bassettsSAOVA has set up a page for the Tennessee Commercial Breeder Act extension bill. It describes the bill, links to the fiscal note, and gives names and contact information to the Senate Ag committee. It’s great to have all of this information in one easy place.



Under present law, the Commercial Breeder Act requires licensure for any person who possesses 20 or more unsterilized adult female dogs or cats for the purpose of selling the offspring as companion animals. The Act is presently scheduled to expire on June 30, 2014.

SB 2468 introduced by Senators Ferrell Haile (R-Gallatin), Steven Dickerson (R-Nashville), Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) and  HB 2385 by Representatives Susan Lynn (R-Mount Juliet)  will continue the Commercial Breeder Act beyond the sunset date of June 30, 2014.

Dog and cat owners have an opportunity to end state licensing of breeders by opposing SB 2468 and allowing the commercial breeder act to expire.  A hearing for SB 2468 is scheduled in Senate Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee March 12, 2014.


Senator Steve Southerland, Chair, (615) 741-3851,

Senator Mae Beavers, 1st Vice Chair, (615) 741-2421,

Senator Jim Summerville, 2nd Vice Chair, (615) 741-4499,

Senator Mike Bell, (615) 741-1946,

Senator Charlotte Burks, (615) 741-3978,

Senator Ophelia Ford, (615) 741-1767,

Senator Todd Gardenhire, (615) 741-6682,

Senator Dolores R. Gresham, (615) 741-2368,

Senator Frank S. Niceley, (615) 741-2061,


In 2009 information from the Humane Society of the United States claimed that there were 1504 commercial breeders in Tennessee. They estimated that one-third of these breeders, or 500, would be signed up for the program over the next five years.  According to the Office of Animal Welfare, this program currently has 20 licensed commercial breeders.

Legislators were promised more than $1 million dollars per year from licensing and sales tax revenue received from the estimated 500 licensed breeders.  However, licensure and tax fee revenue collected is not adequate to fund the program.

According to the Office, this program had closing deficits in FY11-12 of $289,400 (revenue $76,300 – expenditures $365,700), $309,500 in FY12-13 (revenue 55,900 – expenditures $365,400), and a closing reserve deficit of $965,750 on June 30, 2013.  

Extending the program beyond FY13-14 will result in an increase in recurring state expenditures estimated to be $299,500, beginning in FY14-15. See Fiscal Note

If the state of Tennessee would like to help animals, they consider allocating some of the funds it has been spending on the Commercial Breeder Act to improving local animal control and developing more animal shelters at the county level. Many rural counties in Tennessee lack public shelters.  This would be a way to control stray animals, promote rabies vaccinations, and educate the public about better animal care.

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