Pet Animal Welfare Statute (PAWS)-SB 1139

     
      Introduction of the Pet Animal Welfare Statute (PAWS) by Senator Santorum (R) Pennsylvania and Senator Durbin (D) Illinois has created the biggest uproar in the history of dog breeding. Sen. Santorum pulled the Puppy Protection Act several years ago after much public debate only to return with this bill supported by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Doris Day Animal League (DDAL) and the American Kennel Club (AKC).

     MoFed received a copy of the proposed legislation Sunday evening and by Monday morning we had issued our statement against the measure. As a political lobbying group opposing the animal rights movement in the state of Missouri, MoFed has been testifying and lobbying against animal rights since the early 1990's. Understanding the full intent of the animal rights movement and its effect on animal ownership and enjoyment, MoFed instantly recognized the dangers involved in allowing a bill such as PAWS to pass. By chipping away a little at a time, animal rights activists will gradually achieve their goal of ending the breeding and ownership of animals. PAWS is merely a step in that direction.

I just read the speech that Senator Santorum made to the Senate. He makes this bill sound like the best thing since sliced bread. The problem is that he has not read his own bill. He is misinterpreting what it actually says. Animal rights activists always tell you what they think you want to hear, not what they are actually trying to put into practice. The USDA will not be enforcing what Senator Santorum thinks the bill says but what the actual words in the bill are and they are confusing at best.
The text of his message to the senate can be found in this pdf document.

Click here to Link to Paws (SB 1139/HB 2669) Language and Analysis.
PAWS Language and Analysis

Some of MoFed's concerns with PAWS:

Much debate on various e-groups has centered around how many animals can be sold, bred, traded, given away or bartered without requiring licensing by USDA. How will co-ownerships of dogs or cats be counted? Numbers as a requirement always create concerns for fairness. Small breeds generally produce smaller litters; larger breeds generally produce larger litters. To use the number of litters as a determining factor for licensing creates an unfair balance of who should and who should not be licensed. Also, the number of dogs a breeder can sell has been the subject of much debate in the reading of the law. Differences of opinion among those who were involved in the writing of the law leaves many unanswered questions

USDA does not have the finances or the manpower to enforce more regulations. If the bill is enacted into law as it is currently proposed there could be authorization given by USDA to non-governmental organizations such as HSUS, DDAL or AKC to carry out inspections. This would finally put in place the sixth step of the Animal Rights agenda…to allow animal rights groups to do inspections in the homes and facilities of breeders.

Many states have laws regulating the breeding of dogs and cats within their borders. If more breeders are brought into the Animal Welfare Act, many states may have to enact more legislation because their state laws are based on USDA regulations. It could create great financial strain on those states at a time when some states are having trouble funding schools, highways, welfare and health care programs.

If this bill becomes law it will negatively impact breeders of pedigreed cats and dogs with small/moderate sized breeding programs. When small/moderate sized breeders stop breeding due to an unwillingness to allow inspectors to tromp through their homes, then the only venue for supplying puppies and kittens will be from Commercial breeders. Commercial breeders are already licensed and are willing to house their animals in buildings separate from their own living quarters. In Missouri, currently licensed Commercial Breeders are used to meeting all the requirements of both Missouri laws and USDA regulations. It is our concern that if current licensed breeders are not able to maintain the desired supply of pets then unlicensed substandard facilities will eventually spring up to fill the gap.

MoFed stands for the rights of animal owners and enthusiasts. We do not want more government intrusion into our lives and our homes. The Animal Welfare Act is not enforced uniformly across the nation currently. Missouri has nearly half of the USDA inspectors nationally due to pressures from animal rights activists to the Appropriations Committee in Washington D.C. If the current AWA was enforced, there would be no need for further laws and regulations concerning the breeding of dogs and cats. PAWS is nothing more than additional government intervention.

The scope of minimum humane care standards and penalties for breeders have not yet been considered. It is a "come into my parlor said the spider to the fly" syndrome in which Sen. Santorum, HSUS, DDAL and AKC are luring breeders to trust them without detailing what that trust involves. The law as it is introduced allows great opportunities for massive changes as it works its way through the legislative process. Those changes could prove even more harmful to all breeders.

Our greatest concern with PAWS is the writing of the regulations after the law would pass. Having been involved in the writing of regulations, MoFed is acutely aware of changes that can be made that can severely impact the original intent of the law. As an example, we have enclosed a link to the Kitchen Sink Docket(Click here). Fourteen pages of changes and additions were made to the Animal Welfare Act recently without going through the legislative process. The same can be done with PAWS. That reason alone should be sufficient cause for every dog and cat owner in the United States to work feverishly to defeat Santorum's bill!

Contacting your legislators:

To contact your Legislators put your zip code into the box link below
and click "Go".
After reaching the NAIA Trust cap wiz site click on the Action Alert for SB1139/HB2669. On the page that comes up you will need to put your zip code into
the box and click "Go" again.
On the next page simply read and choose the points (on the left) that you want to send to your Senators. After choosing your talking points just click on the red arrows next to those talking points. Choose whether you want to send your messages by mail or email and you are set to go.
Fill in your contact information and click send messages.

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