Missouri Puppy Mill Legislation Update – Compromise???

The overhaul of Proposition B is now officially law in the state of Missouri.

Compromise? Photo courtesty of St. Louis Today

Governor Jay Nixon signed two bills yesterday.  Bills S.B. 113 and S.B 161 did the following:

  • Maximum fee for operating certain dog facilities was $500 per year and this has increased to a maximum of $2500 per year.  Additional the licensee pays $25/year to go to the Department of Agriculture’s Operation Bark Alert.  Operation Bark Alert is an effort to crack down on unlicensed breeders.
  • Name change from the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act to the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act.
  • Must make veterinarian records and sales records available upon request.
  • The prohibition of anyone having more than 50 dogs for the purpose of breeding was removed.
  • Where the state veterinarian OR an animal welfare official finds that past violations (last 2 years) have not been corrected the Department of Agriculture MAY refer such cases to the Attorney General.  The court can assess up to $1,000/violation
  • Creating of the crime of canine cruelty, a Class C misdemeanor (could be punishable by 15 days in jail and $300 fine).  A second or subsequent offense is a class A misdemeanor (could be punishable by up to 1 year in jail and up to $1,000 fine).
  • If a breeder is licensed under the Animal Care Facilities Act it is a Class A Misdemeanor to stack cages on top of one another without having an impervious layer between the cages.
  • Begins a process to phase-in larger enclosures/cages for dogs and requires “unfettered” (to set free or be unrestricted) access to dogs for an outdoor area.

    Enforcement?

So Proposition B is no more and many animal groups are declaring a compromise.  I am still confused as to what happened to the the rights of the voters of Missouri.  Governor Nixon stated, “But for the people of the state voting on this, we wouldn’t be here today. Their votes did matter. They fundamentally changed the discussion that was going on in our state.”

More to come as my main concern regarding these two new bills (and all along) will be enforcement of these regulations.  How does the state of Missouri plan to enforce this and how many strikes before you are out?

Meet Zoey's father, rescued from a puppy mill in Missouri

 

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One Comment

  1. Annie Reynolds
    Posted April 30, 2011 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Sounds like progress is being made!

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