The Puppy Protection Act wants to put a stop on puppy mills
(Photo credit: Ana Rocio Garcia Franco / Getty Images)
Last week, U.S. Senators reintroduced the Puppy Protection Act in an attempt to increase federal protections for domestic dogs. According to The Humane Blog, the bipartisan legislation was co-sponsored by U.S Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.), and Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.).
Puppy Mills and Unethical Breeders need to be reigned in
Under the legislation, licensed breeders would have to meet new standards of care. Some examples include mandating solid flooring for dogs instead of open cages. Besides that, there are new rules regarding adequate space and temperature control. Additionally, the bill would mandate that breeders make a “reasonable effort” to rehome retired dogs instead of killing them.
Speaking to the Washington Examiner, Rep. Reschenthaler said, “As a member of the Animal Protection Caucus, I am committed to championing legislation that promotes animal welfare. Too many dogs currently suffer from inhumane conditions and abuse at the hands of commercial breeders.” He added, “The Puppy Protection Act will protect these animals and put puppy mills on a short leash by holding them to a higher standard of care.” Reschenthaler went on to say that he looked “forward to partnering with my colleagues to bring this commonsense bill to the House floor.”
Protecting dogs affects all of us
Although protecting dogs and puppies is the primary goal, the Puppy Protection Act is also about public health. Alarmingly, writer Kitty Block said that current USDA regulations allow breeders to forgo veterinary care for sick and injured dogs. As a result, serious illnesses can go undiagnosed and untreated, eventually sparking outbreaks.
Unfortunately, some of these diseases can also jump to humans if left unchecked. A recent study showed that dogs can actually transmit infectious diseases to their owners. As such, the Puppy Protection Act is not only about animal welfare but protecting the general public from zoonotic diseases, too.
In the end, even with more regulations, it’s difficult to defend the retail breeding and selling of dogs. That’s why many cities are beginning to ban the industry altogether. Even so, online sales have allowed unethical breeders to proliferate. Hopefully, the Puppy Protection Act can help put a stop to these puppy mills while ensuring that breeders prioritize their dogs’ health.
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