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LETTER: Proposition B designed to protect animals, not destroy animal agriculture

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 | 12:34 p.m. CDT; updated 12:06 p.m. CDT, Monday, October 25, 2010

In an Aug. 20 opinion column, we learn that the writer, Aimee Gutshall, grew up on a farm, is studying at the MU College of Agriculture, and had a bad experience with someone trying to get her to sign a petition (who hasn’t?). She then jumps to the amazing assertion that the petition initiative on the November ballot to end puppy mills in Missouri is a conspiracy.

According to Ms. Gutshall it is a plot by the Humane Society, “whose ultimate goal is to abolish animal agriculture.” This is about as absurd an assertion as it is to claim the U.N. is going to attack Missouri with black helicopters or that President Barack Obama soon will force us all to become Muslims.

A vote for Proposition B is a vote to pass a law to reform the terrible cruelties to dogs in several mass breeding facilities. Newspapers constantly carry stories about the discovery of puppy mills with diseased animals in cramped cages, cages covered with feces or filled with dogs starving to death. To claim Proposition B is a conspiracy to abolish all animal agriculture is totally inaccurate and bizarre.

Proposition B is an effort to eliminate cruelty to animals and to end Missouri’s reputation as one of the nation’s worst centers for unregulated puppy mills.

Brett Prentiss is a Columbia resident.


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Comments

Zach Pyrite August 24, 2010 | 1:01 p.m.

Sure. Tell you what, talk to MU Vet School on an anonymous basis where they aren't quoted for the media. They may not call it a "conspiracy" but a good deal of the faculty and staff will let you know how inane this proposition is.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz August 24, 2010 | 1:27 p.m.

So is Brett a local citizen or someone from afar, maybe with ties to the petitioners? Is HSUS backing the petition initiative? Would that make it the conspiracy he claims it isn't? Lots of questions that can be dug into.

(Report Comment)
Jake Sherlock August 24, 2010 | 1:54 p.m.

John,

Apologies for leaving off the tagline of this letter -- Mr. Prentiss is a local citizen (I've added his tagline), and to my knowledge doesn't have any ties to the HSUS. Mostly, he just seemed bothered by the conclusion Aimee Gutshall jumped to in her column (his words, not mine), which he outlines in his first paragraph.

Thanks, John.

Jake Sherlock
Opinion editor and forgetter of taglines. :)

(Report Comment)
Eric Stockton August 24, 2010 | 4:03 p.m.

It may help for people to actually read the proposition.

http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/2010peti...

It does seem pretty explicit in covering dogs only.

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The Better Business Bureau (hardly a radical group) has relatively recently conducted a study showing that this is an issue in Missouri.

http://stlouis.bbb.org/article/bbb-study...

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The BBB found that 30% of federally licensed dog breeders are based here. The BBB also made the following recommendations:
-----That both the U.S. and Missouri Departments of Agriculture more aggressively pursue penalties against repeat offenders.
-----That Missouri consider raising annual licensing fees which have remained the same since the program of regulating dog breeders and sellers began 17 years ago.
-----That in seeking a puppy, consumers also consider “adopting” a pet from an animal shelter.
-----That Missouri consider legislation, if necessary, to streamline the process for penalizing repeat offenders, while still allowing for due process.
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Whether Proposition B would "streamline" repeat offender punishment could be up for argument.

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The Missouri Secretary of State states that the proposition will:
•require large-scale dog breeding operations to provide each dog under their care with sufficient food, clean water, housing and space; necessary veterinary care; regular exercise and adequate rest between breeding cycles;
•prohibit any breeder from having more than 50 breeding dogs for the purpose of selling their puppies as pets; and
•create a misdemeanor crime of “puppy mill cruelty” for any violations?

http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/2010ball... (Scroll down to Prop B)

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I guess some of the animosity towards this proposition is because of the 450K donation from the Humane Society of the U.S. but this seems like a pretty straight forward attempt to reduce Missouri's problem with inhumane puppy mills. It seems very similar to the NRA supporting the conceal and carry bill a number of years ago.
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I can see how the 50 dog restriction and the unfettered access to an outdoor enclosure could be controversial.

(Report Comment)
Samuel Davis August 24, 2010 | 4:54 p.m.

They should pass a bill like this in all 50 states. I'm tired of my tax dollars being used to kill healthy, adoptable animals in shelters, while these mass breeders crank out 4 million more every year.

I have no idea why even the most modest effort to improve conditions for animals brings out such contempt in many people. Puppy mills are the last legalized form of slavery. They are no more a "business" deserving to make a profit than are drug dealers or child pornographers.

The Dept of Agriculture standards for such facilities are laughable anyway. Even if they were enforced. Which of course, they aren't policed any better than the MMS watched the oil companies or the FDA kept poison Chinese goods out of our country.

Shut down these horror shows, and shut them down for good. In the long run, we'll save money AND lives.

(Report Comment)
ashley cox August 25, 2010 | 10:43 p.m.

I agree with samual davis... why are people so against stopping ill treatment of dogs who act as amazing companions to so many? What kind of heartless people are these? Have they never had a pet they loved and who loved them back?

I think we should put some of these nay sayers in a cramped cage, isolate them from friends and family, underfeed them and underwater them, leave them exposed to the elements, and make them have at least two babies back to back. Then we'll ask them if they still want to see other beings live like this.

(Report Comment)
Joan A September 2, 2010 | 7:18 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
Kara Crass September 12, 2010 | 12:51 a.m.

First, I am against puppy mills and any inhumane treatment of dogs and if this Proposition did anything about that, it would be another matter. However,truth is, this Proposition targets licensed breeders who already have to follow some of the strictest regulations in the country. There are no provisions in this proposition to shut down puppy mills, they don't even know where they are. The only ones that will be affected are the responsible, licensed breeders who already obey the law. We are already required to provide our dogs with constant access to clean food and water. We already have to have an exercise program. We already have to take any animal, that requires medical attention, to the vet. We already have to provide each dog with adequate space. So why add these into a new Proposition...to play on people's emotions, so they ignore the real agenda. The limiting of a breeder to 50 dogs and the new space requirements will be so detremental to most responsible breeders, that they will not be able to comply. The puppy mills don't follow the laws now, why would they start following new ones? And why, if they are so concerned about the humane treatment of dogs, did the HSUS make sure that all shelters and rescues would be exempt from the new laws? While breeders will not be allowed to have any dogs 'stacked' one on top of the other, the shelters can continue to use tiny cramped stack cages. While breeders have to ensure that all dogs have constant unfettered access to the outdoors, in pens the size of most children's bedrooms. The shelters can continue to keep their animals in small indoor pens. Don't those dogs deserve the same humane treatment? And as for breeders being responsible for the over-crowded conditions in the shelters, nothing could be further from the truth. Until people learn to spay and neuter their dogs and take responsibility for the puppies produced, that they stop buying dogs on impulse and then discarding them on a whim, the shelters will be full. We,as responsible breeders,take care of our dogs, they do not end up in shelters! Some people are happy with a 'lovable mutt'. However, there are some people that want a certain look and tempermant, they want a specific breed. We, as responsible breeders, provide them with those puppies. We are most definately a 'legitimate business' and we provide a very real service. As to being the last form of "legalized slavery", that is too insulting to the people of this country, whose ancestors suffered unspeakable attrocities during slavery, to dignify with an answer. Not to mention, the poor people still enduring slavery in other countries.

(Report Comment)
Kara Crass September 12, 2010 | 1:08 a.m.

Also, the economical impact to the state would be astronomical! There is no way to tell how much money will be lost to the state in revenue, not to mention the cost to regulate new laws. It is estimated, it will take an extra $450,000-550,000.00 a year, to enforce the new regulations. The state is already struggling to enforce the laws they have, where is that extra money to come from Samuel? You might give that a thought. Go to the Missouri Farm Bureau's website and see why they are against this bill. You're right, there is no great conspiracy on the Humane Society of the United States' part, they come right out and say it.."they have no problem with the extinction of all domestic animals." They are against farming and agriculture. That's not a conspiracy theory, that's a fact! Don't fool yourselves into thinking that if this bill passes, they won't be back. This will give them the foothold they need to come back, with a vengence. They have been smart in their campaign, but I know that the citizens of Missouri are smart enough to see through the lies. Please be informed before you go to vote. There are many websites to go to, the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association,The AKC,The Farm Bureau and any number of members of the legislation that have information there for you to read. Don't let anyone tell you that,if you vote no, you must not love dogs, don't let them play on your emotions, use good common sense to make up your mind. There are so many lies and mis-conceptions out there it's hard to wade through them all, but you can do it. Let's start with Samuel Davis' comment that he is "tired of my tax dollars being used to kill healthy, adoptable animals in shelters..." Actually, the shelters and local humane societies are not for profit 501(k) institutes, and receive absolutely no local, state or federal taxes to operate. They depend solely on donations. Then, there's the comment, "force them to have...babies back to back...". A dog comes in heat and breeds every 6 months, that's nature. If they were running loose, they would breed and have puppies! They don't say, "not now honey, I have a headache!" They are animals and they are doing whats natural, we aren't forcing them to do anything. We are only creating an environment to control what dog they are bred to, to create a certain breed standard. Another mis-conception is that we tear "families" apart, by weaning puppies. Actually, when puppies are 6-7 weeks old, mom starts to wean them on her own. She is done with being a mother and starts to dry her milk up. She gets cranky with them and wants them out of her space. That to is nature! We just take the puppies and provide them with a safe environment to be away from their mother, with plenty of food to eat and the necessary vaccinations to protect them against disease. So, three mis-conceptions down, 500 to go. Mark Twain said, "A lie can travel the world while the truth is putting on it's boots." Let's see if we can change that.

(Report Comment)
Crystal Bradley September 30, 2010 | 9:12 a.m.

Wow Kara you are right !
It seems most of the posts before you they aren't in the dog business so they have no idea what they are talking about. I came across this site because I was wanting more information on this bill. I got to thinking about things after reading your posts. Aren't chicken farmers chicken mills? Or cattlemen are they cow mills? Actually I looked up what a "mill" is. Definition of MILL
1: a building provided with machinery for grinding grain into flour
2a : a machine or apparatus (as a quern) for grinding grain b : a machine for crushing or comminuting
Do they grind up the puppies? Also Hsus is in the business of killing dogs and cats. I know they adopt out some but I've been there and they don't have many if any pure bred dogs. The dogs there look like large stray mutts and hunting dogs.
Hopefully people like me will look into it and not just believe what hsus says. I had no idea they were trying to make it where no one owns a pet. Thats what the founder of hsus wrote. Wow is Missouri sure getting hoodwinked with lies. Hopefully people will read what Kara wrote and wake up. I never voted before but I'm going to now. I have 4 cats and I'm afraid they will probably come after them next.

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane October 15, 2010 | 4:53 p.m.

If you really are buying into the LIES on the so called "Alliance for Truth" site which really should be called "Alliance for LIES"... then you really need to do some more research! Stop listening to the PUPPY MILLERS REPLYING HERE! THEY ARE IN IT FOR THERE OWN SICK GREED!
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I'LL TAKE MY FACTS FROM:
www.maal.org
www.hsmo.org
www.bbb.org (Even the BETTER BUSINESS BUREAUS SAYS WE NEED REFORM)

I'm a conservative,female, business owner & I run an ETHICAL business...I could CARE LESS if puppy mills shut down! I don't want that kind of money in Missouri & if you are so desperate for money that your willing to torture dogs for it.... then there is a special place in the afterlife waiting for you where it is REALLY HOT & NASTY!
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MISSOURIANS.... WE LIVE IN THE SHOW ME STATE.... HOW ABOUT SHOWING SOME COMPASSION!
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STOP PUPPY MILL CRUELTY
VOTE YES ON PROP B!
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STOP PUPPY MILL CRUELTY
VOTE YES ON PROP B!
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STOP PUPPY MILL CRUELTY
VOTE YES ON PROP B!
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STOP PUPPY MILL CRUELTY
VOTE YES ON PROP B!
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STOP PUPPY MILL CRUELTY
VOTE YES ON PROP B!
.
STOP PUPPY MILL CRUELTY
VOTE YES ON PROP B!
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STOP PUPPY MILL CRUELTY
VOTE YES ON PROP B!
.
STOP PUPPY MILL CRUELTY
VOTE YES ON PROP B!
.
STOP PUPPY MILL CRUELTY
VOTE YES ON PROP B!
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STOP PUPPY MILL CRUELTY
VOTE YES ON PROP B!

(Report Comment)
lacey holt October 17, 2010 | 4:49 p.m.

Crystal I totally agree with you!

Well for those who can understand things pretty well, or for one who are not educated in Agriculture or never lived on a farm, and in cities thinks of O doggies and kitties! Isn't there already laws against animal cruelty? Yes. Aren't there laws against puppy mill conditions? Yes. The problem with the already existing laws for animal care and cruelty is the amount of force we have to go out and look for the puppy mills. You can't catch them all just like people doing crimes.

If you look at what they are doing is trying to limit number of dogs you can have, right? Yes. They are trying to get into the Agricultural industry to try and limit how many animals and rules against their animal cruelty. Limit the chickens, horses, cows, etc. People who live in cities and think that just because of the name is Humane Society that it helps animals, no its not. We already have ASPCA and such don't we? Yes.

Problem is uneducated people. Go to college and learn something like real people do.

The HSUS is not up front with what they say. Like Crystal says, "I had no idea they were trying to make it where no one owns a pet. Thats what the founder of hsus wrote. Wow is Missouri sure getting hoodwinked with lies. Hopefully people will read what Kara wrote and wake up. I never voted before but I'm going to now", I totally agree.

If you look at the situation of Hsus wanting to take away animals, then I hope they like vegetarian food for they wont have their precious meats, for if they were educated then they would know that about only 2% farms today!!!!!!! They don't know what parts of the animals their meat comes from, they don't know how to drive a combine or a tractor or what they do or are. Let see what happens when farmers tell voters for Prop B that they can't have their food since they vote against animals, and see how far they get with food, medicine since farmers make plants needed for medicines, and needed materials like hmmmm ethanol made form corn!

I am voting AGAINST Prop B. I also hope that people get education in the world.

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane October 17, 2010 | 5:27 p.m.

WOW! Talk about needing to get an education!

NO WHERE in PROP B does it say ANYTHING AT ALL about limiting the chickens, horses, cows that people have. If you wanted to do that, you would have to pass a law that actually says that! It's just another SCARE TACTIC promoted by the opposition. PROP B ONLY LIMITS DOG BREEDING FACILITIES.
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Quote: "I had no idea they were trying to make it where no one owns a pet".
Really? If you really think PROP B will cause you not to own a pet in the future... you are falling for the lies & propaganda from the opposition to Prop B.
Quote: "If you look at the situation of Hsus wanting to take away animals, then I hope they like vegetarian food for they wont have their precious meats, for if they were educated then they would know that about only 2% farms today"
COME ON... ANOTHER SCARE TACTIC! PROP B HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH FARMING or FARM ANIMALS OR CATTLE OR CHICKENS ETC. NO ONE'S GONNA TURN YOU VEGETARIAN. That will never happen in Missouri!

Quote: "Let see what happens when farmers tell voters for Prop B that they can't have their food since they vote against animals, and see how far they get with food, medicine since farmers make plants needed for medicines, and needed materials like hmmmm ethanol made form corn!"

WHERE THE HECK ARE YOU GETTING THIS, CRAP! IT's Almost Comical how stupid these remarks are. NO WHERE in Prop B does does it say anything about farmers or voting against farm animals or about corn or ethanol for God's sake. I guess stupid is as stupid does.
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IT'S ABOUT DOGS. NOT COWS.
IT'S ABOUT DOGS. NOT CHICKENS.
IT'S ABOUT DOGS. NOT PIGS.
IT'S ABOUT DOGS. NOT FARMERS.
IT'S ABOUT DOGS. NOT CORN.
IT'S ABOUT DOGS. NOT COMBINES.
IT'S ABOUT DOGS. NOT ETHANOL.
IT'S ABOUT DOGS. That's it. DOGS.
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VOTE YES! on Prop B.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 22, 2010 | 6:25 p.m.

Stop HSUS, the spawn of PETA from making advances onto Missouri's legislature.
Vote No on Proposition B

(Report Comment)

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