PIJAC Responds to Arizona Reversal of Pet Sale Bans

A new law in Arizona that sets consistent statewide standards regarding the sale of commercially bred dogs and cats—which overturns local sales bans in Phoenix and Tempe, and a proposal in Tucson—drew a response from Mike Bober, president and CEO for the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC).

The new legislation requires pet retailers to display the source of their animals, including the breeder and the USDA license near the animals’ containment area. To ensure transparency among breeders and sellers, pet stores will face escalating fines if standards aren’t followed.

"We applaud the state of Arizona for taking this positive step toward consistent protection of animals and consumers," said Bober in his statement. "Meaningful sourcing restrictions are something we’ve been advocating for sometime now as they give prospective pet owners the information they need to ensure companion animals acquired from pet stores come from responsible, regulated breeders.

"Addressing this issue at the state level means that Arizonans from Phoenix to Flagstaff and Tucson to Tempe enjoy the same safeguards from one town to the next. It is a tremendous advance in ensuring the availability of responsibly bred pets at a store level where transactions can still be regulated instead of driving demand to unregulated markets because an owner cannot locate the pet they need via shelter or rescue in their area. The new statewide standards also address concerns that have arisen from sales bans at the city level. For example the Phoenix ordinance makes multiple references to ‘nonprofit animal rescue organizations’ as a valid source for pet stores without defining the term. This is problematic as there is no definition of ‘nonprofit animal rescue organizations’ in either state or local law, yet this is one of the very few categories of organizations from which the ordinance permits Phoenix stores to source. We hope Arizona can set the stage for other states to follow suit as well, because inconsistent local legislation addressing an issue that is national in scope has dangerous unintended consequences."