Legislative News: NC Puppy Mill Bill – and animal welfare and farm groups in Ohio broker deal

Ohio farm groups and animal welfare organizations reached an agreement last week. The end result – a proposed ballot measure directed at improving the treatment of farm animals will be dropped. And new standards of care, worked out between the two sides will be implemented.

The agreement, according to a story posted on NewarkAdvocate.com, includes bans on “strangulation as a form of euthanasia” and bans on certain forms of crates and cages. The Humane Society of the United States led the effort on the animal-welfare side.

And News 14 Carolina ran another piece Monday on North Carolina’s Puppy Mill Bill, which was tabled for this latest legislative session.

From the story – “” – In a recent letter to legislators, Erica Peterson, with the N.C. Agribusiness Council, wrote, “This bill is just a first step; their next prey will be pork, cattle, and poultry producers.” – “”

Okay, two problems with this statement, which I’ve heard from other groups opposed to anti-puppy mill legislation across the board.

Problem 1 – Basically, this argument suggests we should not seek to better protect dogs housed in puppy mills because it might mean legislation could be directed to another area of animal welfare at some point in the future.

So again, can it be that we are allowing thousands of animals in North Carolina to continue to suffer horribly because some people might – just might – be inconvenienced in the future? And those on the side of blocking this bill could take a page out of what happened in Ohio, as NC Senate Bill 460 was in every way a compromise. For one thing, it did not cover the breeding of hunting dogs or working or show dogs.

Problem 2 – The argument screams loudly that the N.C. Agribusiness Council (and other groups) doesn’t want even minimum standards of care – as is the case with puppy mill bills – applied to farm animals.

The standards, as we see in the story from Ohio, typically apply to allowing for larger cages and minimal standards for humane treatment. But when it comes right down to it, the real issue is the really minimal standards for humane care will cost some money, in upgrades for factory farms and for the dog breeders who are NOT meeting the minimum standards.

And money too often wins the day over animal welfare.

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