The American Kennel Club continues to stand on the wrong side of the push to shut down puppy mills. The last straw is the movement in my home state of North Carolina, where HB930 made through a full vote in the state House by a huge margin. But the bill is currently stalled in the Senate.
The measure contains guidelines based on the AKC standards of care. Yet the AKC is now in a position of opposing a movement to set these standards statewide.
An article that ran April 4 on the WGHP website quotes from a statement offered up by the AKC –
“The American Kennel Club believes that devoting more resources to enforcing current laws is a better solution than more regulation. North Carolina’s Animal Welfare Act already provides laws to govern the care of animals. Recent law enforcement actions against substandard kennels demonstrate that these laws work. The priority should be on providing local law enforcement with the resources they need to properly enforce these laws.”
There are some real problems with this statement. One is the fact that law enforcement offices all around the map are calling for clear-cut standards and often we see that conditions have to reach a horrible level before they can step in.
To suggest that current laws are enough in states like North Carolina is to loose all credibility. It is just not a statement based on the facts at hand. Yes, we need to see the laws enforced. But the regulations are currently very weak in NC.
In addition, we have a system of inspections in place for rescue shelters – yet nothing like this at all for breeding operations. Yes, the people and groups who rescue dogs and those who take in dogs pulled from puppy mills are inspected. But the puppy mills are not.
HB930 does not contain a system for inspections. I wish it did. But you can be sure that groups the AKC would throw full tantrums if inspections were in the bill. The last thing they want is for breeding operations to face improved standard of care and inspections.
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