Thursday, October 7, 2010
Dogs Can't Vote...
Read about the campaign against puppy mills at Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation
On the November ballot, Missouri voters will be asked to make an important decision about the welfare of dogs in our state. Proposition B is the measure, and it has a few opponents.
Some believe that breeders can't afford the modifications that the proposition would require. Agricultural representatives fear that passage would open the door to further legislation regarding the treatment of farm animals. Hunters think that somehow the proposition will take away their right to hunt wildlife.
I read Proposition B. The St. Louis Post Dispatch sums up the major points quite accurately.
"Missouri's Proposition B would require anyone who has more than 10 breeding dogs to:
• Provide the dogs with access to food at least once a day and potable water continuously.
• Have each dog examined by a veterinarian yearly and use vets for "humane euthanasia," if needed.
• House dogs in pens large enough for them to 'stretch freely, lie down and fully extend" their limbs — between 12 square feet and 30 square feet, depending on the size of the dog.
• Prohibit stacked cages and wire flooring.
• Provide "unfettered access" to an outdoor exercise area.
• Breed dogs to produce no more than two litters in any 18-month period.
• Make knowingly violating the act a misdemeanor called "puppy mill cruelty."
• Bar breeders from having more than 50 breeding dogs.
• Take effect a year after it was passed by a majority of state voters."
Opponents of the bill should read it. There is no mention of farm animals at all, and the only thing I read about hunting was that hunting dogs were exempt from the proposition. And as far as cost is concerned, if breeders can't afford to give basic decent care to dogs, perhaps they should find another line of work.
Proposition B requires the humane treatment of dogs by breeders. How can anyone possibly be opposed to that?
Missouri has long held the dubious distinction of being called the "Puppy Mill State", where breeding females live a life of repetitive reproduction. In the worst conditions, these animals never leave the small wire cage where they live a life of abject misery, little more than a commodity used to produce as many puppies as possible. When their usefulness as breeding stock is over, it isn't unheard of for the animal to be destroyed, and sometimes in not a very pleasant manner.
Why is it that kindness must be legislated? You'd think the human species would have come a lot farther than that by now. But since we obviously still have a long way to go, legislate we must. For those of us who care about the welfare of dogs, there is only one choice on Proposition B.
To vote Yes.