State Senator Danny Martiny (R-Metairie) has SB 337 which seeks to ban pet stores from sourcing kittens and puppies from “puppy mills.” Cracking down on “puppy mills” is a top priority for animal rights activists.
If Martiny’s bill passes, pet stores will only be able to get puppies and kittens from USDA licensed breeders and animal shelters. Does this mean that Louisiana will be taking a stand against “puppy mills”? Not really.
Of course this means this bill passed committee and will be heard by the entire Louisiana Senate on Monday.
If you’re trying to avoid a puppy mill, the Humane Society of the United States warns that a USDA license doesn’t actually mean anything.
Puppy mills say: “I am USDA approved.”
What they mean is: “I’ve met the bare minimum standards required to obtain a license.”
There are no USDA “approved” breeders. There are USDA licensed breeders. While having a state or USDA kennel license certainly doesn’t make one a puppy mill, neither does possessing a license make one a quality breeder. If a breeder is USDA licensed that means they sell their puppies to brokers or pet stores. Truly responsible breeders do not sell their puppies to pet stores; they want to meet their puppy buyers in person and do not sell their puppies to the first person who shows up with cash in hand.
USDA standards under the Animal Welfare Act are bare minimum survival standards, not optimal standards of care.
Under USDA standards, it is legal to keep dozens or even hundreds of breeding dogs in small wire cages for their entire lives with only the basics of food, water and rudimentary shelter. But many USDA facilities have been found in violation of even these minimal standards. It is extremely rare for the USDA to revoke a commercial breeder’s license or even fine a puppy mill that has repeated violations. As a result, there are hundreds of USDA-licensed puppy mills in operation that have a history of documented animal care violations that are still licensed.
The best advice once again is to visit the facility yourself. If you see breeding dogs in rows of small cages, consider whether this is the life your puppy’s mother and father should endure. Those who purchase from these facilities are supporting the way these dogs are kept. Without such buyers, puppy mills could not survive.
Meanwhile, Martiny gets to go home and tell everyone that he went after the big, bad puppy mills. But in reality he did absolutely nothing but add a bunch of regulations for pet stores.
Martiny is also so sloppy he cut and pasted a bill he found online and submitted it to the Senate. Martiny did such a phone in job that the original bill had “county” instead of “parish.” The Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection and International Affairs Committee had to amend it to be relevant to Louisiana due to Martiny’s laziness.
If you really want a puppy that doesn’t come from a puppy mill, here are some tips.
Meanwhile we already have enough restraint of trade, leave the pet shops alone.