Thursday, August 19, 2010

Missouri Animal Care coalition to discuss strategy

Brownfield Ag News. August 17, 2010 by Tom Steever

A coalition of Missouri pet breeding and animal agriculture groups plans to further discuss strategy following a judge’s ruling last week rejecting a challenge to the so-called puppy mill ballot measure to put restrictions on dog breeders.

Missouri Cattlemen’s Association Executive Vice President Jeff Windett says Missourians for Animal Care will meet next week. He says coalition members are disappointed that the court didn’t agree that language in the ballot summary is unfair. Windett says the coalition exists because of what’s happened with other state’s ballot issues sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States.

“We know it’s a history of HSUS to come back after agriculture, and more specifically the livestock industry, in other states and we expect them to do the same [in Missouri],” said Windett, during an interview with Brownfield Tuesday.

Aside from expecting further efforts from HSUS to restrict animal agriculture, Windett says the measure as written won’t fix problem dog breeders.

“This ballot initiative does nothing to identify some of the unlicensed breeders,” said Windett. “The only people that this ballot initiative is going to affect is the licensed dog breeders; those are the ones we know about and the unlicensed breeders are going to continue to operate.”

Karen Strange, president of the Missouri Federation of Animal Owners, filed the suit arguing that the measure unfairly describes a violation of the proposed restrictions as a misdemeanor called “puppy mill cruelty.”

Among other things, the measure restricts possession to no more than 50 breeding dogs.

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