By Dr. Yvonne Bellay, Animal Welfare Programs Manager, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
License and reinspection fees for dog sellers and dog facility operators are under review. The Dog Sellers and Facilities Program is currently operating in a deficit, using the same fee schedule since the program was implemented in 2011.
Earlier this year, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) formed an ATCP 16 Advisory Committee. The committee was comprised of representatives from each of the licensing categories and WVMA President Dr. Tom Bach. The group evaluated the fees set under the Dog Sellers and Facilities Program and assisted with writing a proposed rule for how those fees should be adjusted.
The Dog Sellers and Facilities Program was created to ensure the welfare of dogs and provide consumer protection. DATCP licenses and inspects nearly 500 facilities under the program. The minimum licensing fees were set when the program began and have never been changed.
At the writing of this article in mid-April, DATCP was in the process of developing the initial proposal based on feedback from the advisory committee. The initial economic impact analysis for public comment was expected to be released by the end of April. The department anticipates bringing the hearing draft to the DATCP Board in July. Potential changes made through the biennial budget process can be incorporated in the draft.
The WVMA was instrumental in helping get The Dog Sellers and Facilities Program established ten years ago and will keep you
informed if changes are made to the fee structure or any other part of the program.