Compromise proposed by Gov. Nixon in Missouri on repeal of Proposition B

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The effort to repeal many of the important provision in Missouri’s Prop B took a twisting turn today when Governor Jay Nixon announced a possible compromise – “between state-level animal-welfare groups and Missouri dog breeders.”

Agriculture groups in the state and the Humane Society of Missouri have reportedly signed off on the compromise. There are no details reported in a story I found on the Midwest Democracy Project website.

But writer Barb Shelly does offer some details on the Kansas City Star site – noting the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Best Friends Animal Society also oppose the compromise.

“” Among their objections: Dogs can still be stacked in cages; no rest is required between breeding cycles; dogs still don’t have enough space; and the number of breeding dogs is unlimited, with no ratio of workers to dogs required. “”

In another piece published a little earlier today, Shelly reported the new proposal “requires a veterinarian to physically examine dogs annually, rather than just eyeballing them, as the legislature’s bill proposes.”

And ” … the new bill calls for more exercise space for dogs than the legislature had wanted, and it requires future <my bold type> enclosures to be three times as large as the space currently required by the Missouri Department of Agriculture.”
My first reaction is to side with the HSUS, the ASPCA and Best Friends. I don’t like the fact that dogs could still be stacked in cages, that breeding cycles will not be regulated and at minimum there are not standards for a ratio of dogs to handlers.
I’m little troubled that there is a mention of expanded exercise space, but it doesn’t mention outdoor space for the dogs.
I don’t think the people in the Missouri legislature who are pushing for a repeal of these key components of Prop B understand that quality breeders already meet or exceed the provision in Proposition B. They – and to a degree Gov. Nixon – are listening to people who don’t want to be forced to allow their dogs time for regular play outside or to offer them proper housing and don’t want to follow proper guidelines on rest between breeding cycles.
Quality breeders do all of these things.
If a breeder says offering their dogs time everyday outside for play will cut into their profits, that’s a red flag. If a breeder says housing their dogs in cages large enough to allow them space to move around will cost them too much money, that’s a red flag.
If a breeder does not want to be told to allow rest between breeding cycles, that’s a red flag.
And I will again bring up this point – would any of the people proposing a repeal of key components of Prop B ever suggest to friends that they never let their dogs outside to play or tell them to keep their dogs in stacked cages in the garage? No – they’d never publicly admit that. So why should breeding dogs have to endure this?

5 thoughts on “Compromise proposed by Gov. Nixon in Missouri on repeal of Proposition B

  1. Linda,

    The more I consider this topic, the more I agree with you. Prop B is the compromise, because it sets reasonable minimum standards.
    Governor Nixon needs to do the right thing and outright veto this new bill to gut Prop B.

  2. But I have to include this – the provision for increased funding for enforcement of Prop B should be passed as a separate bill.

  3. The most appalling part of this “compromise” is its woefully inadequate penalties. Under Prop B, each violation was a separate offense punishable as a Class C misdemeanor. Under the compromise, only multiple, repeated violations can be prosecuted, and all violations are treated as a single offense with a maximum penalty of — wait for it — $500 or 15 days in jail.

    That’s it. The penalty for starving hundreds of dogs, forcing them to live in filth and misery, and letting them die of diseases and injury is less than the price a single puppy mill dog can bring in on the internet.

    Does that sound like a deterrent? Because from where I’m standing, it’s looking pretty weak. In the absence of any significant penalty, any regulations set forth in this law are meaningless and ineffective.

    Add to that the unconscionable $2500 annual fee assessed against nonprofit shelters and rescues, and you have one terrible piece of legislation. Missouri’s shelters and rescues are strained to the breaking point dealing with the damage caused by irresponsible breeders, and smaller operations will be hard-pressed to absorb a $2500 hit to their budget every year.

    The reason for this clause is clear: breeders portray shelters as competition. They resent the slogan “Don’t buy while shelter dogs die”, and they accuse shelters of selling dogs for a profit, and even importing them from overseas to “meet the demand” for adoptable animals. The $2500 fee on a nonprofit organization is an attempt by the breeder lobbyists to close down smaller shelters and rescues and eliminate the “competition”. It’s disgraceful.

  4. We kill so many unwanted pets every year. Why are breeders allowed to bring more dogs into the world to die. Dogs are social animals. Locking them in cages with no human love is a deplorable inhumane act . We need to organize and BOYCOTT Missouri.
    Count me in.

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