Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tweaking Puppy Mills Cruelty Prevention Act MO Prop B - Urgent Alert

Bob Baker, Executive Director of the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation, has issued an update and alert regarding the Missouri legislators recent efforts to ditch Prop B.  Because I really have nothing new to say about this issue that I should put in print...  I'll just quote him here.  If you live in Missouri, please contact for legislators. 

"It is becoming clear that the legislature realizes that the public will not tolerate a repeal of Proposition B. Unfortunately, instead of listening to the public and honoring their wishes as expressed in the election, some in the legislature believe they can pull the wool over the voters' eyes and repeal Prop B under the guise of simply "tweaking" it.

"The legislature's first effort to do this occurred on Thursday when the Senate Agriculture Committee passed out Senate Committee Substitute 113 stating that such bill only "modifies the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act." In fact, SCS 113 deletes all of the provisions in reference to care of the dogs contained in Prop B, including veterinary care and rest between breeding cycles. SCS 113 simply maintains the status quo and will allow dogs to be confined in tiny cages only 6 inches longer than the dogs themselves, allows wire flooring and stacking of cages, and denies dogs access to exercise. It evens goes so far as to allow "frozen" water as meeting the requirements for water and removes protection from temperature extremes.

"Most disturbing, it weakens the penalties and allows violations of a "serious" nature to exist from 30 to 180 days without correction.

"The Senate Agriculture Committee believes that by calling it a "modification" or a "compromise" bill that it will provide cover to their colleagues in the Senate to vote for it. Some legislators will obviously explain to their constituents back home that they opposed a "repeal" of Prop B and they only tweaked it. In fact, the word "tweak" was the buzz word around the capitol last week during the House and Senate hearings on efforts to weaken Prop B.

"Regrettably, the House Agriculture Committee is attempting to do the same thing and have introduced several bills that will gut Prop B. The sponsors of these bills are telling the public that they are just tweaking Prop B and are not repealing it.

"These efforts are simply a "bait and switch" by the rural legislators to help persuade the urban legislators to vote in favor of removing all the major provisions of Prop B.

"We desperately need your help once again to reach out to your state representative and state senator and urge them to vigorously oppose the bills coming from the Agriculture Committees that repeal or weaken Prop B. Tell them in a very polite manner that you are aware of attempts to "amend" or "tweak" Prop B and that such attempts by both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees are just a repeal disguised as a compromise effort.

"All of the bills that have been introduced to date either remove every provision of Prop B or render it meaningless. Even if you have contacted your legislators previously on this issue, you need to contact them again and tell them that they need to protect humane standards of care for dogs as provided in Prop B and that you will not accept the bait and switch the Agriculture Committees are attempting to foist on the public."

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