The Missouri Department of Agriculture says the state’s standards for licensed breeders are more stringent than USDA.

Representative Mike Moon (photo courtesy; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

Representative Mike Moon (photo courtesy; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

State veterinarian Dr. Linda Hickam told a House Committee last week that her agency reviews standards with USDA, to make sure there’s no conflicts. State Rep. Mike Moon (R-Ash Grove) told Dr. Hickam there’s some “confusion” for breeders, and a financial burden.

“What I’d like to see is, since our guidelines are more stringent, keep them. And our breeders are ok with that. But it’s just, having to keep two sets of records and have two sets of inspectors come in,” Moon said.

Dr. Hickam testified that MDA’s goal is to work with licensed breeders, to make sure they are successful. She also says MDA tries to educate and work with them to get them up to standards.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture has 13 inspectors who are required to inspect the state’s 800 licensed breeders at least once a year, unless they’re in violation. During last week’s hearing, Dr. Hickam said when inspectors follow-up with breeders depends on the issue.

“If the noncompliance is an issue where the well-being and livelihood of that animal is at risk, then they’ll be in in a matter of hours, so 24 hours, 48 hours, something of that sort,” Hickam said.

Dr. Hickam testified before the Missouri House Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources, which is chaired by State Rep. Craig Redmon (R-Canton).