Pixie-Bob News Room

“Don’t Regulate Pet Breeders Out Of Business”

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HSUS claims that 98 percent of Virginia breeders are violating the law. This claim is nonsense; the proper statement is that 98 percent of breeders here are not required to be licensed. And since USDA licensing requires commercial farm breeding (rather than the home breeding that’s generally considered better), a more accurate statement would be that 98 percent of Virginia breeders choose not to lower their standards in order to obtain a USDA license.

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http://www.roanoke.com/editorials/commentary/wb/141217

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Don’t regulate pet breeders out of business

Walt Hutchens

Hutchens, who lives near Lexington, is retired and breeds whippet dogs.

To understand Wayne Pacelle’s blast at the breeding of dogs in Virginia (“Humane Society rips Va. pet mills,” Nov. 2 news story), you need to know who the Humane Society of the United States is.

HSUS keeps no animals, runs no animal shelters and has no direct connection to any group that does. A charity in IRS terms only, HSUS takes donations from millions of animal-loving Americans and uses them to pass laws that will steadily separate us from our pets and other animals.

HSUS is strongly anti-meat, anti-hunting, anti-animal research and, yes, anti-pet.

One front in the animal rights war on pets is laws making breeding ever more expensive and risky. Virginia’s animal rights groups have attempted to pass anti-dog breeding laws each of the last four years but have failed every time. This year they’re starting early, with a HSUS-led campaign to convince Virginians that there’s a problem requiring a new law. To fuel the campaign, they went looking for dirt.

They found that many breeders aren’t licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But only breeders who sell through pet stores and have more than three breeding females are required to be licensed. This is not a loophole; it was a USDA regulatory decision that has been successfully defended in court on grounds that large wholesale breeders are a more likely source of trouble and thus monitoring them is a better use of tax dollars.

Retail-only breeders, after all, deal directly with the families that will provide the animals’ long-term homes. Those families are able to see how their pets were raised, meet “mom” and talk with the breeder, if they so choose.

HSUS claims that 98 percent of Virginia breeders are violating the law. This claim is nonsense; the proper statement is that 98 percent of breeders here are not required to be licensed. And since USDA licensing requires commercial farm breeding (rather than the home breeding that’s generally considered better), a more accurate statement would be that 98 percent of Virginia breeders choose not to lower their standards in order to obtain a USDA license.

The Nov. 2 article repeats the story of Dogwood Kennels, which had a fire that killed 200 dogs and was subsequently found to be in compliance with the law. The point is . . . what? That, in the twisted logic of HSUS President Wayne Pacelle, “Virginia is for puppy mills.” As the lady said, “Where’s the beef?”

Pacelle’s goal is for Virginia to pass a state law requiring dog and cat breeders to be licensed, inspected, given rules and regulations, and fined for violations. Such schemes end hobby breeding, and the regulations are often similar to those of the USDA, thus ending home breeding. While complaining of puppy mills, what he really wants is for all Virginia dog breeding to be done by commercial farm breeders.

The HSUS strategy is to squeeze home breeding steadily down and out, while proclaiming that home breeders are the only place to go to get a puppy. That might sound like a contradiction, but once you understand that the long-term goal is ending pet ownership, it makes perfect sense.

Backed by HSUS, Virginia’s animal rightists are already shopping their ideas for a law among our state’s legislators. When the General Assembly meets in early 2008, lawmakers will be under pressure as never before to pass statewide breeder licensing. They’re going to need strong opposition from Virginia pet lovers if they are to stand against what could well be thousands of phone calls, letters and e-mails from animal rightists urging passage.

Virginia‘s breeders are subject to the same welfare laws as every other animal owner. Breeder licensing will mean that only businesses can breed.

If you love dogs and cats, if you want to keep the choice you now have of getting a pet from a Virginia home breeder, and certainly if you think you might like to breed a litter someday, now’s the time to talk to your local senator and delegate.

Tell them that Virginia is for home-bred dogs and cats and we don’t need Pacelle’s HSUS inventing a problem and then telling our General Assembly how to solve it.

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December 5, 2007 - Posted by | Pet Legislation

1 Comment »

  1. Great article — it is about time someone started standing up to the AR nazis

    Comment by Hannah Alen | December 13, 2007 | Reply


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