April 02, 2011

Missouri Puppy Mill Bill Repeal Update

APRIL 13 --Breaking News from Missouri:  Today Missouri Senate Bill 113, the bill to undo the voter approved Prop B, a crackdown on dog breeders, passed the Missouri House of Representatives. This was no surprise considering Majority Whip Jason Smith is the son of Mary Ann Smith, a puppy mill breeder who is included on the HSUS Missouri "Dirty Dozen" list. Governor Jay Nixon now has 15 days to veto the bill or allow it to become law.

What does that mean to the intent of Proposition B, which would give some basic humane protection to the dogs being bred in Missouri commercial kennels?

SB 113 is called The Canine Cruelty Prevention Act with  pups referred to as "dogs bred in large operations" instead of  "dogs in puppy mills."

SB 113 would remove Prop B's 50-dog limit, replacing it with no limit for kennels on number of breeding dogs .

SB 113 would remove restrictions on how often a dog could breed. Prop B limited all dogs to breeding no more than twice in an 18-month period.

SB 113 would remove the requirement that each dog be examined by a veterinarian annually. Instead,  dogs would need a "visual inspection" twice per year meaning a vet could visit and quickly survey a breeder's dogs instead of examining each one.

SB 113 would remove the requirement that dogs get "unfettered access" to an exercise area outdoors.

SB 113 would remove the requirement that dogs get continual water. Instead, breeders would be required to give the dog water every eight hours. Prop B mandated that the water be "free of debris, feces, algae, and other contaminants." The Senate bill removes that provision entirely.

SB 113 removes the requirement that the dog's living space be cleaned of waste at least once a day.

SB 113 removes the requirement that dogs have enough space to lie down and fully extend their limbs, plus a foot of headroom on top.

SB 113 removes the threat of a class C misdemeanor for any breeder in violation of the requirements. Instead, breeders would face criminal charges only if they're found in repeated violation -- or in violation of an "agreed-to" remedial order. It would also add fines of up to $1,000.

SB 113 adds a provision requiring "an impervious barrier" between stacked cages.  Prop B would have essentially outlawed stacked cages entirely so the dogs in lower cages would not be subjected to a constant rain of urine and feces from dogs above them.

Missouri's Prop B is a simple measure, setting basic humane standards for USDA commercial dog breeders. We believe it's only a first step. Now it turns out that it is far too humane for the Missouri legislature.

Cruelty to animals and factory farming of dogs for profit is not acceptable.
Help us stop it by stopping the demand for the puppies from commercial breeders.

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