Tuesday, February 4, 2020

This bill has been removed from the February 5 agenda and AKC Government Relations will update when developments warrant.

Monday, February 3, 2020

The American Kennel Club is concerned with Hawaii House Bill 2163.  The bill, introduced by Representative Roy Mitsuo Takumi, seeks to limit the practices of surgical births, debarking, tail docking, and ear cropping by prohibiting an animal’s owner, and the owner’s employees, from performing these procedures.

Surgical births and debarking should only be performed by a qualified, licensed veterinarian.  Debarking is a viable veterinary procedure that may allow a dog owner to keep a dog that barks excessively in its loving home rather than to be forced to surrender it to a shelter.  After other behavioral modification efforts to correct excessive barking have failed, the decision to debark a dog is best left to individual owners and their veterinarians.


Breed standards are established and maintained by AKC parent clubs whose primary purpose is to protect the welfare of their breed and the function it was bred to perform. The American Kennel Club opposes attempts by lawmakers to fundamentally change breed standards by way of limiting acceptable practices of animal husbandry that are provided with appropriate veterinary care.

The American Kennel Club recognizes that ear cropping, tail docking, and dewclaw removal, as described in certain breed standards, are acceptable practices integral to defining and preserving breed character and/or enhancing good health.  Appropriate veterinary care should be provided.

Tail docking refers to the removal of a portion of the tail, usually either by placement of a ligature or surgically. The length that is docked varies depending on the breed. Currently 62 breeds recognized by the AKC have docked tails, including Cocker Spaniels, Rottweilers, and Yorkshire Terriers. Some dogs, such as Old English Sheepdogs and Australian Shepherds may appear to be docked, but may have actually been born with a “bobtail”, or naturally short tail.  Tail docking is performed shortly after birth, when the puppy’s nervous system is not fully developed. As a result, the puppy feels little to no pain, and there are no lasting negative health issues.

Ear cropping is a procedure by which a dog’s ears are trimmed, or “cropped”, so that they can stand erect rather than flop over. Common examples of dogs with cropped ears are Boston Terriers, Great Danes and Doberman Pinschers. The AKC currently recognizes 20 breeds with cropped ears.


Concerned Hawaii dog owners are encouraged to contact the bill’s sponsor, Representative Roy Mitsuo Takumi, members of the House Agriculture Committee, and their elected representatives in Honolulu to comment on this bill.Bill sponsor Representative Roy Mitsuo Takumi:House District 35Hawaii State CapitolRoom 320phone: 808-586-6170fax: 808-586-6171reptakumi@Capitol.hawaii.gov

House Committee on AgricultureRepresentative Richard P. Creagan (Chairman)House District 5Hawaii State CapitolRoom 427phone: 808-586-9605fax: 808-586-9608repcreagan@Capitol.hawaii.gov 


Representative Lynn DeCoite (Vice Chair)House District 13Hawaii State Capitol, Room 441phone: 808-586-6790fax: 808-586-6779repdecoite@Capitol.hawaii.gov 

Representative Rida Cabanilla ArakawaHouse District 41Hawaii State CapitolRoom 317phone: 808-586-6080fax: 808-586-6081repcabanilla@Capitol.hawaii.gov 

Representative Romy M. CacholaHouse District 30Hawaii State CapitolRoom 406phone: 808-586-6010fax: 808-586-6011repcachola@Capitol.hawaii.gov 


Representative Daniel HoltHouse District 29Hawaii State CapitolRoom 333phone: 808-586-6180fax: 808-586-6189repholt@Capitol.hawaii.gov 

Representative Richard H.K. OnishiHouse District 3Hawaii State CapitolRoom 404phone: 808-586-6120fax: 808-586-6121reponishi@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Representative Amy A. PerrusoHouse District 46Hawaii State CapitolRoom 303phone: 808-586-6700fax: 808-586-6702repperruso@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Representative Cynthia ThielenHouse District 50Hawaii State CapitolRoom 443phone: 808-586-6480fax: 808-586-6481repthielen@Capitol.hawaii.gov


To find your Hawaii State Representative, click here and enter your address in the box on the top right of the page.

RESOURCES:For a copy of the full legislation, please click here.For more information on these procedures, click here.For tips on how to effectively communicate with legislators, please click here.

For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org, or AKC’s Hawaii federation, the Pacific Pet Alliance at pacificpetalliance@gmail.com.