Friday, January 23, 2009

Chloe's bill

I just learned this morning that there is a bill on the docket in Illinois that seeks to reform puppymills. The bill, called Chloe's bill would:

- Limit to 20 the number of unaltered dogs a breeder may possess
- Ban anyone convicted of felony-level animal cruelty from acquiring a dog-breeding license
- Prohibit wire flooring in commercial breeding facilities and create guidelines for appropriate heating, cooling and ventilation
- Require pet stores and breeders to provide customers with a dog’s full medical history
- Establish penalties for violations, ranging from fines to animal seizure and license revocation

According to the ASPCA,

"Sponsored by State Rep. John Fritchey and State Senator Dan Kotowski, Chloe’s Bill is named for a young cocker spaniel—rescued from a Macon County, IL, puppy mill—who was present at Sunday’s press conference. Now living with one of the animal control agents involved in the raid on her kennel, Chloe is the sole survivor from her litter. Like thousands of other commercial dog breeders in the U.S., the owners of Chloe’s kennel focused on producing as many puppies as possible with little regard for the physical and mental health of their animals. The dogs found at this puppy mill were matted with feces and urine, and infested with fleas and internal parasites. Many suffered from deformed paws from living their lives on wire-floored cages.

As Rep. Fritchey explained to the media, 'We are not trying to do anything drastic; we’re not trying to do anything radical. We’re trying to implement standards for what is humane care, for what is decent care.'"

Just as was the case with CA's Prop 2, what's asked for here seems very reasonable, what is minimal to achieve humane conditions. What disturbs me is that these types of regulations haven't been established already and that things are so bad, they have to put a bill like this into place. I'm not naive. I know there is much to be done to protect animals or the ASPCA, Farm Sanctuary, and other animal protection organizations wouldn't exist. It's just always unsettling to me when I am made aware that any sentient beings are suffering -- especially those who are at the mercy of a caregiver who is indifferent to that suffering.


Lynda said...

By making it harder for Illinois residents to buy a dog from a responsible breeder, the bill could actually encourage commercial operations that care more about profit than puppies. Some commercial breeders already operate outside the law and will continue to do so, but some responsible breeders might well decide it's not feasible for them to continue.

The result: more puppy mills and a spike in sales from out of state. Some critics say the bill might as well be called the Puppy Mill Promotion Act.

Education of consumers is the only thing that will stop puppy mills. It's a simple economic principle called Supply and Demand. If the demand isn't there for puppies from pet stores, then puppy mills will run out of business. HB 198 will NOT help.

Pam said...

Thanks for your comment, Lynda, but I don't see anything about this bill that would make it harder for Illinois residents to buy a dog from a responsible breeder. Where do you see that?

I'm not sure exactly what you're advocating. Are you saying that the only tactic that is needed to stop puppy mills is education and not any legislation?