Governor Fallin signed a bill that abolishes the Board of Commercial Pet Breeders. The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture will now oversee regulation for breeders.
The board was put in place just two years ago by anti-puppy mill legislation. But as of July 1, 2012, the board is out and the State Department of Agriculture is in charge.
State Representative and veterinarian Brian Renegar says the board didn't sell as many licenses as anticipated.
Renegar says the board could no longer sustain itself and there were a few other problems, including how citations and licenses were handled.
"The Dog Breeders Act does not go away," Renegar said. "I was just afraid that due to a lack of licensing, they wouldn't be able to perpetuate themselves and the Department of Agriculture taking it over is at least going to keep it alive."
The bill's author, State Representative Phil Richardson, says the new bill is "meant to insert some balance into how these small businesses are regulated. There were a number of lawmakers who did not agree with some of the decisions of the Commercial Pet Breeders Board."
"We chose to put it under the Department of Agriculture, because the perception is the ag department is a kinder, gentler agency than the dog breeders," Renegar said.
Fallin says this new law will protect animals while providing fair treatment of pet breeders in Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma Alliance for Animals and the Oklahoma Humane Society say they support the move.