Friday, February 18, 2011

Budget amendment votes: fish yes, horses no

By Pete Kasperowicz - 02/16/11 05:09 PM ET The Hill

The House on Wednesday voted to maintain $7.5 million for a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service resource management program that gives grant money to private environmental groups.

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) said the program's authorization has expired, but yet, "the money just keeps rolling on." McClintock's amendment was rejected in a voice vote.

The House did approve an amendment from Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) that would remove $2 million from the Bureau of Land Management as a way of protesting the Bureau's effort to manage the wild horse population in western states.

Burton criticized the Bureau's practice of transporting horses thousands of miles and keeping them in pens and said the cost of the program has more than tripled in the last 10 years. Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) agreed and said the Bureau should control the size of herds through contraception, a less costly alternative.

Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) opposed Burton's amendment and said Congress has caused problems by preventing the slaughter of wild horses. But Burton's amendment was approved regardless.

Both amendments were considered as part of H.R. 1, the GOP's FY 2011 spending bill, which the House is considering throughout the week.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

St. Joseph MO could pass rules to mirror Prop B

Regardless of the outcome of current bills to repeal Prop B, the City Council is supportive of passing an ordinance to give the city authority to inspect local dog kennels. The proposed ordinance changes would update the local regulations for breeders of dogs or cats to mirror Proposition B.

St. Joseph dog breeders may operate on a tighter leash by the end of the year.

The City Council showed support Tuesday for an ordinance that would grant the city authority to inspect local dog kennels. The bill also would update the local regulations for breeders of dogs or cats to mirror Proposition B, which voters approved in November.

Under current city ordinances, the city does not inspect kennels that are inspected or licensed by another agency. The Missouri Department of Agriculture currently licenses and inspects the two breeding kennels within the city limits. No boarding or rescue kennels operate in St. Joseph.

The ordinance, like Proposition B, would require breeders to provide larger kennels for their animals and unfettered access to an outdoor exercise area; would prohibit stacked cages; and would limit the number of animals a breeder could keep in a facility, among other regulations.

At least three bills are circulating in the state Legislature to repeal or reduce the authority of Proposition B.

Rick Smith, manager of St. Joseph Animal Control and Rescue, said the possibility of repeal should not affect the council’s decision.

“Even if the Legislature goes on to revise Prop B, that doesn’t mean you have to change the ordinance,” Mr. Smith said. “We can have stricter regulations than the state.”

Both of St. Joseph’s commercial breeders, Barbara Hoerath and Crystol Malchose, told the council the regulations would harm their businesses. When council member Donna Jean Boyer tried to ask a question, Ms. Hoerath immediately jumped in with the answer.

“So if it’s not repealed by the state ...” Ms. Boyer began.

“... I will move. I’ll have to move out of the state,” Ms. Hoerath said.
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