The initiative petition to place more restrictions on Missouri dog breeders has been certified by the Missouri Secretary of State’s office.
Missourians for the Protection of Dogs, a coalition of groups which includes the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), says enough signatures out of the 190,000 it submitted in May will put the issue before voters in November.
Karen Strange, the president of the Missouri Federation of Animal Owners (MO-Fed), one of the groups fighting “The Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act”, as it is named, says Missouri’s “legal licensed” dog breeders are already highly regulated and have to pass numerous inspections.
“This will eliminate many dogs from their kennels regardless of the excellent care,” said Strange.
The proposed changes to state law would limit breeders from having more than 50 breeding dogs, and, Strange says, wrongly places restrictions on how often licensed breeders can breed them.
“We don’t feel like a ballot initiative put forth by animal rights people should interfere with the relationship for the animals between the veterinarian and the breeder,” said Strange.
Mo Fed’s pending lawsuit against the proposal charges the ballot title is prejudicial and the summary misleading.
“The summary states that each animal will be provided with clean water and food and an exercise area and those are already required by state law,” said Strange.
The news release from Missourians for the Protection of Dogs says “lawmakers in Iowa and Oklahoma enacted puppy mill legislation in those states earlier this year, and after Missouri, they are the next largest dog breeding states in the nation.” Their release says 10 states approved legislation last year “to address puppy mill problems.”
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