Oklahoma Pet Breeders Board Declared Constitutional
POTEAU, Oklahoma - A victory Wednesday for Oklahoma's fledgling Commercial Pet Breeders Board. A judge in LeFlore County has ruled the legislation that created the Board a year and a half ago is constitutional.
The plaintiff in the case, Charles Evans, a commercial breeder from Wister, filed a lawsuit last July challenging the legality of the of the law, on grounds that it violated several articles of the state constitution, and that it is overly broad and being arbitrarily enforced. District Judge Jonathan Sullivan ruled, on each challenge, that the statute does not violate the constitution.
The law classifies anyone with eleven or more breeding female dogs as a commercial breeder and requires that they be licensed by the state. The licensing process involves fees and an inspection by state-appointed investigators or veterinarians. Many breeders opposed the legislation when it was being considered by lawmakers in 2010, and have since opted not to go through the licensing process.
Officials with the Pet Breeders Board say that, out of an estimated 1200 commercial breeders in Oklahoma, less than 300 have been licensed by the state. Some breeders told our Oklahoma Impact Team that they were holding off on going through licensing, as long as the Evans lawsuit was still pending.