DATCP Docket No. 20-R-03
Proposed Hearing Draft
Clearinghouse Rule No.
July 1, 2021
The Wisconsin department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection proposes the following permanent rule to amend ATCP 16.08 (1) and (2), and 16.12 (6) relating to dog sellers and dog facility operators.
Analysis Prepared by the Department
of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
The proposed rule increases license fees and reinspection fees for dog sellers and dog facility operators.
Statutes Interpreted
Statutes interpreted: Wis. Stat. s. 173.41.
Statutory Authority
Statutory authority: Wis. Stat. ss. 173.41 (3) and (6) and 173.41 (14).
Explanation of Statutory Authority
The Department has specific authority under Wis. Stat. s. 173.41 (3) to promulgate rules to specify license fees and specific authority under Wis. Stat. s. 173.41 (6) to promulgate rules to specify the reinspection fee.
The Department also has specific authority under Wis. Stat. s. 173.41 (14) to promulgate rules in consultation with an advisory committee established under par. (b).
Related Statutes and Rules
Wis. Admin. Code ch. ATCP 16.
Plain Language Analysis
The Dog Sellers and Facilities Program was created in 2011 to ensure the welfare of dogs and provide consumer protection. The Department licenses and inspects about 500 facilities under this program. The minimum licensing fees were set when the program began and have not changed since 2011.
The program revenue appropriation (appropriated by Wis. Stat. s. 20.115 (2) (j)) does not have adequate revenue to recover costs. The Department is not able to reduce expenditures to the level of current revenues without resulting in a failure to fulfill statutory requirements.
The Department convened an ATCP 16 Advisory Committee to advise the Department in relation to the Statement of Scope (SS 093-20), pertaining to license fees and reinspection fees for dog sellers and dog facility operators. The Committee was comprised of representatives from each of the groups under Wis. Stat. s. 173.41 (14) (b).
This rule proposal includes a 100% license fee increase for shelter/control facilities, a 120% license fee increase for all other entities, and a 167% reinspection fee increase. The table below shows the current and proposed license and reinspection fee amounts, the amount of each change, the number of licensees in each category, and the average reinspection count each year.
The proposed fees would ensure recovery of annual program costs and would gradually eliminate the current and projected deficit over five years. Without the proposed fee increase, the appropriation would continue to operate in a negative cash balance until a different change occurs, such as the creation of an alternative funding source or a statutory change. The department would continue to report the negative cash balance to the Joint Committee on Finance.
Summary of, and Comparison with, Existing or Proposed Federal Statutes and Regulations
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) licenses some businesses that breed or broker dogs. As of March 2020, there are 86 USDA-licensed dog breeders (Class A) and 10 USDA-licensed dog brokers (Class B) in Wisconsin. These numbers include some, but not all, businesses that are also licensed as dog sellers by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).
USDA and DATCP have different criteria for determining whether an entity needs to be licensed, as well as different minimum facility requirements. USDA does not license retail pet stores and does not license breeders with four or fewer breeding females. DATCP licenses persons who operate an animal shelter, animal control facility, dog breeder, dog breeding facility, dog dealer, or out-of-state dog dealer. Among other criteria defined in Wis. Stat. s. 173.41 (1), these are entities that shelter or sell 25 or more dogs in a year.
Comparison with Rules in Adjacent States
Each of the adjacent states has a program related to dog sellers and facilities, but the programs vary greatly. Below is a comparison of the programs in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota. Each have unique program structures, program requirements, and funding sources.
Links to Admin. Code and Statutes in this Register are to current versions, which may not be the version that was referred to in the original published document.