DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Commissioner's Order: Best Management Standards for Care of Dogs and Cats by Dealers, Commercial Breeders and Brokers pursuant to 1994 Minnesota Laws, Chapter 642, Section 8.
WHEREAS, the Commissioner of Agriculture has authority under 1994 Minnesota Laws, Chapter 642, Section 8 to issue an order establishing the best management standards for care of dogs and cats by dealers, commercial breeders, and brokers.
WHEREAS, the Commissioner of Agriculture has developed best management standards of care for dogs and cats by dealers, commercial breeders and brokers after consultation with persons representing dog and cat dealers, breeders and brokers including: the Minnesota Federated Humane Society, the Minnesota Council for Dog Clubs, the American Dog Owners Association, the Board of Animal Health, the Minnesota Purebred Dog Breeders Association, the Minnesota Citizens for Animal Care, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Minnesota Veterinarian Medical Association, and other interested parties.
WHEREAS, the Commissioner of Agriculture published a proposed order in the State Register requesting public comment and has considered comments submitted during the comment period.
THEREFORE, the Commissioner of Agriculture establishes the following order regarding the best management standards for care of dogs and cats by dealers, commercial breeders, and brokers. (The order appears in bold text. Suggestions and recommendations for implementing the order appear in italics text).
A. ANIMALS means a dog wholly or in part of the species Canis familiaris, or a cat
wholly or in part of the species Felis domesticus.
B. CONFINEMENT AREA means a structure used or designed for use to restrict
an animal to a limited amount of space, such as a room, pen, cage, kennel,
compartment, crate, or hutch.
C. HOUSING FACILITY means a room, building, or area that contains a
A. FOOD. Animals must be provided with food of sufficient quantity and
quality to allow for normal growth or the maintenance of body weight.
(Minn. Stat. § 346.39, subd. 1).
Animal food must meet or exceed National Research Council standards
and should meet American Association of Feed Company Officials, Inc.,
(AAFCO) processing standards. Animals should be provided wholesome food
suitable for the species at a frequency and amount appropriate for the species
and age. Animals over the age of 20 weeks should be offered food at least once
every 24 hours. Animals under the age of 20 weeks should be offered food at
least once every 12 hours.
B. WATER. Animals must be provided with potable water in sufficient
quantity to satisfy the animal's needs. (Minn. Stat. § 346.39, subd. 2).
Animals should be provided access to clean, fresh, potable water in a
sanitary manner at least once every 12 hours or in sufficient quantity to satisfy
the animals' needs or supplied by free choice. Snow or ice is not an adequate
water source. (Minn. Stat. § 346.39, subd. 2).
C. SHELTER. Animals must be provided with adequate shelter to provide for
their health and comfort.
A shelter that protects the animal from inclement weather, wind, and
direct rays of the sun should be supplied for each animal . A shaded area must be
provided that is sufficient to protect the animal from the direct rays of the sun at
all times during the months of May to October. (Minn. Stat. § 346.39, subd. 4).
To obtain information regarding guidelines on shelter requirements for
specific breeds contact the Commissioner's Office, Minnesota Department of
Agriculture, 625 Robert Street North, St. Paul, MN 55155-2538, 612/201-6561.
D. CONFINEMENT AREA. A confinement area must provide sufficient space
to allow each animal to turn about freely and to easily stand, sit and lie in a
normal position. (Minn. Stat. § 346.39, subd. 4),
If an animal is maintained in an outdoor confinement area, that space
should contain a shelter that complies with Minn. Stat. § 343.40. If an animal is
maintained in a confinement area within a housing facility used primarily to
house animals, each confined animal must be provided a minimum square
footage of floor space as measured from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail,
plus 25 percent, expressed in square feet. The formula for computing minimum
square footage is: (length of animal in inches plus 25 percent) times (length of
animal in inches plus 25 percent) divided by 144. (Minn. Stat. § 346.39 subd. 4).
1. SURFACE AREA. The interior surfaces of all indoor confinement
areas must be constructed and maintained so that they are
substantially impervious to moisture, provide for rapid drainage, may
be readily cleaned, kept in good repair, and protect the animal from
injury. (Minn. Stat. § 346.39, subd. 10, 11).
Confinement area flooring should be constructed of nonabrasive
wire of ten gauge or larger or smooth, durable, impermeable material
suitable for animals. The mesh or grid should be of a suitable size to
prevent feet from passing through the openings. Sufficient space or
barrier should be provided between confinement areas to ensure that no
liquid or solid waste, water, or food passes from one confinement area to
the other. Confinement areas should be ventilated sufficiently to allow for
the free movement of air in and around the confinement area. All outdoor
confinement area flooring should be impermeable material or well
DRAINAGE. A suitable method must be used to eliminate excess
fluids from confinement areas. (Minn. Stat. § 346.39, subd. 1). All feces
should be removed and disposed of daily. All waste drainage and waste
material should be disposed of using a method prescribed by any
applicable building or health codes.
2. TEMPERATURE, VENTILATION, LIGHTING, FIRE SAFETY.
Temperature,ventilation, and lighting must be adequate for the type,
number, and condition of animals involved.
TEMPERATURE. Indoor housing facilities for animals should be
maintained at a temperature that is appropriate for the breed of animal.
Heating and cooling units must be of a type and installation approved by
applicable building or safety codes.
VENTILATION. Housing facilities must be ventilated. (Minn.
Stat. § 346.39, subd 8). Auxiliary ventilation, such as exhaust fans, vents,
air conditioning, or a combination of them, should be used when the
ambient temperature exceeds 85 degrees Fahrenheit at floor level. This
system must be of a type and installation approved by applicable building
or safety codes.
LIGHTING. Housing facilities must have at least eight hours of
illumination. (Minn. Stat § 346.39, subd. 9). Ample lighting, by natural
or artificial means should be uniformly distributed.
FIRE SAFETY. Smoke detectors should be installed in a housing
facility. Fire extinguishers containing substances nontoxic to animals
should be readily available.
3. SANITATION. Feeding and water receptacles must be kept clean
and free of contaminants. Confinement areas must be kept clean
enough to protect animals from excessive moisture, waste and harmful
contaminants. (Minn. Stat. § 346.39, subd. 12).
FOOD AND WATER. Food and water receptacles must be
accessible to each animal and located so as to prevent contamination by
excreta. (Minn. Stat. § 346.39, subd. 12). Opened food bags should be
stored in plastic or metal cans with tight fitting lids. Disposable foods
receptacles must be discarded when soiled.
CONFINEMENT AREAS. Confinement area should be
thoroughly cleaned daily and impervious surfaces treated with disinfectant
at least once per week. Animals should be removed from an area while
the area is being treated with disinfectant and animals should not be
returned to that area until the area is dry.
DISEASES. Animals with infectious or contagious diseases should
be isolated from healthy animals. Caretakers should disinfect their hands
and shoes after handling animals with infectious or contagious diseases.
A sink should be furnished with hot and cold running water.
BEDDING. Bedding, if used, must be kept clean and dry.
Outdoor confinement and exercise areas must be kept clean and base
material replaced as necessary. (Minn. Stat. § 346.39, subd. 12).
CAT CONFINEMENT AREA. Each cat confinement area should
be provided with a container for elimination. Non-disposable containers
impervious to moisture should be cleaned daily. Absorbent material
should be removed and replaced at least once per week.
E. EXERCISE. All animals must be provided adequate exercise. (Minn. Stat. §
346.39, subd. 5).
All animals should be provided the opportunity for exercise at least twice
per day. Space should be sufficient for the animals to exercise freely.
F. GROUP HOUSING AND BREEDING. Animals housed together in a
confinement area must be kept in compatible groups. Animals must not be
bred so as to endanger their health. (Minn. Stat. § 346.39, subd. 6).
Females in estrus should not be housed with males except for breeding
purposes. Only healthy, mature animals of normal weight that have been
examined by a veterinarian should be used for breeding. Females should be
rested for one or more cycles between breedings. Males should be managed so as
to maintain normal physical condition and libido.
G. FEMALES AND LITTERS. Each female with a litter must be provided a
separate confinement area. Litters should be provided socialization with
WEANING AGE. Healthy litters should remain with their mother at least
five weeks, unless a veterinarian has determined that the litter is rejected or
endangered by their mother or the mother's health is endangered. No animal
should be sold or given away before the age of eight weeks.
TEMPERATURE. The ambient temperature other confinement area
should be maintained at a minimum of 70 degrees Fahrenheit at floor level and a
maximum of 90 degrees Fahrenheit for animals under seven weeks of age unless
authorized in writing by a veterinarian.
SOCIALIZATION. Litters should be provided socialization by physical
contact with other animals and human beings. It is recommended that litters be
handled by humans at least two times a day to prevent future biting behavior.
PET DEALERS. A pet dealer who is not the breeder of an animal may not
be in possession of an animal that is under the age of eight weeks. This
restriction does not apply to humane societies or retailers who receive abandoned
H. TRANSPORTATION AND SHIPMENT. Crates and containers must be
clean, adequately ventilated, contain sufficient space to allow the animals to
stand up, lie down, and turn around, and provide maximum safety and
protection to the animals. Adequate food, water, and exercise must be
provided. (Minn. Stat. § 346.39, subd. 3).
SHIPPERS. An animal should not be delivered or held for transport in
commerce more than four hours before the scheduled departure time. No animal
may be shipped on consignment. Shippers should provide the carriers or
intermediate handlers with the name, address, and telephone number of the
receiver, shipper's name, address, telephone number, tag or tattoo number of the
animals, and time and date the animal was last fed and watered. All shippers
should securely attach to the outside of the shipping container written instructions
for the in-transit food and water requirements.
Shipping containers must be constructed of nonabrasive wire or a smooth,
durable material suitable for animals. (Minn. Stat § 346.39 subd. 3). Floors
should be smooth, impermeable material with grating of smooth wire of 10 gauge
or larger. Containers should be provided with barriers so as to ensure that no
liquid or solid waste, water, or food passes from one confinement area to another.
Animals should be maintained in compatible groups. No more than two
animals may be transported in the same container. Female animals in estrus may
not be transported in the same container with any male.
AGE. No one should transport or cause to be transported into, out of, or
within the state for purposes of resale any animal under eight weeks of age.
FOOD AND WATER. Animals over the age of 20 weeks should be offered
food at least once every 24 hours. Animals under the age of 20 weeks should be
offered food at least once every 12 hours. Each animal should be offered clean,
fresh potable water, provided in a sanitary manner, at least once every eight
hours. Food and water receptacles should be securely attached inside the
container and placed so that the receptacle can be filled from outside the
container without opening the door.
EXERCISE. Exercise should be provided at least once every twelve hours,
or at suitable intervals in relation to food and water consumption.
I. DISEASE AND PARASITE CONTROL
MINIMIZING DISSEMINATION OF DISEASE. Dogs or cats affected
with any clinical evidence of infectious, contagious, or communicable disease
should be separated from other dogs or cats.
VETERINARY CARE. An effective program should be established and
maintained for disease control and prevention, euthanasia, and adequate
veterinary care under the supervision of a doctor of veterinary medicine.
HEALTH OF DOGS AND CATS AT TIME OF SALE. The following
conditions make a dog or cat unfit for sale until treatment brings about a
A. obvious signs of infectious disease;
B. obvious signs of nutritional deficiencies;
C. obvious signs of severe parasitism;
E. blindness; and
F. serious congenital abnormalities.
CONTROL OF PESTS. An effective program should be established and
maintained for the control of insects, ectoparasites, rodents, and other pests.
III. APPLICABILITY TO NON PROFIT ANIMAL WELFARE ORGANIZATIONS
AND HUMANE SOCIETIES
Non profit animal welfare organizations and humane societies sometimes have difficulty
controlling the number and condition of animals under their care. However, they should make
all reasonable efforts to comply with the provisions of these best management standards. If
circumstances make compliance difficult or impossible, the organization should immediately
contact the Board of Animal Health. In order to prevent conditions from deteriorating, the
Board of Animal Health and the organization should develop a plan for and a time line in which
compliance will occur.
Dated: this 17 day of March, 1995.
Elton R. Redalen
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), 625 Robert Street N, St. Paul, MN 55155-2538, firstname.lastname@example.org