Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 3.2. Agriculture, Animal Care, and Food
Chapter 65. Comprehensive Animal Care

§ 3.2-6501.1. Regulations for the keeping of certain animals.

A. The Board shall, by July 1, 2022, and pursuant to the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.), adopt comprehensive regulations governing the keeping of dogs and cats by any pet shop. Such regulations shall not apply to agricultural animals.

B. The regulations adopted pursuant to subsection A shall require every regulated person or facility to register annually with the Department and shall prohibit operation without such registration. The fee for such annual registration shall be $250 for any private, for-profit entity required to register. Such regulations shall provide that a pet shop shall not sell a dog or cat to any research facility.

C. The regulations adopted pursuant to subsection A shall establish standards consistent with the provisions of this chapter for the keeping of animals, including (i) standards of adequate care, exercise, feed, shelter, space, treatment, and water and (ii) standards of proper cleaning and lighting. Where necessary, the Board shall adopt specific regulations that apply only to a particular category of currently unregulated entity; however, the standards established for any two similar categories of regulated entity shall not differ significantly.

D. The Board shall issue guidance setting out the compliance requirements for each regulatory standard adopted pursuant to this section, providing information on what an entity in each category is expected to do to comply with a given regulatory standard.

E. Regulations adopted pursuant to this section shall require a State Animal Welfare Inspector employed pursuant to § 3.2-5901.1 to annually conduct at least one unannounced drop-in inspection of each pet shop.

F. Regulations adopted pursuant to this section shall establish remedies for each finding in a given inspection. Such remedies may include the cancellation of the registration granted pursuant to subsection B; the institution of a conditional probationary period, during which the regulated facility shall be allowed to continue to operate; the renewal of such registration for a limited period; or other actions.

G. Nothing in this section or in any regulation adopted pursuant to this section shall be interpreted to limit the authority of any entity to punish or prosecute a person for a violation of any law or regulation or to prevent any person from alerting an animal control officer or law-enforcement officer regarding the condition or treatment of any animal.

2020, c. 1284.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.