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Commissioners Discuss Colorado Changes To Pet Facility Regulations

Proposed amendments would update Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act

By Rachael Brugger
Posted: March 31, 2008, 5 a.m. EST

The Colorado Department of Agriculture discussed amendments to the “Pet Care and Facilities Act” (PACFA) in front of the Agricultural Commission at a hearing on March 11, 2008. The changes to PACFA were proposed by the Pet Animal Care Facilities Program.

The proposed changes will affect procedures in boarding and training facility standards, animal care and veterinary care outlined in the act, said Kate Anderson, PACFA program administer.

“The intent of any change in rules in the Pet Care Program is to clarify the requirements for facilities and to better insure the health and welfare of pets while they reside in licensed facilities,” Anderson said. “This was the original intent and continues to be our mission.”

Although most of the proposed amendments were minor changes in wording affecting all types of pet facilities, some of the amendments specifically affected those involving small animals.

In the license category of the act, the definition of small animal breeder was changed to include ferrets. Also in the license category, a rule requiring cages for chinchillas to provide room for a chinchilla bath was changed to require a chinchilla bath be included and be replaced at least once a week.

In the retail wholesale category of the act, the standard requirement of ferret cages was changed to allow for different types ferret cages. The old rule required ferrets be kept in solid wall cages, Anderson said, but with the emergence of purpose-built ferret cages, ferrets can be kept in cages made with wiring as long as a sign accompanies the cage warning patrons that ferrets might bite.

Representatives from the Colorado Association of Dog Daycares were present at the hearing to oppose regulations relating to the dog facilities industry, but according to Anderson, no one representing the small animal community was present.

The Colorado Agriculture Commission requested that decisions on the proposed changes be postponed until the amendment details are clarified.

Anderson and inspectors will work with stake holder groups to update the language and intent of the proposed changes to PACFA. These updates will be presented at the next hearing in front of the Agriculture Commission, scheduled for May 13, 2008.

To learn more about Colorado’s Pet Animal Care Facilities Program, visit the website.

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