Thursday, April 21, 2011

Missouri Compromise on Puppy Mills: Senate Bill 161

Photo:  St Louis Today  
Both the Humane Society of Missouri and the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation have come out in support of Missouri Governor Jay Nixon's puppy mill compromise bill.

SB 161 would be an improvement over Missouri's current law which allows breeding dogs to be confined to small wire floored cages for their entire lives.  Current law also denies veterinary care, including an annual vet exam to the dogs, and allows even frozen water to satisfy requirements for water.

SB 161 would:
  • require an annual veterinarian examination of breeding dogs, as well as require that any dogs with a serious illness or injury receive prompt vet treatment. 
  • require continuous access to clean water
  • require ample space for confined dogs with three times the current space requirement
  • require constant and unfettered access to an outdoor exercise run
  • prohibit wire flooring
  • provide funding for additional inspectors and veterinarians to enforce the law
Politics aside, SB 161 would definitely be a winning proposition for thousands of dogs living in Missouri commercial breeding facilities. 

Unfortunately, politics can't be set aside.  Legislative leaders say they will advance SB 161 only if the Governor signs SB 113.  If both bills are passed, both could become law - even with contradictory elements.

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