Where’s the Puppy Pride Department of Agriculture

Earlier, in Pride of Place and Puppy Mills I wrote:

I looked through the literature for the State and the Department of Agriculture—you know, the brag sheets. We export this much corn and soybeans, and we’re number seven for hogs, and so on. But you won’t find puppies among the listed exports, nor will you find any boasting on being the number one large scale commercial dog breeding state in the country.

This week, Missouri’s Department of Agriculture is celebrating National Agriculture Week with all sorts of festivities. Missouri’s agricultural products will be especially touted…except for one.

Nowhere in the festivities will Dr. Jon Hagler brag about Missouri’s position as the state with the most large scale commercial dog breeding operations. He won’t hold up a basket of puppies and suggest we take home a dozen. He’s not going to lead agritourists on tours of some of the larger operations.

What does this say about how we really view large scale commercial dog breeding?


House moves on SB 113

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Missourinet has a short story on the House plan to adopt SB 113 rather than pursue HB 131. Are the two bills similar? Yes, in that they both gut Proposition B, but no in the particulars of how they do it.

However, the faster the representatives can gut Proposition B, the happier the agribusiness interests will be.

Missourinet does have inaccuracies in its coverage of the story, though. One is that there are four inspections per year. There are not.

If the breeder is licensed by both the USDA and the Department of Agriculture, they may have two separate inspections, one from each. However, I have found both Dept. of Agriculture inspector names along with USDA inspector names on USDA inspection reports, which leads me to believe they are sharing some inspection responsibilities. The only way to verify this is to compare Dept. of Agriculture inspection records, side by side, with USDA inspection records. Unfortunately, the Dept. of Agriculture records are not easily accessible.

In addition, many Missouri breeders are not licensed by the USDA, which means they only have the one Department of Agriculture inspection.

Lastly, the two “veterinarian” site visits are not inspections. The vets are hired directly by the breeders. As we’ve seen at too many breeders, not all kennel veterinarians have the dogs welfare at heart. Point of fact, many of them seem to be more concerned about the breeders than the dogs.

This type of misinformation is common about Proposition B and SB 113. The misinformation is fostered by Senator Parson, and now Representative Cox seems to have taken on this rather dubious mantle in the House of Representatives.


If Proposition B is overturned


SB 113 is listed as first read in the House, and will most likely be pursued in the House rather than HB 131. That’s so the move to override the voters of Missouri can happen that much more quickly.

After all–can’t take a chance that dogs in large scale commercial breeding operations in this state might actually have a good life. They might get uppity. Just like the workers in Missouri getting paid a decent wage—we might get uppity, too.

The next battle for the dogs, and our votes, is the debate over HB 131 in the House. I hope there might actually be more than one or two people actually standing up for the voters of this state in that debate. I would like to think that the Missouri legislature will rise above its slavish devotion to big business just once, and actually vote to support the people. Just once, in all of the votes against the people that have occurred this shameful session.

Then there’s the governor’s veto, but no idea what he’ll do. No idea at all.

I’m thinking about what I’ll do if Proposition B is repealed—and it is a repeal, don’t allow yourself to be fooled into thinking this is some form of “fix”.

One thing I plan on doing is the day after the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act would have gone into law, I’ll start to feature commercial LICENSED breeders who would have been shut down under Proposition B, but are allowed to continue. And with each story I publish on one of these breeders, I plan on listing the names of every Senator and House Representative who voted to gut Proposition B. And Governor Nixon if he does not veto any bill that overrides Proposition B.

I’m not going to allow the actions of our leadership be forgotten. I said the reps who go against the will of the people will “own” every bad breeder from this time forward, and I meant it. I will also find, and document, every bad breeder that’s allowed to operate under the weak, ineffectual laws just blessed by Mike Parson et al. No more dirty little secrets, no more hiding in shadows.

I’ll start right now, by listing Senators Rupp, Schaaf, Dixon, and Callahan, who betrayed the people of their districts and voted to gut Proposition B.