Continued Support Needed for Missouri Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention ActPosted by Stephanie Ulmer, Guest Blogger on February 9, 2011
Update–March 17, 2011: Missouri legislators have voted to repeal Prop. B, endangering countless puppies in the abusive puppy mill industry. Please send your urgent letters to Governor Jay Nixon asking him to veto this repeal:
In November 2010, we reported that voters in Missouri, often infamously referred to as the “puppy mill capital of the nation,” passed Proposition B – the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act. This landmark law was passed with a 52% vote and requires large-scale dog breeders to provide all dogs under their care with sufficient food, clean water, improved housing and space, necessary veterinary care, regular exercise and rest between breeding cycles. In addition, it limits the number of dogs allowed in a breeding operation and elevates violations to criminal offenses. The law is scheduled to go into effect later in 2011. A great victory for the animals, right? It would seem so, but a fight has now begun to repeal or change the new law.
Missouri television station kmbc.com reports that “Hundreds of dog owners and animal rights activists packed a Missouri House hearing on Tuesday [January 25, 2011] as lawmakers considered whether to repeal or roll back” the laws. A bill sponsored by House Republican Tony Dugger of Hartville would repeal the law, while “two other legislative proposals would scale back changes in the law.” KansasCity.com reports that the bill heard in committee would remove many of “the stiffer regulations and the cap on the number of dogs, and change the name of the law to the Dog Breeders Cruelty Prevention Act, among other things.” Some opponents of the new law have argued that it punishes licensed breeders and that it could destroy the breeding industry in the state.
“Proposition B supporters, however, said the new law was a necessary response to animal cruelty and suggested that efforts to overturn it would subvert the people’s will.” The people of Missouri have spoken–the vote is in. They want the added protections for the animals clearly spelled out, with legal consequences for non-compliance. It is clear that this law is badly needed and that none of its provisions should be compromised–sufficient food, clean water, improved housing and space, necessary veterinary care, regular exercise and rest between breeding cycles–are tantamount for healthy and responsible breeding. The law should remain intact, for the sake of the animals.
Missouri residents: contact your legislators and encourage them stand behind the voters! The Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act was passed by the majority and should not be repealed.