Full Title Name:  State of New Hampshire. Division of Administrative Rules. Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food [Agr]. Chapter Agr 1700. Transfer of Animals and Birds. Part Agr 1704. Operating Standards Relative to Commercial Kennels and Other Premises Licensed to House, Harbor, or Display Animals in New Hampshire.

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Country of Origin:  United States Citation:  N.H. Code Admin. R. Agr 1704.01 - 10 Agency Origin:  Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food [Agr] Last Checked:  February, 2023
Summary: These New Hampshire regulations address minimum standards at commercial animal facilities. The regulations cover general aspects (i.e., housing must be structurally sound and maintained in good repair) as well as more specific aspects related to indoor heating/cooling and ventilation requirements. The sizing and construction of primary enclosures and minimal feeding requirements are described.

Agr 1704.01. Animal Facilities.

Agr 1704.02. Indoor Facilities.

Agr 1704.03. Outdoor Facilities.

Agr 1704.04. Primary Enclosures.

Agr 1704.05. Animal Health and Husbandry Standards.

Agr 1704.06. Official Health Certificate.

Agr 1704.07. Notice to Public.

Agr 1704.08. Written Records.

Agr 1704.09. Rabies vaccination.

Agr 1704.10. Foster facilities.


Agr 1704.01. Animal Facilities.

(a) Housing for animals shall be:

(1) Structurally sound; and

(2) Maintained in good repair to:

a. Protect the animals from injury;

b. Contain the animals; and

c. Prohibit the entrance of other animals.

(b) The facility shall have reliable and adequate electric power, if required to comply with other provisions of this section, and adequate potable water.

(c) Supplies of food and bedding shall be stored in facilities that adequately protect such supplies against infestation or contamination by vermin. Refrigeration shall be provided for supplies of perishable food.

(d) The following provisions for waste disposal shall be made:

(1) Any waste that would be considered infectious waste under Env- Sw 904.01 shall be stored, treated, transported and disposed of pursuant to Env-Sw 904;

(2) Provision shall be made for the removal and disposal of:

a. Animal and food wastes;

b. Bedding;

c. Dead animals; and

d. Debris; and

(3) Disposal facilities shall be constructed to prevent, and operate so as to minimize:

a. Vermin infestation;

b. Odors; and

c. Disease hazards.


Source. #10834, eff 5-21-15 (from Agr 1702.01)


Agr 1704.02. Indoor Facilities.

(a) Indoor housing for animals shall comply with the following heating requirements:

(1) Facilities shall be sufficiently heated to:

a. Protect the animals from cold; and

b. Provide for their health and comfort; and

(2) The ambient temperature shall not be allowed to fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit for animals not acclimated to lower temperatures.

(b) The following provisions shall be made for ventilation:

(1) Indoor housing facilities for animals shall be adequately ventilated to provide humidity control and fresh air exchange;

(2) Such facilities shall be:

a. Provided with fresh air through any combination of:

1. Windows;

2. Doors;

3. Vents; and

4. Air conditioning; and

b. Ventilated so as to minimize:

1. Drafts;

2. Odors; and

3. Moisture condensation; and

(3) Auxiliary ventilation, such as exhaust fans and vents or air conditioning, shall be provided when the ambient temperature is 85 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

(c) Indoor housing facilities for animals shall be illuminated by natural or artificial means, or both, as follows:

(1) Lighting shall provide uniformly distributed illumination of sufficient light intensity to permit routine inspection and cleaning during the entire working period; and

(2) Primary enclosures shall be so placed as to protect the animals from excessive illumination.

(d) The interior building surfaces of indoor housing facilities shall be constructed and maintained so that they are impervious to moisture and may be readily sanitized.

(e) If drains are in place, a method of drainage to rapidly eliminate excess water from indoor housing facilities shall be provided as follows:

(1) They shall be constructed pursuant to New Hampshire State Plumbing Codes and kept in good repair to avoid foul odors therefrom; and

(2) If closed drainage systems are used, they shall be equipped with traps and so installed as to prevent any backup of sewage onto the floor of the room.


Source. #10834, eff 5-21-15 (formerly Agr 1702.02)


Agr 1704.03. Outdoor Facilities.

(a) When sunlight is likely to cause overheating or discomfort, sufficient shade shall be provided to allow all animals kept outdoors to protect themselves from the direct rays of the sun.

(b) Animals kept outdoors shall be provided with access to shelter to allow them to remain dry during rain or snow.

(c) The following shall be provided to shelter animals from cold weather:

(1) Adequate shelter shall be provided for all animals kept outdoors when the atmospheric temperature falls below 50 degrees Fahrenheit; and

(2) Sufficient clean bedding material or other means of protection from the weather elements shall be provided.


Source. #10834, eff 5-21-15 (formerly Agr 1702.03)

Agr 1704.04. Primary Enclosures.

(a) Requirements for primary enclosures for animals shall be as follows:

(1) Primary enclosures, including the floors, shall be structurally sound and maintained in good repair to:

a. Protect the animals from injury;

b. Contain them; and

c. Keep other animals out;

(2) Primary enclosures shall be constructed and maintained so as to enable the animals to remain dry and clean, unless the animal lives in water; and

(3) Primary enclosures shall be constructed and maintained so that the animals contained therein have convenient access to clean food and water.

(b) In addition to the requirements in this section, all primary enclosures housing cats shall have a solid floor and a receptacle or any reasonable substitute containing sufficient clean litter shall be provided to contain excreta.

(c) Primary enclosures shall be constructed and maintained so as to provide sufficient space to allow each animal to:

(1) Turn about freely; and

(2) Easily stand, sit and lie in a comfortable normal position.

(d) In addition to the requirements in (a) through (c) of this section, additional space requirements shall be provided for dogs as follows:

(1) In addition to the provisions of Agr 1703.04(c), each dog housed in any primary enclosure shall be provided:

a. A minimum square footage of floor space equal to the mathematical square of the sum of the length of the dog in inches, as measured from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail plus 6 inches, expressed in square feet, as in the formulas below:

(length of dog in inches + 6)x(length of dog in inches + 6) = Required area in square inches

Required area in square inches = Required square feet of floor space/144; and

b. A primary enclosure containing no more than 4 adult dogs.

(2) If dog houses with chains or tethers are used as primary enclosures for dogs kept outdoors, the chains or tethers used shall be:

a. So placed or attached that they cannot become entangled with the chains or tethers of other dogs or any other objects;

b. Adequately sized and weighted for the size dog involved so as not to prohibit movement while not allowing the dog to break the chain or tether;

c. Attached to the dog by means of a well fitted non-choking collar;

d. At least 3 times the length of the dog as measured from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail; and

e. Allow the dog convenient access to the dog house.


Source. #10834, eff 5-21-15 (formerly Agr 1702.04)


Agr 1704.05. Animal Health and Husbandry Standards.

(a) Animals shall be fed at least twice each day, except as otherwise might be recommended by the supervising veterinarian to provide adequate nutrition and veterinary care, as follows:

(1) The food shall be:

a. Free from contamination;

b. Palatable to the individual animal; and

c. Of sufficient quantity and nutritive value to meet the normal daily requirements for the condition and size of the animal;

(2) Dogs and cats shall use food receptacles, other animals may use food receptacles;

(3) Food receptacles shall be:

a. Accessible to each animal;

b. Located so as to minimize contamination by excreta;

c. Durable and kept clean; and

d. Sanitized daily;

(4) Disposable food receptacles may be used but shall be discarded after each feeding; and

(5) If self-feeders are used, they:

a. Shall only be used for the feeding of dry food; and

b. Shall be sanitized and maintained regularly to prevent:

1. Mold and algae accretion;

2. Deterioration; or

3. Caking of feed.

(b) Potable water shall be accessible to the animals at all times, except as dictated by species, for example, fish, or might otherwise be required to provide adequate veterinary care, as follows:

(1) Watering receptacles shall be kept clean; and

(2) They shall be sanitized daily.

(c) The following requirements shall be met for sanitation:

(1) The following shall be required for cleaning of primary enclosures:

a. Excreta shall be removed from primary enclosures as often as necessary, but no less than once daily unless otherwise specified in the written animal health program, to:

1. Prevent contamination of the animals contained therein; and

2. Reduce disease hazards and odors.

b. When a hosing or flushing method is used for cleaning a primary enclosure commonly known as a cage:

1. Any animal contained therein shall be removed from such enclosure during the cleaning process; and

2. Adequate measures shall be taken to protect the animals in other such enclosures from being contaminated with water and other wastes;

(2) Prior to the introduction of animals into empty primary enclosures previously occupied by a different animal, such enclosures shall be sanitized as follows:

a. Primary enclosures animals shall be cleaned and sanitized often enough to prevent an accumulation of debris or excreta or a disease hazard;

b. Cages, rooms and hard-surfaced pens or runs shall be sanitized by:

1. Washing them with hot water and soap or detergent delivered with a machine;

2. Manually washing all soiled surfaces with a detergent solution followed by a safe and effective disinfectant; or

3. Cleaning all soiled surfaces with live steam; and

c. Pens or runs using gravel, sand or dirt shall be cleaned by removing the soiled gravel, sand or dirt and replacing it as necessary and spraying the surface with disinfectant in accordance with programs of disease control and prevention required by Agr 1704.05(e);

(3) The building and grounds shall be kept clean and in good repair in order to protect the animals from injury and to facilitate the prescribed husbandry practices set forth in this subpart.

(4) Premises shall remain free of accumulations of trash; and

(5) A program sufficient to prevent and address visible signs of infestation with insects, ectoparasites, and avian and mammalian pests shall be established and maintained. The licensee shall maintain written protocols at the licensed premises for review upon request.

(d) Animals housed in the same primary enclosure shall be maintained in compatible groups, with the following additional restrictions:

(1) Estrous females shall not be housed in the same primary enclosures with males, except for breeding purposes;

(2) Infant animals shall not be housed in the same primary enclosure with adult animals other than their dams, except when permanently maintained in breeding colonies;

(3) Neither dogs nor cats shall be housed in the same primary enclosure with any other species of animals; and

(4) Any animal under quarantine or treatment for a communicable disease shall be separated from any other animals in such a manner as to minimize dissemination of such disease.

(e) Written programs of disease control and prevention, euthanasia, and adequate veterinary care shall be established and maintained under the supervision and assistance of a doctor of veterinary medicine. Including at a minimum the following must be included:

(1) Every animal shall be observed daily by the animal caretaker in charge, or by someone under his or her direct supervision, for the purpose of monitoring health, nutrition and well-being; and

(2) Animals shall be provided with adequate care, up to and including euthanasia if necessary, at the discretion of the supervising veterinarian if they are:

a. Sick or diseased;

b. Injured;

c. Lame; or

d. Acutely blind; and

(3) Copies of the programs and the name of the supervising veterinarian shall be on file with the department, in hard copy or electronically, prior to initial licensing or license renewal and shall be re-submitted upon any change in program content or supervising veterinarian.


Source. #10834, eff 5-21-15 (formerly Agr 1702.05)


Agr 1704.06. Official Health Certificate.

(a) An official health certificate shall be created for each individual dog, cat, or ferret, and shall contain the address of, and be signed by, a licensed veterinarian.

(b) The signing veterinarian shall certify:

(1) The date when, and the fact that, a vaccine, approved by the department in accordance with RSA 436:80, has been administered for the purpose of protection against infectious disease; and

(2) That the dog, cat, or ferret, at the time of his or her examination, was free from visual and physical examination evidence of communicable zoonotic disease, including gastrointestinal, dermatological, and respiratory illness.

(c) The official health certificate shall also contain:

(1) The sex, breed and description of the dog, cat, or ferret;

(2) Date and place of its birth;

(3) The date of its entry into New Hampshire;

(4) The date of its acceptance by the licensee;

(5) A description of the date of and nature of all medication and treatment given by a licensed veterinarian or the animal caretaker or someone under his or her supervision prior to the veterinarian's initial examination and prior to the sale or transfer; and

(6) An attachment listing all treatments given by the animal caretaker or someone under his or her supervision subsequent to the veterinarian's examination.


Source. #10834, eff 5-21-15 (formerly Agr 1702.06)


Agr 1704.07. Notice to Public.

(a) At any premises transferring a dog, cat, or ferret, a sign with minimum dimensions of 14 inches by 18 inches and located at a height of between 4 and 6 feet shall be prominently displayed, together with the licensee's license, in the area where the dogs, cats, or ferrets are displayed. A copy of said language shall also be provided with the animal in a letter or other document at the time of transfer. At any premises not transferring a dog, cat, or ferret, only the posting of the license is required.

(b) The sign shall contain the following information:

(1) The words “Buyer's Inspection and Refund” in block letters at least one inch in height; and

(2) In easily readable print the following statements:

“Under state law you have the right to inspect the official health certificate containing a description and medical history of any dog or cat or ferret offered for transfer and to have a copy of such certificate for any animal you may obtain.”

“Under state law, within 14 days of transfer, you may have the dog, cat, or ferret examined by a licensed veterinarian of your choice. Unless such exam indicates the animal is free of disease, you may obtain a substitution of a similar animal of equal value or, at your option, a full refund of any money exchanged at transfer but only if within 2 business days of such examination you return the diseased animal to the store along with a written statement from the veterinarian that the animal was not free from disease.”


Source. #10834, eff 5-21-15 (formerly Agr 1702.07)


Agr 1704.08. Written Records.

(a) Each license holder shall keep a written record of all individual animals entering the licensed premises including:

(1) Date of purchase or acceptance;

(2) Name and address of seller, consignor or donor; and

(3) Species, age, sex and description of animals.

(b) Each license holder shall keep a written record of all transfers of all animals leaving their facilities including:

(1) Date of transfer;

(2) Name and address of recipient; and

(3) Species, age, sex and description of animals.

(c) Records shall be maintained at the facility for a minimum of one year after the date of transfer. Such records shall be available upon demand for inspection at the licensed premises by the department during reasonable times.


Source. #10834, eff 5-21-15 (formerly Agr 1702.08)


Agr 1704.09. Rabies vaccination.

Animals shall not be allowed to freely roam the facility unless they are immunized for rabies and are free of visual evidence of communicable zoonotic disease.


Source. #10834, eff 5-21-15


Agr 1704.10. Foster facilities.

(a) License holders shall assure that foster facilities at which the license holder keeps animals are inspected no less frequently than once a year and that they meet acceptable standards to ensure that the health and safety of the animals are maintained.

(b) Foster facilities shall be used solely for medical or behavioral rehabilitation when a premises already holds a license to house animals. Foster facilities shall not be used as an extension of space for housing the general population of a licensee.

(c) Foster facilities may house animals that are owned by the licensee, but foster facilities shall not own such animals. If the department receives a complaint about a foster facility, the department shall inspect that property as part of the license holder's network and the license holder shall be subject to sanction for any shortcomings which pose a risk to the health and safety of the animals in their network.

(d) Licensees shall maintain a list of current foster facilities that shall be available to the department upon request.

(e) Brokers shall not use foster facilities.

Source. #10834, eff 5-21-15

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