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New Puppy Mill Legislation

New rules went into effect last month that are aimed at regulating breeders, making them more humane.
But some breeders don't want to be regulated.

Lawmakers are working to water-down or do-away with the rules altogether.

The puppy mill debate rages on at the State Capitol.

Two pieces of legislation have been introduced that would change the bill that passed last year... the Commercial Pet Breeders Act. Supporters say it's fine the way it is.

Shelli Holland-Handy with OK Alliance for Animals said, "This is not a situation where animal welfare people want to shut all breeders down. We are talking about substandard breeding. And our state is known for that."

One of the new bills would put the regulation under a different department, the Department of Agriculture and to exempt sport and working dogs from the rules.

Companion animals are not livestock. That particular act has no business being under the department of Agriculture. The Vet Board is much better suited to govern the board because they already do investigations.

Advocates say the Commercial Pet Breeders Act rules ensure animals in breeding operations are given the most basic care by U-S-D-A guidleines. Food, water, veterinary care... and clean living conditions.

Ruth Steinberger, Legislative Chair for OK Human Federation said, "They've made it to where it is absolutely so basic that no Oklahoman would want to see their own pet live like this."

If you are a reputable breeder doing the right things for your animals, there is no reason why you couldn't comply with these standards.

Senate Bill 637 aims to disapprove of the rules all together... putting Oklahoma back at square one.

Holland-Handy said, "We really need to put politics aside and get Oklahoma on a top ten list better than top 10 puppy mill producing state in the nation."


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