MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A new Minnesota law regulates dog and cat breeders.

Minnesota has long relied on citizen complaints to discover and take action against breeders who abuse or neglect their animals. But the law taking effect this week requires dog and cat breeders to register with the state Board of Animal Health, and next year, they will have to be licensed.

DFL state Sen. John Marty of Roseville sponsored the bill. Marty says the goal is not to punish people but to make sure animals are treated humanely.

Keith Streff of the Animal Humane Society says in the past, commercial breeders were regulated by an assortment of state laws governing animal treatment. Streff says those laws were vague and difficult to apply effectively.

The new law establishes specific standards.