The Missouri Department of Agriculture has finalized the first set of new rules for dog breeders in Missouri, which go into effect January first.
They're the result of a compromise reached earlier this year between Governor Jay Nixon (D) and Republican lawmakers.
State Agriculture Director Dr. Jon Hagler says the new rules include doubling the size of enclosures at existing breeder facilities, unfettered access to potable water, no more wire floors, and on-hand veterinary exams every year.
"(The exams) include a complete physical evaluation from head to tail of a covered dog, including...palpation and visual inspection," Hagler said. "They’ll be looking at the heart rate, respiratory rate, breathing soundness.”
Hagler added: “We’re also preparing for 2016, when we go to a much larger space, and anything that’s newly constructed in the period, of course, must meet the new space standards.”