Missouri & Oklahoma puppy mill legislation is diluted before taking effect

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2011:
Governor Jay Nixon and Oklahoma Governor Mary
Fallin on April 27, 2011 and May 17, 2011 each
endorsed into law two-bill packages substituting
weaker regulatory packages for anti-puppy mill
legislation passed in 2010. The substitution
means the laws passed in 2010 never took effect.
In Missouri, wrote Kansas City Star
correspondent Jason Noble, “parallel bills
constituted an agreement between the Democratic
governor and the Republican-led General Assembly
to overhaul Proposition B, approved by voters
last November. Nixon signed SB 113, which
substantially watered down the restrictions
enacted by Proposition B. In exchange,
lawmakers quickly pushed through SB 161, which
contained compromise language brokered by Nixon.”

“Immediately, dogs in large breeding
facilities will be assured hands-on veterinary
care, continuous clean water, nutritious food
twice daily and, within a very short time,
considerably more space,” said Humane Society of
Missouri president Kathy Warnick. But the Humane
Society of the U.S. and the American SPCA, the
major funders of the Proposition B campaign,
were considerably more critical of the deal.
“The compromise removes the requirement
that dogs get rest between breeding cycles as
well as the limit on the number of breeding dogs
a breeder may keep,” noted the ASPCA. “It also
removes the requirement for prompt veterinary
treatment of an illness or injury, gives dogs
less space in cages,” even after the phased
expansion Warnick mentioned, “and replaces
criminal penalties for violations with civil
penalties, except for repeat offenders. We’ll
watch closely to see if abuses in Missouri’s
large-scale breeding facilities continue
unabated,” the ASPCA pledged. “If the situation
does not improve, we’ll consider another ballot
initiative to restore the Proposition B
standards. The ASPCA is also joining other
animal welfare groups in actively supporting a
proposed constitutional amendment to require a
three-fourths vote in both houses of the
legislature, or a subsequent vote of the people,
in order to repeal or amend any citizen-passed
initiative in Missouri.”
HSUS issued a similar statement.
Oklahoma Governor Fallin signed SB 637
and House Joint Resolution 1045. “Initially, SB
637 would have disallowed all of the rules
adopted by the recently created Commercial Pet
Breeders Board,” wrote Barbara Hoberock of the
Tulsa World Capitol Bureau. Momentum for the
formation of the board developed largely in
response to multiple Tulsa World exposés of puppy
As passed, SB 637 stipulates that the
Commercial Pet Breeders Board “shall not hire any
humane society group or member of any humane
society group to perform any inspection required
by the Commercial Pet Breeders Act,” and also
excludes the use of veterinarians employed by
animal control agencies. In addition, SB 637
and HJR 1045 prevent the Commercial Pet Breeders
Board from excluding convicted felons from
breeding dogs, unless they have been
specifically convicted of cruelty to animals.

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