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LETTER: Respect dogs, democracy on Proposition B

Monday, March 14, 2011 | 12:50 p.m. CDT; updated 8:30 p.m. CDT, Monday, March 14, 2011

I was incredibly shocked when I heard on the news that the legislature in Jefferson City was trying to set aside Proposition B. I was so happy when it passed in November, thinking that finally these poor dogs would have to be treated more humanely. How is it possible that the legislature, which is supposed to carry out the will of the people, should earnestly vote on whether they have to respect the democratic process?

My neighbor said the puppy mill owners have paid the legislators quite a bit to buy their vote. This is how it works in the Third World, not in a democracy. If the owners of puppy mills cannot even make sure the dogs have water or a tiny amount of room to move around in, then they should not be allowed to stay in operation.

The people have expressed our abhorrence at the practice of treating good, gentle dogs as though they were nothing more than widgets on an assembly line. I would like to urge your readers to contact their legislators and demand this expression of the best side of democracy, a vote demanding compassion for the weak and suffering, be respected.

Cynthia Parker lives in Columbia.


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Comments

Stanley Stoner March 14, 2011 | 5:20 p.m.

In response to Cynthia Parker--Our legislators are simply trying to fix a badly written bill that would essentially eliminate the legal dog breeding industry in MO. there would still be a lot of illegal breeders, and perhaps even more of them due to the financial burden that Prop.B would put on the industry. I don't deny and even agree that after viewing reports and video's on some of the kennels that have been posted on the internet that there are kennels out there that need to be either made to follow the laws that are already on the books or shut down, we have an enforcement problem either not enough inspections or to many things being let slide. Without proper enforcement no law will work. Prop. B sounds like good legislation at first glance, I probably would have voted yes on it if I wouldn't have done my research on the issues of it. You made a comment in your letter "My neighbor said the puppy mill owners have paid the legislators quite a bit to buy their vote." Did you take the time to find out if that is a true statement or just simply accept it as fact? The same way with prop. b did you take the time to find out all the facts or just simply read the ballot wording and accept it as the answer to all the puppies problems?
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Here is a link to current Animal Care Facilities Act 23 pages of State regulations http://www.sos.mo.gov/adrules/csr/curren...
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Here is a link to United States Dept. Of Agriculture Regulations http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare...
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Here is a link to the American Veterinary Medical Assoc. of a model bill recommended by them http://www.avma.org/advocacy/state/issue...
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Here is a link to the AVMA as to their logic for their recommendation for that bill http://www.avma.org/advocacy/state/issue...
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Here is a link to the full text of Prop. B http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/2010peti...
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Are there some good points in Prop. B? IMO yes,are there some issues in Prop. B that do not benefit the "welfare"of dogs? IMO Yes. Take a look at these links and others, research the legal definitions of the wording and make a truly informed decision as to whether Prop. b is truly only about the "welfare" of animals or is there much more intent there?,do the research and make a informed decision, regardless of which side of the fence you decide on.

(Report Comment)
Robert Hazlett March 14, 2011 | 7:26 p.m.

Great report, Cynthia!

Stanley - you are one of the folks coming out of the woodwork now to tell us (ever so politely, even though the sick and dying dogs don't conjure up much politeness in me) to look deeply at the issue. You post these links as if the average citizen needs them or even has time for them. We don't have to read the whole Bible to know Thou Shalt Not Steal. Get my drift?

I read Prop B and the legislation intended to GUT it! We know of some specific VERY CRUEL things Prop B outlawed and the other legislation brings back...with water, cages, veterinary care, etc.

We voted to stop the cruelty. We are the puppy mill capital of the world, and I'm ashamed to be a citizen of the state with that title. Aren't you, Stanley?

You folks have had DECADES to fix this stuff, and you ignored it.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward March 14, 2011 | 7:30 p.m.

Cynthia Parker cannot prove the truth of her neighbor's allegation any more than the changling StanStoner can prove it is false.

Since NONE of the kennels/breeders/are willing/able to PROVE that they are not puppymills, the world it left to assume that they are.

So the elephant-in-the-barn is this: All the yammering breeders all over the 'comments' boards clain they are not puppymills yet none provide proof of this claim.

So prove it.

(Report Comment)
Stanley Stoner March 14, 2011 | 7:46 p.m.

To Robert Hazlett---"You post these links as if the average citizen needs them or even has time for them"
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Therein lies the whole problem,if people were actually concerned about any issue they would want to take the time

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley March 14, 2011 | 7:53 p.m.

Robert Hazlett March 14, 2011 | 7:26 p.m. "We voted to stop the cruelty. We are the puppy mill capital of the world, and I'm ashamed to be a citizen of the state with that title. Aren't you, Stanley?"
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Okay. Excellent! Pack up and head to Arkansas. Drop me a postcard every now and again and let me know how you like it down there...

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Stanley Stoner March 14, 2011 | 8:00 p.m.

To Terry Ward-- I never said I could disprove it or prove it, but just because someone said it doesn't make it fact.
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To Robert Hazlett- No I don't like our state being known as The Puppy Mill Capital of The World but to think that will ever go away because of Prop. B is very doubtful.

(Report Comment)
Robert Hazlett March 14, 2011 | 8:29 p.m.

To Mr. Stoner: Wrong again. I read the bills. The safety in Prop B is wiped out in the others. Period. Stop. The former laws you want to dig into were already there when the problems occurred. And, the opinions of a pro-cruelty group who has a FINANCIAL INTEREST (what this is all about, except for the politicians who want to be RE-ELECTED), don't add a thing.

1) Prop B added safeguards to end the suffering.
2) The people passed it.
3) The new pushback bills ALLOW the cruelty.
4) This is third grade stuff.

To: The Arkansas Comment Guy.....woof. May the next three dogs you see believe you are a fire hydrant!

KEEP Prop B....CALL or email your House rep today!

(Report Comment)
Stanley Stoner March 14, 2011 | 8:56 p.m.

It doesn't matter which bill you choose to go for whether it be the current law ,Prop. b,or the bills in legislation if they are not ENFORCED (which is the true problem) not a single one of them will stop the cruelty. In fact Prop.B by demanding unfettered access to the outdoors in extreme cold and heat regardless of the danger to the dogs and their puppies adds to the cruelty. Third Grade Indeed!

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers March 14, 2011 | 11:01 p.m.

I wonder how many people have actually looked at the 23 pages they wave around. If they did, they might noticed that several pages are taken up by definitions, other pages are devoted to licenses and how much the fees are, still more for how dogs and cats can be transported, and so on.

Among the rest of the pages, you then have to cut them in half, because the legislation covers both dogs and cats.

By the time you're done, you have about three pages of regulations that are actually devoted to the facilities.

So, enough with the waving of 23 pages, as if the sheer volume of paper is enough to justify the rightness of the fact that representatives have overridden the vote of the people and are now trying to pretend that ripping apart Proposition B, and actually making things worse (not better), is a "good thing".

That AVMA model bill--there's been no interest in that so-called model bill, because it's a load of hooie, as anyone with any commonsense can see if they just spend ten minutes actually reading the thing. It reads like a doggy version of, "I'm OK, you're woof".

The AVMA knows it. But speaking of AVMA, spend some time talking to veterinarian students, and you'll find out how little respect the AVMA really has in the vet community. It has power, but that doesn't equate to respect. And I'd say the AVMA has its own problems now--a little rebellion in the ranks.

Also notice something else: neither AVMA nor MVMA has joined in with the representatives about over turning the vote, now that the vote has been cast.

Probably because in every single state of this union, votes are actually considered important. This is the only state where the representatives think the voters are so stupid, that they actually think we believe them when they say they're overriding Proposition B because they're concerned about making it "better".

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley March 14, 2011 | 11:12 p.m.

Robert Hazlett March 14, 2011 | 8:29 p.m. "To: The Arkansas Comment Guy.....woof. May the next three dogs you see believe you are a fire hydrant!"
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Robert, what a terrible thing to say to a person who was only wishing you warmer weather, sunnier days, and the freedom to live in a state that you can be proud of and not ashamed to live in.... LOL.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Stanley Stoner March 15, 2011 | 12:12 a.m.

In reference to Shelly Powers-Ignorance is Bliss
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"You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it will do and the harms it would do if improperly administered"
Lyndon B. Johnson

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley March 15, 2011 | 12:19 a.m.

I just gotta say.. Not picking on you Stanley, so don't get too offended...

But I REALLY like some of the names here on the Missourian! Stanley Stoner and Layton Light are fine examples..

And I had to be saddled with GURLEY! Gurley, imagine that! When they were picking last names someone must have really had it out for my ancestors!

My attempt at levity.....

Ricky Gurley!

(Report Comment)
Stanley Stoner March 15, 2011 | 12:29 a.m.

To Ricky Gurley-- I'm not offended at all, I'm from German heritage and believe me, I heard all of the jokes about my name from Stanley Steamer to being "stoned" But hey it's my name and my heritage, so no offense taken

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley March 15, 2011 | 12:34 a.m.

Good point, Stanley. Really good point! And an alternative view so that I might feel a little better about my name. LOL.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Stanley Stoner March 15, 2011 | 12:46 a.m.

Oh and Ricky even to being called a "changling"

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward March 15, 2011 | 6:54 a.m.

If one reads StanStoners CM comments from beginnng to end, one is amazed with the improvement in grammar over such a short period.

As S.S. magically appeared with the abrupt disappearance of the much missed 'Juan Valdez' we have even more to look forward to in the way of 'improvements' .

(Report Comment)
Randy Burgs March 15, 2011 | 8:30 a.m.

Terry, you're no peach yourself, not really a rocket scientist,I'd say. Just a person tripping over his nose because it grew from lying so much.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward March 15, 2011 | 8:42 a.m.

Poor Randy Burgs.

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane March 15, 2011 | 11:23 a.m.

A video from a registered Missouri Voter:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VhYT_L0l...
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Defend the PMCPA. NO Repeal. NO Admendments.
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MSL

(Report Comment)
Stanley Stoner March 15, 2011 | 11:31 a.m.

Terry Ward -"If one reads StanStoners CM comments from beginnng to end, one is amazed with the improvement in grammar over such a short period."
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I am so happy that I could amaze such a wonderful scholar such as yourself,whether it be magically or not, it just makes my whole day so glorious. By the way you might want to check the spelling on "beginnng".
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Matthew 7:3 `And why dost thou behold the mote that `is' in thy brother's eye, and the beam that `is' in thine own eye dost not consider?

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking March 15, 2011 | 12:00 p.m.

Shelley Powers wrote:

"That AVMA model bill--there's been no interest in that so-called model bill, because it's a load of hooie"

Specifically, what's wrong with it?

I consider it a quite workable start, and it has the flexibility, and addresses the specific problems, that Prop B does not. It was written by professionals without an agenda other than practical, humane animal care. This is what we should have been voting on.

DK

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward March 15, 2011 | 12:10 p.m.

We are "beginnng" to realize that the anti-proppers have NOTHING to back up their arguments with other than personal opinion.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking March 15, 2011 | 12:36 p.m.

Terry, all I've heard from you is your personal opinion. Do you have anything relevant to say about the model AVMA bill? Have you even read it?

DK

(Report Comment)
Randy Burgs March 15, 2011 | 12:49 p.m.

Terry really doesn't have to, or can't read the AVMA bill as he is just programmed to parrot the Radical Animal Rights Extremists playbook. The main page in that book is, agree with us or you are a puppy mill.

(Report Comment)
Stanley Stoner March 15, 2011 | 1:29 p.m.

Perhaps it is because the AVMA model bill is based upon scientific fact and common sense that promotes the "welfare" of dogs, instead of the intent of eliminating an entire industry as is the intent of Prop. B

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley March 15, 2011 | 1:38 p.m.

Terry seems to be getting her "butt kicked" here; now that people are actually trying to inject some common sense into this argument...

I hope this trend continues.....

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Robert Hazlett March 15, 2011 | 2:44 p.m.

Wow!As Arnold said...."I'm Bock!"

All you Gurley boys and Stoners stand aside. No more Foecking around. Go eat some Burgs.

Me and Terry are the Powers that be, and we are heading down to the Marina...to talk some sense to the world about the good things Prop B brings.

But HEY! Who said a cold or hot dog would stay outside and die when they could get INSIDE, like Prop B provides for? Which one of you Einsteins on the "kill-the-dogs" side said that? YEAH...bad deal, going inside to a pen instead of staying in a tiny wire cage with wire floor stacked outside in EXTREME ELEMENTS!!!!!! Yeah, baby!!!!!

Think that about says it all about this forum, unless some more interesting names are put up here. Prop B was put in place because ALL YOU EINSTEINS and your magical groups didn't do SQUAT, for DECADES. The files full of horrendous abuse have been displayed, and anyone who would let that go on (or fight the ONLY attempt to stop it) is blind and cruel themselves. This is not rocket science.

GUTTING Prop B is wrong. Let it take effect, and if there is then a need for some slight adjustments (BASED ON REAL DATA AFTER IT IS APPLIED), then we should look carefully at it.

You folks against Prop B make me wonder...about your real intentions. Mine are clear. Stop the cruelty.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking March 15, 2011 | 2:57 p.m.

Robert Hazlett wrote:

"anyone who would let that go on (or fight the ONLY attempt to stop it) is blind and cruel themselves."

The rules already exist to stop it. The problem is inadequate enforcement. That is how you can stop the cruelty - enforce the laws as they are now.

Prop B goes very much farther than is needed to fix the problem. It will fix the problem by largely destroying Missouri's breeding industry (a goal that some of the pro-Bers tacitly endorse). That isn't necessary to lessen the abuses of the bad breeders among them.

DK

(Report Comment)
Emily Patterson-Kane March 15, 2011 | 4:52 p.m.

If anyone would like to look at the AVMA Model bill, it is online along with a paper explaining the research and ethical principles it was based on here under the companion animal care section: http://www.avma.org/advocacy/state/issue...
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The model act tries to make sure breeding dog get a rather basic level of protection, similar to that provided under the Animal Welfare Act--and provides a method to fund regular inspection and enforcement. Otherwise breeding facilities can kinda fall between the gaps when it comes to welfare protections. The act can easily be adapted by the state to make standard more lenient or more stringent, as they see fit. I think its reception has been generally pretty good, although some individuals and groups naturally think it goes too far or not far enough or just in the wrong direction entirely. The language of the bill has certainly been finding its way into State legislation.
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Animal welfare is not really a popularity contest; or at least not a good career choice if you want everyone to love you. On the same basis an association isn’t going to please everyone all the time, not even me and I work for them (yeah, I guess I am biased).

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But 81,500 veterinarians have decided to be AVMA members, and over 94% of veterinary students are SAVMA (Student American Veterinary Medical Association) members. I am sure they don’t agree with everything we do either but on the whole things do seem to be moving in the right direction (I think). The AVMA represents a diverse veterinary profession made up of strong-minded individuals. And for the most part they don’t tell vets what to do (good luck to anyone who tries to do that), they just try and given them the right tools and support to make a good job of it. And that’s mostly what they do.

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Emily

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane March 15, 2011 | 5:49 p.m.

The AVMA "Model bill" is no different than the ACFA which was passed in 1992 with the exception of adding a whelping box & a barrier in the cage for a "retreat area". (and yes...I read thru the entire AVMA "Model Bill". It has been 20 years since the the ACFA was passed. While it was a great piece of legislation for it's time (There were no prior laws on the books other than animal cruelty & Federal laws pertaining to breeding), after 20 years, it is clear that the law needs to have clarification for easier enforcement.
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The AVMA decisions on stances on animal welfare law is made by an advisory committee made up of one representative each from the following groups:
AVMA House of Delegates, American Association of Avian Pathologists, American Animal Hospital Association, American Assn of Bovine Practitioners, American Assn of Equine Practitioners, American Assn of Food Hygiene Veterinarians, American Assn of Small Ruminant Practitioners, American Assn of Swine Veterinarians, American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, and American Association of Industrial Veterinarians.
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You can see that this AVMA committee is more than a little skewed toward the stance of "Animal use" vs "Animal Welfare". The AVMA interests are that of financial gain more so than the breeding dogs of Missouri's welfare.
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If you are unsure of the terms "Animal Use" vs "animal welfare", I would encourage you to read the definitions at: http://www.maal.org/pdf/MAAL_ATTITUDES_A...
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DEFEND the PMCPA. NO Repeals. NO Amendments!
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MSL

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane March 15, 2011 | 5:54 p.m.

in reponse to Emily Patterson-Kane:
Yes, there are 81,500 veterinarians have decided to be AVMA members, and over 94% of veterinary students are SAVMA (Student American Veterinary Medical Association) members. however, when it comes to how the AVMA decides to support or not support legislation, it is not by a vote of its membership, but rather a select committee made up just a handful of representatives (See comment above for the committee breakdown).
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DEFEND the PMCPA. NO Repeals. NO Amendments!
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MSL

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane March 15, 2011 | 6:14 p.m.

Also, here is a quote from the AVMA committee on the background and context of the "Model" Bill:
"One should bear in mind that the standards in the model bill and accompanying regulations are considered to be minimums; they should not be interpreted as providing guidance for ideal dog care. Responsible facilities will readily exceed most, if not all, of the stated standards."
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Quoted from:
http://www.avma.org/advocacy/state/issue...
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So even the AVMA states that responsible breeders would exceed all the standards listed. So therefor the standards listed in the AVMA "Model Bill" apply only to irresponsible breeders! And aren't the irresposible breeders what we address as "puppy mills"?
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DEFEND the PMCPA. NO Repeals. NO Amendments!
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MSL

(Report Comment)
Robert Hazlett March 15, 2011 | 8:03 p.m.

Mr. Foeking said:
The rules already exist to stop it. The problem is inadequate enforcement. That is how you can stop the cruelty - enforce the laws as they are now.

That's wrong.
Are wire bottom cages allowed?
Are they allowed to be stacked?
Can they be out in the extreme elements?
Are they barely big enough for the dog?
Can the water be empty or frozen?
Vet euthanize required?
Vet physicals (not walk-by) required?

All these conditions, plus many more, can EASILY lead to the cruelty and suffering we want FIXED!

Mr. Foeking - those are EASY yes and no questions. Please answer. This is not rocket science, but the laws are NOT there now. No way, no how. Even though I won't say enforcement is up to par, even if it was, there would be cruelty.....very easily.

The rules need CHANGED! Prop B is the only way forward. No one else changed the rules, yet now they are incensed. Go figure. Wonder when they were gonna get around to it?

(Report Comment)
Robert Hazlett March 15, 2011 | 8:10 p.m.

See? I'm open to amendments. REAL amendments. But not the REPEAL bills ut there now!

If someone said change 50 to 60 - on the quantity of dogs, I'd say OK. If someone shaved a half foot off a dimension for a pen, I'd say OK. If someone added or subtracted 5 degrees from the temps, I'd probably say OK.

But that's not happening. From prehistoric, the legislature is bringing forth bills that take it right back to prehistoric. READ the bills....this is easy stuff! It's right there in black and white. READ it.

I read Prop B AND HB131....HB has brackets on the things it WIPES OUT of Prop B, and they are exactly what we are complaining about! Right back to prehistoric and right back to CRUEL!

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking March 16, 2011 | 4:26 a.m.

Robert Hazlett wrote:

"Are wire bottom cages allowed?"

Current regs state that cage floor be of such material and in such condition as not to cause injury to the dog's feet. Injured feet are currently a violation.

"Are they allowed to be stacked?"

It has been a widespread lie that animals are allowed to poop on each other. Stacked cages must have impermeable trays underneath them. Not having them is a violation under current regs. Otherwise, there's no reason not to stack cages, other than to make housing more expensive.

"Can they be out in the extreme elements?"

If they are, they are expected to have shelter and bedding under current regs.

Here might be a good place to bring up the fact that few pet owners would pass a USDA inspection. Dogs stay out overnight routinely around here (often because they seem to like it), in temperatures far lower than recommended in the current regs. It doesn't seem to bother them.

It's like the old saying that a child has to put on a jacket because his mother is cold. Without knowing the breed and level of acclimatization of the dogs, one can't conclude they're uncomfortable.

"Are they barely big enough for the dog?"

Absolute space requirements are less important than enrichment. Again, breeders are required to have an exercise program, and there are several recommended ways to do it in the current regs. No dog spends their entire life in a cage unless the current regs are being disregarded.

My neighbor has an older black lab that sometimes stays outside overnight. He has about a 25 x 50 foot fenced yard to be in, and unless he's being walked or otherwise paid attention to, he sleeps in front of the door - in the same place. Unless there's a reason for him to exercise, he doesn't. Specifying extra space for dogs, and calling it "regular exercise" doesn't mean the dogs will exercise. But it does mean kennels become prohibitively expensive.

"Can the water be empty or frozen?"

Dogs are required to have potable water at least every 8 hours, for an hour at a time, unless the vet says not to, and only if they do not have continuous access to it.

"Vet euthanize required?
Vet physicals (not walk-by) required?"

Requiring vets to euthanize dogs is a waste of a vet's time. Euthanasia with pentobarbital is simple, and if needed, the state could require certification of the person doing it by a vet.

Similarly, a good breeder is sensitive to the health of his animals. Sick animals don't breed well. It is a violation to keep or breed an animal that is in need of care. However, requiring a yearly examination for healthy animals is not necessary if they are otherwise well attended to. How many pet owners take their pets to the vet every year? How many of them are in perfect health? They take them in when they're sick. Again, few pet owners could comply with current regs.

DK

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking March 16, 2011 | 6:32 a.m.

Just to follow up on my last statement - animals are examined by the inspector at least yearly, with follow up inspections by a veterinary medical officer if indicated. Any instances of poor animal health are written up in the reports, and chronic failure to correct these deficiencies is a common reason for breeders to be shut down. Requiring well-animal vet exams is largely redundant.

DK

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward March 16, 2011 | 7:03 a.m.

You go Robert, you got Mark dancin' on the head of a pin...his FAVE
discologue....

Dance 'em to death with minutiae.
Rev up that smoke machine so nobody can see how bad they dance.

Meanwhile, none of you can prove SQUAT that Prop B won't accomplish
what it seeks to accomplish.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking March 16, 2011 | 7:23 a.m.

Terry Ward wrote:

"Meanwhile, none of you can prove SQUAT that Prop B won't accomplish what it seeks to accomplish."

What, shut down Missouri's breeding industry? If it doesn't outright seek (sic) to accomplish this, it will do this as a major unintended consequence.

DK

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward March 16, 2011 | 7:32 a.m.

Prove it.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley March 16, 2011 | 8:14 a.m.

Why allow any damage to occur just to prove a point, Terry?

Why should anyone not advocate to adjust this bill when they already know that it will cause damage to the dog breeding industry as it is now?

Nobody is going to sit back and shut up and let this silly bill create a hardship on legitimate businesses just so they can show you how wrong you are a year down the road after people lose their businesses and the damage is already done..

Mark is right.. If you knew Mark, you'd stop arguing with him as you'd realize that it only makes you look foolish. I know Mark he NEVER speaks without careful consideration and often very thorough research. He is highly intelligent and highly educated. I listen to what he says because I know that he does not make statements based on sentiment or emotion, but rather on intelligent thought and research. You on the other hand........?

So you'll know. I am a "Pro-Business Person". I can appreciate regulations on a business, but they have to be reasonable, fair, and enforced by unbiased people.

STOP PROP B NOW!

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Robert Hazlett March 16, 2011 | 8:44 a.m.

At Mark F.:

You say the regulations are there. And then, you REFUSE to say WHY the cruelty, suffering, and inhumane treatment is record-breaking in our state. You can't have it BOTH WAYS!

NOW, there is a new sheriff in town - Prop B! With new CLEAR regs and real teeth, to finally END the mistreatment of dogs at these mills. And if we employ it, we will no longer be the puppy mill capital of the world, because we will not be allowing the inhumane treatment and the lax standards YOU are defending.

Your way is PROVEN NOT to work. Let's fix it.
And you can't drink frozen water.
And you can't do a walk-by exam.
And you can't get magic beans to grow big beanstalks up to the sky.

Your arguments are ridiculous. NONE of it is prevalent in the real world of puppy mills in Missouri. That's the fact! The cruelty and suffering ARE HORRENDOUS, and it is documented.....doing it YOUR WAY!

(Report Comment)
Robert Hazlett March 16, 2011 | 8:47 a.m.

The guy says you casn't hurt the dog's feet on the bottom of the cage.....

And then....there are a million pictures of the stacked wire cages (OUT in the elements) that hurt the dogs' feet.

You figure it out! I can't!

All I know is that it's NOT working, the legisltor bills don't change it, and we NEED Prop B as a new starting point! PERIOD!

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley March 16, 2011 | 9:17 a.m.

Robert,

The problem is not with the laws that were and are already in place. The problem has always been with the enforcement of those laws.

The laws were already there to protect these animals, but they were not enforced.

Even if Prop B were to stand, if it is not enforced the problem will remain. And the problem is that if it is not enforced the problem remains, if it is enforced it creates a bigger problem than what we already have.

STOP PROP B NOW!

RIcky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz March 16, 2011 | 9:35 a.m.

Uh Robert? Less histrionics and you would see that Mark already told you why the current violations are there with the current law - lax enforcement. Get a paper bag, breathe a couple times, and you'll see he answered the question you accused him of dodging.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 16, 2011 | 10:04 a.m.

Yes, and I've commented on this point ad nauseum, we are drowning in laws and regulations (federal, state) and still we have problems - because of lack of enforcement.

How often do we turn on our TV and see Congressional hearings about some fiasco (pick your federal agency) where the agency admits they've done an incomplete job of enforcement, BUT IF THEY ONLY HAD TONS MORE MONEY, THAT WOULD CEASE.

Bulletin: There isn't that much money in America!

Unless most citizens obey the respective laws and regulations, those laws and regulations are at best only partly successful.

I'll close with something else I've said: Shortly before the revolution in France in the Eighteenth Century it was a capital offense to steal bread! People continued to steal bread, perhaps because they and their children were starving. Few offenders were punished, possibly because the authorities in charge of enforcing the law thought the law was both stupid and inhumane.

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane March 16, 2011 | 10:18 a.m.

Here's the problem with the arguement that "If we could just enforce the laws on the books, the problem would be solved"...
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It doesn't matter how much money you throw at enforcement if the laws are not enforceable. The ACFA without the PMCPA was not clear enough for an inspector to easily enforce. The PMCPA brings clarity to make the law enforceable for the inspectors that we can afford and makes the inspection process more efficient.
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DEFEND the PMCPA. NO Repeal. NO Amendments.
.
MSL

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward March 16, 2011 | 12:28 p.m.

The 'enforcement' yadda is a canard.
You cannot prove either way if it will or will not be enforced adequately.
Prove it or lose it.

(Report Comment)
Emily Patterson-Kane March 16, 2011 | 12:57 p.m.

re: "The AVMA decisions on stances on animal welfare law is made by an advisory committee made up of one representative each from the following groups: AVMA House of Delegates, American Association of Avian Pathologists, American Animal Hospital Association, American Assn of Bovine Practitioners, American Assn of Equine Practitioners, American Assn of Food Hygiene Veterinarians, American Assn of Small Ruminant Practitioners, American Assn of Swine Veterinarians, American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, and American Association of Industrial Veterinarians."
.
I am not sure where the above list comes from, the makeup of the AWC is actually: American Animal Hospital Association, American Association of Avian Pathologists, American Association of Equine Practitioners, American Association of Corporate and Public Practice Veterinarians, American Association of Feline Practitioners, American Association of Bovine Practitioners, American Association of Swine Veterinarians, American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners, American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners, American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, Association of Shelter Veterinarians, Association of Avian Veterinarians, aquatic animal medicine, humane or animal welfare organizations, state veterinary medical associations, Student AVMA, and zoo and wildlife medicine.
http://www.avma.org/issues/animal_welfar...

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley March 16, 2011 | 2:13 p.m.

Looks like you are the one losing on Prop B, Terry...

Lets just wait and see what happens to Prop B within a year....

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane March 16, 2011 | 3:19 p.m.

In response to Emily Patterson-Kane:
I posted my information on the AVMA from the Legislative Committee Page at:
http://www.avma.org/about_avma/governanc...
.
The AVMA has a list of all their committees on their website. But it really does not matter whether it was Legislative Committee, State Advocacy Committee, or Animal Welfare Committee.... the point I'm trying to make is that the "model" law that has been referred to in this commentary is the recommendation of less than 20 people in the Big Agriculture Industry... not the recommendation of 84,000 vets in the US & most importantly not the recommendation of Missouri Vets. As far as I can tell, there has never been a vote by the actual membership of the AVMA regarding the "model bill" or any of it's other recommendations. Unfortunately, people are mislead to believe that because the AVMA advisory committee posts a "model law" that all of the vets in membership agree with it.
.
DEFEND the PMCPA. NO Repeals. NO Amendments!
.
MSL

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward March 16, 2011 | 3:22 p.m.

Gee wiz, here we were thinking this was about the dogs...

(Report Comment)
Matteo Simon March 16, 2011 | 4:41 p.m.

I won't even attempt to jump in the middle of some of the back-and-forth from the above postings. I would, however, like to simplify the debate here and ask readers to examine this issue in terms of a few simple Yes or No questions. Please answer honestly:

* Do you believe that it's OK to for Missouri's breeding dogs to live their enitre lives confined to a cage barely larger than the dogs body, making it diifficult for the animal to stretch or turn around? Yes or No.

* Do you believe that it's OK for dogs' crates to be stacked on top of each other, so that urine and feces from the upper dogs can rain down onto the dogs below? Again, Yes or No?

* Is it OK to contain the dogs in cages with wire flooring that cut their paws, or even worse for puppies whose limbs fall through? (Y/N)

* OK to contintually breed females with virtually no rest in between breeding cycles, so much so that the animals are basically exhausted from birthing by the age of 5 or 7 years? (Y/N)

* OK to keep the dogs confined / exposed to freezing temperatures in the winter, excessively hot temps in the summer? (Y/N)

* OK to deny the dogs an annual hands-on examination by a veterinarian to check for sores, infections, infestations, etc...? (Y/N)

* OK to deny the dogs continuous access to clean, non-frozen drinking water? (Y/N)

* OK to deny the dogs regular exercise, or even periodic, human contact? (Y/N)

(etc...etc...I could go on but will stop there for the sake of brevity)

So if you answered NO to the above questions (even some of them), then whether you know it or not, you ARE a Prop B supporter. ALL of the things listed above are completely legal under the current standards, and all would be violations under Prop B.

If you honestly answered YES to all of the above questions, then feel free to get behind the efforts to repeal Prop B.

Personal Conclusion: Could Prop B benefit from some very minor tweaks or modifcations? Sure it could, no legislation is perfect. However, please don't be fooled that any of the anti-Prop B bills put forth so far are "minor tweaks" to the legislation...they are not.

Do not be fooled by efforts by Mike Parson and his cronies who contend that the changes to Prop B contained in SB113 are minor. If you answered NO to the questions above, please contact your state rep and Governor Nixon and urge them to Vote NO / veto SB113, HR131 and any similar legislation.

Respond to this post however you like, just be honest.

(Report Comment)
Emily Patterson-Kane March 16, 2011 | 5:07 p.m.

The point I read was that the group represented use over welfare, which I would question unless you see the veterinary profession itself as representing use over welfare.
.
The AWC does not and cannot make policy. They make recommendations to the Executive Borad or House of Delegates of the AVMA which are both representive groups fairly analogous to the US the house and senate. Every Veterinarian has a rep on both groups that they can express their opinions to and support or seek to replace that rep.
.
With over 80,000 members I thing a representive-based democracy is fairly reasonable as an approach. Although more and more policies will also be placed on the member comment website:
http://www.avma.org/issues/policy/commen...

(Report Comment)
Emily Patterson-Kane March 16, 2011 | 5:11 p.m.

P.s.--Not predominantly agricultural: American Animal Hospital Association, American Association of Avian Pathologists, American Association of Equine Practitioners, American Association of Corporate and Public Practice Veterinarians, American Association of Feline Practitioners, American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners, American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, Association of Shelter Veterinarians, Association of Avian Veterinarians, aquatic animal medicine, humane or animal welfare organizations, state veterinary medical associations, Student AVMA, and zoo and wildlife medicine.

Ag, but still vets committed to animal welfare.
American Association of Bovine Practitioners, American Association of Swine Veterinarians, American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners.

Like the veterinary profession itself, about 20% of the committee members are directly involved with agriculture. It is designed to be a representative group.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking March 16, 2011 | 5:14 p.m.

Terry Ward wrote:

"You cannot prove either way if it will or will not be enforced adequately.
Prove it or lose it."

There are laws - strong ones, with strong penalties - against robbery, burglary, rape, murder, etc., and these laws are regularly violated. What makes you think that passing more, or stronger laws will make these crimes less prevalent?

Why do you think that passing stronger laws regarding dog breeding will curb abuses, if current law is not sufficient? All of the abuses documented on the HSUS commercials were illegal under current regs. The problem is enforcement, not current law. Enforcement of current law will do more for dogs than Prop B will, unless you feel that tens of thousands of breeding dogs would be better off at the end of a hypodermic needle.

DK

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking March 16, 2011 | 5:28 p.m.

Matteo Simon wrote:

"ALL of the things listed above are completely legal under the current standards,"

No, they are not, and I'd wish you'd refer to the linked MDA regs earlier in this thread.

If we're to debate this, let's debate it correctly and factually.

DK

(Report Comment)
Anne Robertson March 16, 2011 | 6:16 p.m.

I agree with you Cynthia. It is INCREDIBLY ARROGANT of these legislators to paternalistically and self-servingly (many of them have profit motives) first of all decide what Prop B. really says. We all speak English we don't need Mike Parson's version of it, which is twisted to suit his purposes. He says its not just about dogs and puppies. Wonder how he knows that? It never mentions any other animal? I guess in a addition to being smarter than us he can also read minds to know what the people who wrote it really meant.

Wonder how Mike Parson's and his minions would like to hear my interpretation of what they got to say.

(Report Comment)
Anne Robertson March 16, 2011 | 6:20 p.m.

So let's see Stanley, that sounds kind of like what dictators do. They RULE and call things the way they seem them. And they pretend just like Parsons does that he's only doing this out of the kindness of his heart but because the rest of us stooges are too stupid to understand English so we need him to fill us in and tell us what to think.

And you apparently support that way of thinking too Stanley. Wonder how you'll like it when somebody tells you something you voted for just isn't right and so they are gonna help you out by changing your mind for you.

We don't NEED anybody interpreting or translating, we can read and Parsons should keep his greedy mits off this legislation for Prop B.

(Report Comment)
Robert Hazlett March 16, 2011 | 8:24 p.m.

If HB131 or SB113 & 95 passes, the veterinary standards for HANDS-ON exams are gone (walk-bys OK), the EXTREME TEMP safety provisions are gone (goodbye access to 45-85), and the SOLID FLOOR (versus wire cage floor) is gone.

Just to mention a few.

It's in the new bill, on MO.GOV website. Look it up. The new bill puts brackets around the things it dumps, and these safeguards are dumped! Period! I didn't write the bill...I just read it.

Go read it, "Mr. Histrionics" up above, and then, come back and complain to me. Unbelievable.

HB 131 addresses a whole bunch of OTHER THINGS that Prop B never intended to cover, so that the overthrow folks can say that Prop B doesn't address something.

It's like making a law about things being built fireproof, and then, the legislature gutting the fireproof materials required, adding a paragraph about being earthquake proof, and coming back in the media to blame the fireproof guys for not protecting homes. That's not an exact analogy, but it's bait and switch, hide the pea, or whatever other "fake out game" you want to play. That's what the overthrowers are doing. Smoke and mirrors.

Go read the new bills...the areas wiped out are right in front of your face! MO.GOV (get to the House page)...type in the bill (HB131)...look at full text. If necessary, I'll go get the link, but you can find it!

(Report Comment)
Robert Hazlett March 16, 2011 | 8:32 p.m.

There might be legitimate things that there could be compromises on. BUT...we will never get to them, becuase the overthrowers are lying and diverting from the real issues. They try to SIDESTEP the real issues.

We should let Prop B take effect, and when the legislature meets in January, look at the REAL potential drawbacks. In the meantime, set up a system where a breeder who comes VERY CLOSE to the new regs (for example, is 6 inches short on a pen, or three degrees off on a temp, etc.) gets a waiver until January. Then, iron it out.

Someone with a clean record in the past might also want 65 dogs instead of 50. I have no problem, and I bet no one else would. But the NEW STARTING POINT was approved by the voters, and it has to be Prop B. The cruelty has to stop.

All the folks in here giving their lectures about existing law are forgetting (I guess) that they had DECADES to fix things. NO ONE DID!

(Report Comment)
Matteo Simon March 16, 2011 | 10:05 p.m.

Mark Foecking wrote:

No, they are not, and I'd wish you'd refer to the linked MDA regs earlier in this thread.

(in response to: Matteo Simon wrote:

"ALL of the things listed above are completely legal under the current standards")

If we're to debate this, let's debate it correctly and factually.

DK

---

Mark - I have not read every single link on this page and I don't know specifically which "MDA regs" you are referring to, but I HAVE read the 20-some-odd page ACFA standards twice through which currently apply to the state-licensed facilities, and verified that every point I made is accurate. There's a lot of legalese in ACFA, but once you sort through it and it get to the language that actually describes the care standards, the above cases I mention above are not addressed.

If I've missed something, then please specify what item, and where specifically under the current regs it is covered. To cast a blanket of doubt over the entire list of items I presented is disingenuous.

Yes, I agree, let's debate it correctly and factually. If I've erroneously stated that something is fully legal under the current laws but it really isn't, then please correct me...but be SPECIFIC what you find to be erroneous. I'm human...if I've misspoken somewhere, I'll own up to it. As I stated, I've read over ACFA twice, and I stand by my posting.

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane March 16, 2011 | 10:10 p.m.

Mr Simon, I read your list & fully agree with every point you made. (And I've studied the ACFA in depth & read thru it at least 50 times during research in the last year.)Thank you for joining the debate!
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DEFEND the PMCPA. NO Repeal. NO Amendments!
.
MSL

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane March 16, 2011 | 10:34 p.m.

In response to Emily Patterson-Kane:
We may have to agree to disagree. IMO, the AVMA is "Animal Use" oriented in their policy making decisions regarding Breeding facilities. (I do not however view the entire profession of veterinary care as "animal use". Every vet I know personally is in practice because they care about the well being of the animals. I'm sure however there are bad apples as there are in every profession though.)
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15-20 "representatives" at the AVMA cannot possibly speak for every Missouri vet & I disagree that the committee is not predominently under Big Ag Control. You are entitled to your opinion.... as am I.
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DEFEND the PMCPA. NO Repeal. NO Amendments!
.
MSL

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking March 17, 2011 | 8:22 a.m.

Matteo Simon wrote"

"Do you believe that it's OK to for Missouri's breeding dogs to live their enitre lives confined to a cage barely larger than the dogs body, making it diifficult for the animal to stretch or turn around?"

ACFA:

"(XI) Provide sufficient space to
allow each animal to turn about freely, to
stand, sit and lie in a comfortable, normal
position and to walk in a normal manner;"

Simon:

"Is it OK to contain the dogs in cages with wire flooring that cut their paws, or even worse for puppies whose limbs fall through?"

ACFA:

"(X) Have floors that are constructed
in a manner that protects the animals’ feet
and legs from injury and that, if mesh or slatted
construction, it must be constructed of
materials strong enough to prevent sagging
and with a mesh small enough that will not
allow the animals’ feet to pass through any
openings in the floor. If the floor of the primary
enclosure is constructed of wire, a solid
resting surface(s) that, in the aggregate, is
large enough to hold all the occupants of the
primary enclosure at the same time comfortably
must be provided;"

Simon:

"OK to deny the dogs regular exercise, or even periodic, human contact?"

ACFA:

"Licensees, in developing their
plan, should consider providing positive
physical contact with humans that encourages
exercise through play or other similar activities.
If a dog is housed, held or maintained at
a facility without sensory contact with another
dog, it must be provided with positive
physical contact with humans at least daily."

Simon:

"OK to keep the dogs confined / exposed to freezing temperatures in the winter, excessively hot temps in the summer?"

ACFA: Too long to quote here, but the standards are on pages 15 and 16 of the ACFA. There are several protections for them whether indoors or out.

Simon:

"OK to deny the dogs continuous access to clean, non-frozen drinking water?"

ACFA:

"Watering. If potable water is not continually
available to the animals, it must be
offered to the animals as often as necessary to
ensure their health and well-being, but not
less than once each eight (8) hours for at least
one (1) hour each time, unless restricted by
the attending veterinarian. Water receptacles
must be kept clean and sanitized in accordance
with this rule and before being used to
water a different animal or social grouping of
animals."

And so forth. I'm not aure what documents everyone seems to be reading here, but I'm finding the answers pretty easily.

DK

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers March 17, 2011 | 8:46 a.m.

Mark Foeking and Emily Patterson-Kane

The AVMA Model bill...

The problem with the bill is that it is imprecise. It has the same problems as ACFA, and is largely dependent on an honor system.

We know there are enough bad, licensed breeders who don't have the dogs welfare at heart. We need rules that inspectors can verify, not silly recommendations that depend on the "goodness" of the breeder.

About the only precise rule in the bill is that it duplicates the ACFA space requirements--something that can be verified by an inspector. However, the space requirements are inadequate. No, a cage 6 inches longer than the dog is not sufficient. No person who cares about dogs would find this sufficient--so why would an organization of veterinarians accept this?

Shelter requirements are even more imprecise than those in ACFA. Tell me, what kind of shelter do you consider "adequate"? Does "adequate" mean the same thing to all people?

Hard surfaces for the dogs spot cleaned every two weeks. Seriously? Are we talking live dogs, or dead ones that have been stuffed and are inanimate?

"Adequate" ventilation, "adequate" climate control--it's as if the people who designed this worked extremely hard to be as vague as absolutely possible.
There's no precision, and the rules are difficult, if not impossible, for an inspector to verify compliance--or to ensure a consistent finding with different inspectors.

Then there's the behavioral requirements. This is where the "I'm OK and you're woof" comes from. A lot of words about socialization, except for one thing: nothing included in that section can be verified by an inspector. Not one darn thing.

What is the foundation of science? Reproducible results. What do you need to get reproducible results? You need precision.

The AVMA model bill is nothing more than an illusion--a pretense that dogs will be cared for. In actuality, it provides little in the way of enforceable standards, which means it's really focused more on caring for the breeders, than the animals.

And frankly? There are a lot of bad, but licensed dog breeders. A lot.

This model bill is NOT something I would expect from an organization that just added a note about caring for the welfare of the animals in their oath.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking March 17, 2011 | 9:25 a.m.

Shelley Powers wrote:

"The problem with the bill is that it is imprecise."

What you call imprecise is what I call flexible.

Temperature requirements for a St. Bernard, or Husky, and a chihuahua are totally different. Exercise requirements for a greyhound, and a dachshund or basset hound, are totally different. Socialization for a golden retriever, and yorkshire terrier are different. The current regulations take that into account by requiring the veterinarian to specify conditions appropriate to the location and dogs being bred.

As for verification, some things are simply unverifiable. Even cleaning and feeding may be substandard most of the time, and the inspection just happened to catch the breeder at a good time. Generally, a breeder with dogs in poor condition is slacking off in most areas, but a breeder with dogs in good condition may simply be going through a bad time if cleaning or housing is substandard at the time of the inspection.

DK

(Report Comment)
Matteo Simon March 17, 2011 | 4:35 p.m.

Mr. Foecking -

Thank you for being more specific in the areas that you feel these items are already addressed...it allows us to continue the discussion.

I see that you did not address the items I listed about the dogs being confined to the cage (and not let out) if the breeder sees fit, to the cages being stacked, or to the adequate rest between breeding cycles for females. I take this omission as an admission that these items are not covered under ACFA regs. In and of themselves, these updates would be significant improvements to the current laws.

On to your points from above...

Mark Foecking wrote:

(re Housing)

ACFA:

"(XI) Provide sufficient space to
allow each animal to turn about freely, to stand, sit and lie in a comfortable, normal position and to walk in a normal manner;"

- As others have noted above, this is typical of ACFA standards, in that it is vague, subjective and difficult to enforce, as opposed to quantified, measureable dimensions of the Prop B regs (5) that can be easily verified by an inspector. Most importantly, nowhere in the ACFA language pertaining to housing does it allow for the dog to even be let out of the enclosure. To me, this is the most heinous abuse of all under the current regs...this is no quality of life for the animal, to be cooped up in a cage for their entire lives! Prop B specifically addresses this with the "regular exercise" clause, allowing the dog "constant and unfettered access to an outdoor exercise area".

Mark Foecking wrote:

(re Flooring)

ACFA:

"(X) Have floors that are constructed
in a manner that protects the animals’ feet and legs from injury and that, if mesh or slatted construction, it must be constructed of
materials strong enough to prevent sagging and with a mesh small enough that will not allow the animals’ feet to pass through any openings in the floor. If the floor of the primary enclosure is constructed of wire, a solid resting surface(s) that, in the aggregate, is large enough to hold all the occupants of the primary enclosure at the same time comfortably must be provided;"

Yes - this partially addresses the problem...except, that the language that describes the section that is to be solid flooring "to hold all the occupants of the primary enclosure at the same time comfortably". Again, this is too vague and hard to enforce. Who is to define "comfortably"? The dogs? Prop B eliminates the ambiguity by calling for solid flooring for the indoor enclosure.

--- cont ---

(Report Comment)
Matteo Simon March 17, 2011 | 4:37 p.m.

--- cont ---

Mark Foecking wrote:

(re: Protection from extreme temperatures)

“ACFA: Too long to quote here, but the standards are on pages 15 and 16 of the ACFA. There are several protections for them whether indoors or out.”

- Again, it's not that it's not covered at all in ACFA...it's that the way it is written is not adequate. For instance, at the bottom of the 1st column, page 15 of ACFA, I read "Provide the animals with adequate protection and shelter from the cold and heat"...this needs to be better defined, and thus able to be verified, and enforceable.

Mark Foecking wrote:

(Re: Exercise, Human Contact)

ACFA:

"Licensees, in developing their
plan, should consider providing positive
physical contact with humans that encourages
exercise through play or other similar activities.
If a dog is housed, held or maintained at
a facility without sensory contact with another
dog, it must be provided with positive
physical contact with humans at least daily."

- I'm sorry, but this language is atrocious. "Developing their plan", "should consider", etc...such terms are an enforcement nightmare. It essentially makes the entire section nothing more than a suggestion, which can easily be ignored by an unethical breeder. i.e. Any breeder can write up a plan, but there is no way to enforce the execution of that plan.

...and, lastly

Mark Foecking wrote:

(re: Water)

ACFA:

"Watering. If potable water is not continually
available to the animals, it must be
offered to the animals as often as necessary to
ensure their health and well-being, but not
less than once each eight (8) hours for at least
one (1) hour each time, unless restricted by
the attending veterinarian. Water receptacles
must be kept clean and sanitized in accordance
with this rule and before being used to
water a different animal or social grouping of
animals."

So if I'm reading this correctly, this is also to say that it is perfectly fine for dogs to NOT have access to water 21 out of the 24 hours in a day (merely once every eight hours for an hour). I think that any reasonable people who know about animal health would agree that this is not adequate. Also, this does not address the issues of frozen (undrinkable) water or water that is contaminated with debris, whereas Prop B does.

------

Thanks, Mark, for a good debate on specific points.

However, I think the pattern here is clear...ACFA may have been well intended to address most basic canine health and welfare issue, but in most instances it is outdated, inadequate and often too vague to allow for clear, actionable enforcement. Prop B essentially picks up where ACFA left off, and it (or something very close to it) is really where we need to be, if we are to meet our moral obligation to treat these animals humanely, and allow them at least some acceptable level of quality of life.

(Report Comment)

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