The Iowa House today approved legislation to better protect pets and pet owners from irresponsible pet breeders. A key provision will increase the number of state inspectors to respond to animal health and safety complaints involving USDA licensed facilities.

“We are now on track to crack down on the bad actors in this industry and protect responsible breeders. This bill will ensure that all companion animals bred and raised in Iowa are healthy and safe,” said State Representative Jim Lykam of Davenport, who won approval of the bill.

House File 2280, which passed on a 77-22 vote, increases penalties for unlicensed facilities and requires continuing education for breeders with violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. It also increases enforcement of uncollected sales tax on the sale of dogs and cats. Many of Iowa’s neighboring states already provide state inspection of USDA licensed breeders, including Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska.

The bill now goes to the Senate for approval.

To view the closing remarks by Rep. Lykam click here.