Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Anti-Anti-Puppy Mill Bill in MO

MO Senate works on anti-anti-puppy mill bill
by Bob Priddy on May 11, 2010

The effort by the legislature to make it harder to pass the puppy mill petition proposal is inching forward in the legislature. The proposed law would require any petition issue placing any controls on animal agriculture to get a two-thirds majority to pass. It sets animal agriculture apart from all other issues that might go to the voters through petition campaigns.

The bill is a reaction to the petition seeking a statewide vote on regulations for dog breeding operations. Agriculture interests say it adds almost nothing to the current state regulations and is a precursor to a later petition they say would kill animal farming.

Joplin Senator Gary Nodler says backers re relying on an inflammatory phrase to touch public emotion, namely “puppy mills,” when he says is a term that is intended to unfairly describe dog breeders. He likes the phrase to a racial slur.

Sponsor Bill Stouffer of Napton is confident his proposed anti-anti puppy mill amendment can get through the Senate, then the House and get on this year’s ballot. IT will need only a simple majority from voters to become law. Link

Many states are looking into ways they can protect farmers and ranchers from emotionally based initiatives that have nothing to do with the proper care of livestock and everything to do with control. This is certainly a unique idea and it will be interesting to see the debate on this plan. We’ll stay tuned for how this ends up.

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