Animal Welfare Legislative News out of ND, SC and Minn.

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I found three articles on the Web over the last couple of days, concerning animal cruelty or puppy mill legislation or the lack thereof in three states – North Dakota, South Carolina and Minnesota.

North Dakota: An editorial by Kristie Skunberg, the chairperson of North Dakotans to Stop Animal Cruelty, appeared Thursday on the Grand Forks Herald website. Skunberg notes the latest anti-cruelty bill working its way through the state legislature has some good and bad elements.

She explains that “a provision of the bill would let criminal defendants escape prosecution if they can show they are breeding or training animals, potentially creating a loophole for cruelty and neglect by puppy mills and other large-scale breeders.”

WHAT? – How is that anyone could think breeders and trainers should get a free pass from being charged with cruelty. Skunberg is right to point this out.

And there are other problems.

South Carolina: Joe Elmore, the CEO of the Charleston Animal Society, calls the state’s cruelty laws “very weak.” And he’s right. The HSUS ranks SC at No. 47 out of 50 states.

WMBF reports a bill is limbo that might set longer jail time for abusers and increase criminal fees. The article also notes the state does not have regulations in place to ban the possession of animals by those convicted of cruelty.  And sadly, it is one of ten states with a felony cockfighting law.

Minnesota: The state legislature here is considering a bill that could institute a system of inspections for breeding operations, something vital in uncovering puppy mills. And WDAZ notes the state does not currently license breeders.

But the Minnesota Pet Breeders Association is against the proposed regulations. Once again, we find a breeding association that is fighting against laws to protect dogs from cruelty. No one should support these associations.