilities, including kennels, pet shops, and exhibition facilities. Currently, the license fee is between $100 and $500 as determined by regulation. The substitute sets the fee at an additional charge of $1 per animal sold or given away (Section 273.327, RSMo);

(2) Prohibits persons related within the third degree to the owner of an animal care facility from acting as an inspector (Section 273.348);

(3) Directs administrative penalties for violations of animal care provisions to the Animal Care Reserve Fund instead of the General Revenue Fund and allows the fund to receive gifts, grants, and contributions. Moneys in the fund must be invested by the State Treasurer, and earned interest will remain in the fund (Sections 273.333 and 273.357); and

(4) Changes the terms and composition of the Director of Agriculture's rule-making advisory committee (Section 273.352).

FISCAL NOTE: Estimated Net Income to Animal Care Reserve Fund of $87,770 to Unknown in FY 2001, FY 2002, and FY 2003. Loss to General Revenue Fund of Unknown in FY 2001, FY 2002, and FY 2003.

PROPONENTS: Supporters say that the increase in fees will aid in the inspection of facilities, a program that is currently in jeopardy due to a lack of funding.

Testifying for the bill were Senator Caskey; Missouri Pet Breeders' Association; and Missouri Commercial Pet Producers.

OPPONENTS: Those who oppose the bill say that the Animal Care Facilities Inspection Fund should not receive additional moneys from an increase in licensing fees because it is doing a poor job of carrying out its inspections.

Testifying against the bill were Robin Pressnall, breed rescuer; Kim Gustin-Townsend, breed rescuer; Wayne Mayes, Missouri Rescue Groups; Charlene McCarthy, animal shelter worker; and Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation.

Sarah Madden, Legislative Analyst