New puppy mill bill introduced in DC today

Posted By elaine on May 25, 2010

In response to a scathing report by the USDA Inspector General critical of the government’s handling of puppy mill investigations, Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator David Vitter (R-LA) today called for immediate changes at the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) and promised to work with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on administrative and legislative reforms.

“This report raises serious concerns about APHIS’ ability to enforce the law, ensure the welfare of animals, and crack down on the most negligent and irresponsible dog breeders,” Durbin said. I’ll start today by introducing a bill that will close the loophole that allows large breeders to sell puppies online, escaping inspection and oversight.”

“I am alarmed by the findings of today’s IG report and believe we cannot delay in making changes at APHIS that would stop the inhumane treatment of dogs, especially abusive and harmful breeding practices,” said Vitter. “The bill we introduced today would help provide guidelines to breeders and ensure that puppies are bred in safe and sanitary facilities.  It is a first step in correcting the current problems in the Animal Welfare Act and making certain dogs are treated humanely.”

The “Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act”, would require all breeders that sell more than 50 dogs a year to be licensed and to undergo inspections to ensure dogs are receiving proper care. USDA played a role in developing the legislation and has endorsed the approach. Senator Vitter is the bill’s lead cosponsor.

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