I’ve been busy over at Puppies @ Burningbird. The Missouri Senate Agricultural committee did vote on a bill about Proposition B to send to the general Senate, but they did so in such an underhanded and deceitful way that I find myself equally dismayed at both their actions, and the result.

Rather than say they are repealing Proposition B, they told news organizations they are only “strengthening” it. We’re removing the 50 dog limit, they said, and adding new enforcement criteria.

Bad enough, but then when you open up the PDF for the bill text rather than just read the bill summary, you see that the representatives gutted every last bit of Proposition B. Rather than be honest about what they’ve done, they’ve tried to deceive the people of Missouri, using one of the most underhanded, slimy moves I think I’ve ever seen in a legislative action—and let’s face it, we’ve all seen our share of underhanded, slimy moves in legislative sessions.

I was also disturbed by these state representatives’ assumption that we won’t actually open and read the full text. What disturbed me more is that none of the news media covering the bill announcement did actually open the bill, and read the text.

All except for Fox. I don’t care what people say about Fox at the national level, the local Fox station has been a good friend to dogs.

I can’t wait to see what the House agriculture committee tries, as they come up with their version of “gut Proposition B” next week.

Passions are high, and times are stressful when it comes to defending the dogs…and our votes. It helps, then, to get a little perspective from stories like Puppy mill ban leads to sharp rise in puppy flour prices.

Drupal 7

I also upgraded one of my sites to Drupal 7. I ran into some significant problems. I’m working on a detailed write-up on the result, to be published later in my tech space.

My move to upgrade all of my sites will be going much slower from this point on. Much, much slower.


Fun and games with HTML5 continues with an article in InfoWorld, HTML: The standard that failed? In a comment to the article, Ian Hickson wrote, “The spec is by far the most stable and mature specification for HTML so far.”

Oh, yeah, I’ll have more on that later, too.


It’s going to snow here again next week. Not as bad as back East, which is shoveling out from yet more feet of snow, but still, I”m ready to be done with it.


Senate is first out of the gate

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

The senate agricultural committee is the first with a bill to the floor to modify Proposition B. Considering that community discussion was cut off yesterday and the other bills not discussed, it’s obvious that the state senators had no interest in discussing this bill, or even in providing a pretense of fairness.

By the description, the bill they’re going with is SB 113 (fulll text of bill) from Senator Mike Parson.

The bill doubles the burden on Missouri Department of Agriculture inspectors, by requiring them to conduct multiple inspections for “serious” infractions, as well as giving breeders 30 to 180 days to correct these “serious” infractions.

What’s a serious infraction?

  • Dogs not being fed
  • Dogs not having access to clean water
  • Dogs that are seriously injured or ill not getting veterinarian care
  • Dogs kept in plastic igloos in sub-zero weather, shivering, trying to keep warm with a ratty old blanket
  • Dogs kept outdoors in 100 degree weather, without shade

No worries about fixing these infractions. By the time the inspectors return, the dogs will be dead. Problem solved.

Oh but wait, we’re not finished yet…

The bill removed the 18 month restriction for breeding and allows dogs to be bred twice in every year. This means the dogs can be bred every cycle–no rest is allowed. Have to get their money’s worth, you know.

A veterinarian doesn’t have to check out each animal annually—they can just visit the site, have a cup of coffee, and do a rubber stamp.

The wording that euthanization is only handled by trained vets has also been removed. So Billy Bob can proceed to thwapt the dogs over the head with a club.

Forget the extra cage space, and the cages can still be all wire; any exercise will be in accordance to what the vet states—you know, the vet that rubber stamps everything?

Also forget the access to clean water. That’s too much trouble for breeders in our state. Well, so is access to food at least once a day.

The dogs can be kept outdoors in freezing conditions or extremely hot weather, with no access to an indoor facility. They’re only dogs; they don’t need a break from the elements.

The 50 dog limit is removed. After all, consumers should be thrilled that the puppy they buy was raised in a factory farm setting with thousands of other puppies. So what if the puppy ends up diseased. So what if the puppy has genetic defects because the former hog farmer just shoves dogs together, without regard to genetic traits. If the puppy dies, that’s good for the kids: toughens them up, gets them ready for real life.

Gets them ready for dealing with state representatives who demonstrate that yes, Missouri law can be bought.

In other words, this bill completely and thoroughly revokes every last meaningful bit of Proposition B. It is a lie and a deception, with its pretense of being a “compromise”. The out and out repeal would have, at least, been honest.

This is what our good Missouri state senators think is “acceptable” for dogs. This is what our good Missouri state senators decided to put in place over the objections of the Missouri voters.

PS The bill also defines “pet” to be a dog, only. Your heard it here, first: your cat, your gerbil, your bird, and snake, are not “pets” in Missouri.


Eighth bill to modify Proposition B read

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I kid you not, there is now an eighth bill about Proposition B, HB 332.

This one, sponsored by Representative Ward Franz, is confusing. It doesn’t revoke any of the Proposition B regulations. It does grandfather in existing breeders, which is something I can’t accept. It also, bizarrely, includes references to “humane societies” directly in the text. I just can’t figure out the reason why.

Regardless, grandfathering in existing commercial breeders is unacceptable. We’re supposed to turn a blind eye to the condition of the dogs in existing breeders? It’s OK for dogs to suffer in the 1400+ licensed breeders, but not for any breeder? The whole point of Proposition B is that there are problems with existing breeders, not some hypothetical breeder in the future.