May 17, 2012

Federal government responds to "puppy mills", asking for your input.

Last year I signed a petition to reign in the sale of commercial dog breeding over the internet, to increase protections to dogs bred in "puppy mills". The White House response can be found here.  The fight against some of the inhumane practices of large scale breeding operations has been ongoing since the advent of the internet. One of the most prominent being launched by the ASPCA.

Whatever side of the argument you are on, the federal government has drafted a proposed amendment to current legislation and is asking for your feedback.

View the proposed legislation here.

The central change of this legislation is the redefining what a pet store is. Currently, anything defined as a pet store does not fall under the auspices of Animal Welfare Act (AWA) regulation and does not require licensing. The change would narrow the scope of what is defined as a pet store, and would require an estimated 1,500 breeders to become subject to AWA rules of basic care for animals.

There are still a few exemptions to these requirements. They feel that with certain established breeders if a person can physically go to the location where the animal is being bred, view the conditions and health of the pet, that should negate the need for inspection. Further, if a person only maintains no more than four (a proposed increase to the current three) intact females, they are also exempt in order to concentrate on the operations posing the greatest risk.

The proposed rule makes a point of explaining how they came up with their decisions, options they had considered, and why they feel that this is not being sufficiently taken care of on a state level requiring federal intervention.  But this rule is not yet law. The government is asking that we the people weigh in.

So, here is your chance to be a part of the democratic process. Here is the link to make a comment. Agree, disagree, have a better idea? Let it be known!


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