Wayne Pacelle responded to the recent events with SB 161. Evidently the plan of the HSUS, Best Friends Society, and ASPCA is to focus on the Constitutional Amendment that protects citizen initiatives. The organizations also plan to monitor whether there is improvement for dogs in the puppy mills in Missouri. If there is no real improvement, the organizations plan to respond with another citizen initiative, but this time, one hopefully protected from legislative mucking about.
This confirms that there won’t be a move to bring about a referendum to veto SB 161. Disappointing but understandable. With the burn out and apathy I’m seeing demonstrated by various pundits, it may be difficult to bring about a referendum, especially with the actions of HSMO and MAAL.
This is not a happy state, though, either for dogs or voters. I genuinely believe that the lives for dogs in large scale commercial breeding operations will not improve with SB 161, regardless of extra money given to the Department of Agriculture. Even before SB 161 was signed by the Governor, the Department of Agriculture was making noise that the real problem in Missouri is the unlicensed breeders. We know differently, but this just demonstrates that business will proceed as usual in the Department. I don’t expect to see an improvement in transparency, nor do I expect to see an improvement in application of the now weakened regulations.
Additionally, no matter how Governor Nixon and the representatives tried to spin it, SB 161 does not reflect the will of the people. The people’s vote was trodden in the political mechanization that resulted in SB 161.