Ohio Puppy Mill Bill Up for Vote
After a big win for ending puppy mills in L.A. recently, this week Ohio’s Breeder Bill (Senate Bill 130) is heading to the full House for a vote, possibly today, after being approved in the Senate back in February. This bill has long been in development and has gone through several revisions even in the last year. What has resulted is an increase in regulation of “high-volume breeders,” defined as an establishment that keeps, houses, and maintains adult breeding dogs that produce at least nine litters of puppies in any given calendar year and, in return for a fee or other consideration, sells sixty or more adult dogs or puppies per calendar year.
This bill will hold puppy mill operators accountable by the Department of Agriculture in following several requirements:
(1) licenses for a period of 1, 3, or 5 years,
(2) limited background checks,
(3) record keeping,
(4) insurance with specified limits depending on the number of dogs,
(5) procedures for inspections,
(6) identification of breeders, retailers and prior owners that is to be provided to consumers, or alternatively, health certificates to be provided to purchasers, and
(7) inclusion of vendor numbers on ads for the sale of a dog.
While it creates a commercial dog breeding oversight board to provide oversight and evaluation of the administration of the law, it as been accused of having minimal regulatory power and insufficient penalties for making an impact on puppy mills. It also does nothing to address smaller volume breeders, which at less than 9 litter per year is still significant, a category which many backyard breeders may fall into. Visit Animal Low Coalition’s critical review of the bill (from an anti-puppy mill perspective) for more details.
Is it progress? YES. Is it enough? Definitely not.
UPDATE 11/15/12: The bill passed through the House with a vote of 89-5.
“This is an industry that’s gone unchecked for too long in Ohio,” Rep. Teresa Fedor (D., Toledo) said.
Now the bill has to go back to the Senate, after being revised in the House. After a post-Thanksgiving vote, we can hopefully put regulations for standard care and accountability in place in Ohio, one of the most popular locations for puppy mill operators.
photo credit: Brian Hathcock via photopin cc