News Pack – May 29: Puppy Mills

New legislation is being proposed to close a loophole in the Animal Welfare Act, one that allows puppy-mill breeders to sneak around the law and operate without licensing or regulation.

A KSBW story notes a representative from California is introducing a bill that if passed would require all breeders that sell more than 50 dogs within a single year to be licensed at the federal level and be subject to inspection.

In addition, the dogs housed in commercial breeding operations would be required to have an exercise period of at least one hour each day.

This could be another huge step in the direction of shutting down many of the puppy mills across the country – and this bill could make life a little bit better for the breeding dogs.

I hate to toss in any sour note at all on a story like this, but I can’t go without stating that more needs to be done. There should be a federal guideline to prevent the sale of puppies less than – at least – 10 weeks old. And an hour a day for exercise outside the cages is better than no exercise, but an hour isn’t enough.

And of course, there should be required, regular vet checkups for the dogs and standards for food and water.

Some groups or individuals will speak out with the typical – “nobody should tell me how often to exercise my dogs.” Well, if you’re speaking out against a minimum of an hour a day for exercise for the dogs you’re breeding, you shouldn’t be breeding dogs at all.

The more videos I see of dogs living in small cages, as nothing more than breeding machines, the more firm I become in my belief that the minimum standard should be kennel runs. Dogs and cats should not have to live out their lives in cages of any kind.

If a breeder has a number of dogs so large that they have to keep them in small cages – as the primary housing for the dogs – then it becomes inhumane for the animals … PERIOD.

There are a lot of great breeders across the country who DO NOT house their dogs in cages.

I can certainly see this latest proposal for new legislation as a good step to where we need to be – especially in opening up the kennels to inspections. I’m all for it. But we’ve got a ways to go and more giant steps to take to end the cruelty within puppy mills and other industries.

And on a related issue, dog auctions are the horrible cousins to the puppy mills. A story posted on WHAS11.com reports on this industry. This auction loophole needs to be closed with the Internet loophole.

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