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Proposal would place more restrictions on dog breeders

Proposition B among the most contentious issues on the ballot
Saturday, October 23, 2010 | 3:43 p.m. CDT; updated 11:49 a.m. CDT, Monday, October 25, 2010

COLUMBIA — Proposition B is an initiative that would add regulations to existing laws regarding licensed dog breeders in Missouri. 

Ballot language

Shall Missouri law be amended to:

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?

It is estimated state governmental entities will incur costs of $654,768 (on-going costs of $521,356 and one-time costs of $133,412). Some local governmental entities may experience costs related to enforcement activities and savings related to reduced animal care activities.



The new rules would require that breeders:

  • Give dogs continuous access to water. Existing Missouri law says they must have access to water at least twice a day.
  • Have their dogs examined by a veterinarian at least once a year.
  • Give dogs constant and unfettered access indoors and outdoors.
  • Keep dogs in enclosures tailored to the animals' size. All enclosures would have to be large enough that dogs could turn in a complete circle and stretch their limbs without touching the enclosure or another dog.
  • Have dog enclosures that have solid floors and are not stacked. This is designed, in part, to eliminate wire floors.
  • Clean dog pens at least once a day.
  • Limits their breeding females to no more than two litters in an 18-month period.

All these regulations would pertain only to breeders who have 10 or more breedable females, or females with their sexual organs intact. The initiative also limits breeders to having no more than 50 dogs with intact sexual organs – male or female.

The campaign for Proposition B is called the Missourians for the Protection of Dogs/Yes! On Prop B. Supporting groups include the Humane Society of the United States, the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Best Friends Animal Society, the Animal Rescue Foundation and the Humane Society of Missouri.

The campaign working against Proposition B is called the Alliance for Truth.  It argues that the Humane Society of the United States has a hidden agenda behind the initiative to end animal ownership in the United States. It also has argued that the new restrictions would put some breeders out of business. The Missouri Federation of Animal Owners, the Missouri Pet Breeders Association, the Missouri Farm Bureau and other agricultural organizations endorse the Alliance for Truth.

A fiscal note prepared for the ballot initiative says it would cost the Missouri Department of Agriculture about $500,000 per year to enforce the new provisions.


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Comments

michelle johnson October 23, 2010 | 4:42 p.m.

You cannot effectively raise puppies on cement floors. We found this out in the swine industry. E coli bacteria is a major problem on cement. You cannot adequately disinfect it. Also, there is a problem with cement sweating at various times of the year. They have also mandated only a one time cleaning per 24 hr period. What common sense Einstein came up with that one? Our kennel clients clean more than that now. Unfettered access is a prescription for frozen puppies.
Our colleague asked for a tour of the HSUS kennel that this proposal was based on. So far no one seems to be getting answers. Call HSUS in St Louis and see how far you get with any kinds of questioning pertaining this proposition. Before you vote , carefully read LINE #9. Look up domesticated animal on wikipedia and see what the definition of "pet" happens to be. I took the Prop to our attorney. She said that Line 9 is an open door to our livestock industry. Don't be fooled folks. Look at what HSUS did in California and Florida.

(Report Comment)
mary ann mcgregor October 23, 2010 | 4:49 p.m.

Proposition B and the HSUS organization that sponsored it, are totally contemptible! The public is being lied to. The Veterinarians that they talk about on TV, are 2 vets from New York, it is not your American Veterinarian Association or even the veterinarians of Missouri. This is not about making sure puppies get fresh food and water – it is about putting outrageous regulations on professional dog breeders in this state. This is not going to affect any illegal substandard puppy raising operation – where you see puppies that are in tiny cages and have not been groomed or handled in a long time – those places are not obeying the current laws – and you think that they are going to start obeying more laws??? Probably the biggest change and most expensive that breeders will be required to do – is: provide ‘bedrooms’ for dogs, depending on the size of the dog – the room is quite substantial – but get this – it needs to have a door leading out to a play yard that is twice the size of the ‘bedroom’. Do your kids have bedrooms and doors leading outside – with 24/7 access? Are you required by law to provide a certain size of bedroom for each of your kids and if 2 of them share the same room, it has to be double??
Then to top it off – if the temp outside is 85 degrees plus, the air conditioner has to be on!!! Okay, when did school start this year?? In the middle of August we had children from 5 to 18 crammed on school busses w/o seat belts and w/o air conditioning!!! What is wrong with this picture?? How many school houses in MO are still w/o air conditioning? Do you know this goes above the standards set by the Department of Family Services for children in Foster care?
And we have to provide it for the dogs. Pretty soon it will be horses and cows and pigs and goats and chickens too. And we have all the fuel in America just to burn up the electric meters? What is wrong with open windows? Fans? With dogs sitting under the shade? How about pools with water in them? You know, people who are in any particular business, are in it to make a profit, and the best way to do that is to take care of the details related to that business.
The best way to stop substandard kennel operations is to make a phone call. Operation Bark is here in MO – to help find unlicensed kennel operations. Check out where the puppy you get comes from. You don’t have to support a place that is not operating the way you think they should. It has always been that way – but to say that Propostion B is all about the puppies - that is wrong. To claim that is will stop substandard kennels from existing in our state - that is wrong.

Get the word out – Vote No on Proposition B.

(Report Comment)
michelle johnson October 23, 2010 | 5:01 p.m.

Amen sister! My question is this: are voters ready for HSUS to come after them? Would you like to be told that you have to take your dog to the vet? How would you like to have your home inspected. What if they tell you that you can only own 1 crossbred dog? I also wonder what HSUS is going to do when the veterinary community refuses them service. When HSUS cripples the veterinary community? Do you think we are going to come running to help them with there investigations? Remember folks HSUS is a non-profit group who has zero legal anything.

(Report Comment)
michelle johnson October 23, 2010 | 5:33 p.m.

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%...

This video is an excellent source of information on the truth about prop B.
Get informed before casting that vote.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 23, 2010 | 6:09 p.m.

There was an error in the article. For instance, Proposition B does not require cement floors, it requires solid floors.

"Sufficient housing, including protection from the elements” means constant and unfettered access to an indoor enclosure that has a solid floor; is not stacked or otherwise placed on top of or below another animal’s enclosure; is cleaned of waste at least once a day while the dog is outside the enclosure; and does not fall below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, or rise above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. "

A popular kennel flooring is called kennel decking, which is a solid slatted floor that provides a solid surface for dogs, but still allows urine to pass through the slats. These can then be placed over sealed cement.

Sealed cement that is power washed does not breed disease.

As for the bill cost, that's been questioned because the text associated with the fiscal note is confusing and seems to be related more to what's needed now, not what's needed if this bill passes. I sincerely doubt that when this bill takes effect, in a year after passing, that the Department of Agriculture is going to need $500,000. After all, inspectors still have to inspect kennels. They don't have to inspect more frequently, or less.

And the fiscal note mentioned something about legal challenges: the Missouri Department of Agriculture would not have to defend against any legal challenge, as this handled by the state attorney general's office.

Besides, other states that have implemented very similar rules have not had any legal challenges.

What was it? Fifteen or so years ago when this state passed a bill to eliminate cock fighting, people fought against the bill because they said it was opening a door to kill agriculture. Nothing happened, did it? I wish people would refrain from such absurd and hysterical claims.

And I really wish people would focus on Proposition B, and take their quarrels with the HSUS somewhere else. This is about Missouri, puppy mills in Missouri, and the dogs.

Text of the bill:

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

The fiscal note referenced in the article can be found as a PDF in another Missourian article:

http://www.columbiamissourian.com/storie...

As for videos, try these:

The best of the kennels:

http://video.yahoo.com/watch/2308346/725...

And the worst:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=...

A good life for dogs?

(Report Comment)
michelle johnson October 23, 2010 | 6:23 p.m.

So what about tender foot?
Will HSUS be footing the bill for this or Missouri taxpayers?
When you eliminate the revenue coming in from our licensed kennels, then what?
I have yet to see a cement floor that worked. Sealed or non-sealed. You wash them out and you have a wet floor for hours and a wet dog. Ergo, skin problems. Then we've seen the joint problems from being on cement. Talk to your factory workers who stand on cement all day and your dairy folks who buy mattresses for the cows to lay on. By the way, where was prop B written and where are the funds coming from to run this campaign? Why don't you explain LINE #9.

(Report Comment)
michelle johnson October 23, 2010 | 6:35 p.m.

Honey, HSUS is pushing this and there are those of us who are professionally offended by their total disregard for our veterinary profession. I stand with The MVMA. This proposition is not healthy for dogs. As an individual citizen, I am beyond mad that a non-profit group could launch a tactic like this to intentionally put people out of business. HSUS is going to find a very cold reception in this state. I sincerely hope people stop giving to them and donate locally. There is also an endowment fund at The College of Veterinary Medicine. It establishes scholarships for veterinary students who need financial help.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 23, 2010 | 8:19 p.m.

michelle johnson, Tenderfoot was designed for hogs.

You do realize that most small, quality breeders have managed the solid floor issue? If you Google on kennel flooring, you'll see the more popular type of kennel flooring, which is slatted solid flooring.

There are some rescue organizations and a couple of the Missouri humane societies that I donate to. I also donate to HSUS, and will continue to do so. I find the organization very effective.

However, this isn't about Proposition B, and we're just going over the same ground so...moving on.

(Report Comment)
michelle johnson October 23, 2010 | 8:22 p.m.

You still can't answer the question about LINE 9.

(Report Comment)
michelle johnson October 24, 2010 | 10:08 a.m.

More colleagues speak out.

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%...

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane October 24, 2010 | 1:04 p.m.

EXPLAINATION REGARDING LINE (Which reads as follows:)
"(9) Pet means any domesticated animal normally maintained in or near the household of the owner thereof."

That language is included so that people do not take the term dog out of context like you just did! Cattle Chicken, etc are not normally maintained "in or near the household of the owner". If they were what a stinky house you'd have!
I encourage everyone to actually READ the legislation:
http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/2010peti...

Missouri has weakest laws in the country when it comes to commercial dog breeding. That is why we attract the CESS POOL OF BREEDERS. With over 1500 licensed breeders, we have 3 times more breeders than any other state (& most state only have 25-50 licensed breeders.

FACT: Prop B will work IN ADDITION TO & CLARIFY CURRENT LAW. PROP B DOES NOT REPLACE CURRENT LAW. Get the FACTS at www.maal.org or www.voteyesonpropB.com "
.
VOTE YES! PROP B
Prevent PUPPY MILL CRUELTY!

(Report Comment)
skippy grey October 24, 2010 | 2:28 p.m.

The law also states that a door has to remain open for pregnant females. Puppies born in cold weather outside will freeze to death. People who are in the dog breeding biz treat those animal with guidelines from Univ. Agriculture Dept. or the Department of Agriculture. Those are the guidelines that should be in force not HSUS guidelines of death. HSUS also wants acess to American Laboratories that house and test the most violent virus and bacterium that ever walked the earth. But we as a public aren't stupid and would never give the HSUS THAT.

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane October 24, 2010 | 3:32 p.m.

No the law does not state "that a door has to remain open for pregnant females. Puppies born in cold weather outside will freeze to death." This is MISINFORMATION & PROPAGANDA/SCARE TACTICS from the opposition.
.
Prop B states the following:
”Sufficient housing, including protection from the elements” means constant and unfettered access to an indoor enclosure that has a solid floor; is not stacked or otherwise placed on top of or below another animal’s enclosure; is cleaned of waste at least once a day while the dog is outside the enclosure; and does not fall below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, or rise above 85 degrees Fahrenheit"

Prop B goes onto state:
”Regular exercise” means constant and unfettered access to an outdoor exercise area that is composed of a solid, ground level surface with adequate drainage; provides some protection against sun, wind, rain, and snow; and provides each dog at least twice the square footage of the indoor floor space provided to that dog."

And later, Prop B states:
This section shall not apply to a dog during examination, testing, operation, recuperation, or other individual treatment for veterinary purposes."

In more simple terms, what this means is that each dog in a large scale breeding facility has an indoor area & outdoor area. During the time period of recuperation from whelping puppies, the unfettered access does not apply.

.
VOTE YES! PROP B
PREVENT PUPPY MILL CRUELTY!

(Report Comment)
skippy grey October 25, 2010 | 4:31 p.m.

According to a Vet the law states that the door must remain open. Listen to the radio broodcast. HSUS has thrown out millions of dollars in animal scientific research. They dont have a legal leg to stand on. They threw the research out because they are trying to make all animal research illegal, that in turn would make ALL human medical research illegal. All of you need to get the facts, like we are. Since you are so smart what are German Nationals doing with the HSUS? If you dont know what a German National is then I suggest you look uo the "Oklahoma City Bombing". You act like this is a fair and just thing, but it is not. The dog breeders will sue Missouri into Soup kitchen lines.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 25, 2010 | 4:51 p.m.

("...There is the Animal Terrorist Act that says the HSUS cant steal animals . There is the matter of law suites being filed in all 24 states that have the so called puppy mill laws. Can Missouri pay the claims from all the dog breeders that will sue your state. If you want the truth go to www.humanewatch.org or watch the findings from the Associated Press...")
http://www.bolivarmonews.com/news/articl...

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane October 25, 2010 | 6:30 p.m.

Skippy, I listened to that radio broadcast. Just because Foster was on the air, doesn't mean that he told the truth. There were actually quite a few falicies he was spewing. Unfortunately, the moderator of that show let him have the final word (With only one exception).
.
And again....No the law does not state "that a door has to remain open for pregnant females. Puppies born in cold weather outside will freeze to death." This is MISINFORMATION & PROPAGANDA/SCARE TACTICS from the opposition.
.
Prop B states the following:
”Sufficient housing, including protection from the elements” means constant and unfettered access to an indoor enclosure that has a solid floor; is not stacked or otherwise placed on top of or below another animal’s enclosure; is cleaned of waste at least once a day while the dog is outside the enclosure; and does not fall below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, or rise above 85 degrees Fahrenheit"

Prop B goes onto state:
”Regular exercise” means constant and unfettered access to an outdoor exercise area that is composed of a solid, ground level surface with adequate drainage; provides some protection against sun, wind, rain, and snow; and provides each dog at least twice the square footage of the indoor floor space provided to that dog."

And later, Prop B states:
This section shall not apply to a dog during examination, testing, operation, recuperation, or other individual treatment for veterinary purposes."
.
In more simple terms, what this means is that each dog in a large scale breeding facility has an indoor area & outdoor area. During the time period of recuperation from whelping puppies, the unfettered access does not apply.

.
VOTE YES! PROP B
PREVENT PUPPY MILL CRUELTY!

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane October 25, 2010 | 6:49 p.m.

And I could care less that the opposition to Prop B here keeps throwing out the anti-HSUS rhetoric. It's all you got... scare tactics & propganda! I don't believe anyone who get's their information from the misleading & disingenous websites including the so called 'Alliance for Truth' which should really be renamed to 'Alliance for Liars' and all those other fly by night recently developed website that don't fact check anything!
.
I'll take my facts from credible sources instead. Such as Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation (www.maal.org, the Better Business Bureau www.BBB.org or Missouri Humane Society (www.HSMO.org).
.
You people don't scare me & won't intimidate me from using this board. Supporters of Prop B have just as much right to post here as you do. Let's keep it on issue....which if you forgot was Prop B... not German Nationals Or the Oklahoma City Bombings.
.
VOTE YES! PROP B
PREVENT PUPPY MILL CRUELTY!

(Report Comment)
mark anderson October 28, 2010 | 7:43 a.m.

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%...

I think Barbara Schmitz needs a lesson on human cruelty.

(Report Comment)
Grey Hound November 3, 2010 | 8:14 p.m.

Prop B will have little effect on reputable breeders. I have a friend that breeds dogs and he just told me how he bred his dog with one of its offspring accidentally, he noticed after he
went to register them...so he just changed the name of the male. He said this happened to a mutual acquantance (thru breeding cirlce) and she also changed the name on the paperwork. The new rules aren't crazy and any reasonable person would agree. Everybody take a deep breath and watch as nothing changes.

(Report Comment)

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