Massachusetts is considering a set of state regulations that would subject foster homes to inspection by the Department of Agriculture, require rescue groups to register with the state every 12 months and establish minimum standards of care for shelters, rescues and foster homes. These standards of care include:
- Animals must be removed from cages during disinfection which is required “periodically and always before introducing a new animal.”
- Animals must be kept clean and dry.
- Veterinary care must be provided in a timely manner.
- Animals must be allowed exercise outside their cages “regularly” and “be housed in compatible groups without overcrowding”.
- Facility must maintain a temperature between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, including offsite adoption events.
Some additional notes from the proposed regulations:
- Wire cage flooring is acceptable provided it meets some vague criteria.
- Euthanasia must be performed by a veterinarian or a trained individual under the direction of a vet in accordance with AVMA guidelines.
- “No Organization may offer for sale, advertise, or transfer” any animal who tests positive for heartworm or shows signs of other internal or external parasites.
- Groups wanting to import dogs and cats must register every 12 months with the state. Imported dogs and cats must have an Official Certificate of Veterinary Inspection issued by a vet in the animal’s state of origin and must have been recently vaccinated. Imported pets, other than owner surrenders from the New England states and New York, must be taken upon arrival to an isolation facility for 48 hours. After the mandatory isolation period, the pet must be taken to a vet and receive a health certificate in order to be released from isolation.
Some MA animal welfare groups are unhappy with the proposed regulations. If you live in MA, you have very little time left to make your voice heard:
The Department of Agriculture says it wants to hear your opinion on the proposed rules. You have until October 8th to give the state your feedback.
If you’d like to send the Department of Agriculture your comments regarding the proposed regulations, please email Michael Cahill at: Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org
(Thanks Clarice for the link.)