The ASPCA has long been recognized in the forefront on the
war against animal cruelty. Now, the ASPCA joins many fine groups in
supporting the Pet Animal Welfare Statute known as PAWS S. 1139/H.R. 2669.
Last week ASPCA president Edwin Sayres announced that the
ASPCA will be joining the animal welfare community in support of the Pet
Animal Welfare Statute, legislation that cracks down on the country’s
large-scale commercial breeding facilities—otherwise known as puppy mills.
ASPCA President Ed Sayres called for "all animal welfare
communities to work together to pass this bill that will help require
breeders to meet the basic requirements for the care and treatment of
thousands of companion animals.”
It is important to understand that PAWS focuses changes in
the AWA that will close the loopholes for breeders who breed SEVEN or more
litters a year. What PAWS won't do is require rescue groups or responsible
breeders who fall short of the SEVEN litter requirement from being
licensed under the USDA.
Many breeders have cried foul over entering a number of
litters which would bring about licensing and inspections of their
breeding facilities. Yet, these standards were implemented under the
guidelines recommended AKC's High Volume Breeders Committee a few years
back. Breeders who have seven litters a year are required to pass an AKC
Inspection and random DNA testing prior to registering any future litters
with the AKC.
The AKC recognizes through the history of inspecting high
volume breeders that inspection and regulation plays an important role in
protecting breed standards and consumer protection. Many of the high
volume breeders faced with failing either a USDA mandated inspection which
allowed them to sell to the wholesale pet industry OR breeders who failed
the AKC's inspection process would simply stop registering under the AKC
and sell their poorly bred puppies through Internet sales, classified ads
or through other less than responsible outlets like flea markets.
Obviously consumers suffer, but worse than that the breeders' stock
suffers as well.
The Pet Animal Welfare Statute, H.R. 2669/S. 1139, would
amend the Animal Welfare Act to cover facilities in which more than six
litters of dogs or cats are whelped per year and that sell any dogs or
cats to the public, as well as breeders who annually sell more than 25
dogs and cats directly to the public or wholesale. Passage of this
legislation would require that these breeders be licensed by the USDA and
comply with standards of care set forth in the Animal Welfare Act. The
loophole in the current law allows puppy mills to classify themselves as
“retail pet stores,” thus evading federal oversight.
Please join us in support of this important legislation.
Please visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center today
www.aspca.org/site/Advocacy?id=1713 where you can contact your federal
representatives and ask them to support H.R. 2669/S. 1139.
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