Purdue dog breeder accreditation project piques interest of USDA


Uniform care standards for dog breeding and raising are underway at the Purdue University Center for Animal Welfare Science. The standards, once complete, would also be useful in the development of a dog breeder accreditation or certification program that has piqued the interest of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

Candace C. Croney, PhD, director of the center and an associate professor of comparative pathobiology and animal science, told the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) about her group’s intentions: to develop and test voluntary standards applicable at any scale of dog breeding 

“The end goal,” Croney told NEWStat, “is auditing by an independent third party and certification of breeders who meet the standards so that breeders who are doing well and voluntarily going well above minimum standards to ensure dog well-being can be distinguished.”

Croney also clarified the USDA’s role in the project. “The USDA, like several other organizations, is conceptually supportive of our efforts,” Croney told NEWStat. 

"USDA has also provided a research scientist to help conduct the studies need to fill scientific gaps needed for informed standards.”

Additionally, according to Croney, a representative group of breeders have seen the standards and provided candid feedback that helped improve the quality and clarity of the standards in several areas, as well as the process overall.

The project, which began last year, is projected for completion in late 2016.

The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, Pet Food Institute, and World Pet Association are funding the project. However, as Croney told NEWStat, “No organization, including the three funders has even seen a complete or current draft of the standards in order to maintain a credible process that is free of undue influence.”