Chicago’s anti-puppy mill bill officially went into enforcement in 2016, requiring all pet stores in the city to no longer sell commercially bred dogs, cats, and rabbits. The ordinance, which prevailed in spite of opposition in federal court, echoed similar puppy mill bans in some 200 municipalities across the nation, and was an enormous step forward in the city’s efforts to be a humane place for animals. And now, a new bill introduced in the Illinois Senate has put those efforts in danger.
Blogger and Tails contributor Laura Young discusses the new bill in her ChicagoNow blog “To the Rescue!“:
On February 10, 2017, Animal Welfare Bill SB 1882/HB 2824 was introduced to the Illinois Senate, ostensibly as a microchipping act (a good thing). However, also embedded in the bill are proposed amendments to the Animal Welfare Act which present a severe threat to those working to pass (and keep) Humane Ordinances which would prevent the sale of dogs and cats from breeding mills. The full text of the proposed bill can be read here. The proposed amendments to the existing act are in green text.
Pay special attention to Sections 3.8 which concerns the sourcing of pets for resale by pet stores. On the surface, the uneducated reader may not see a problem, as pet store owners are mandated to refrain from doing business with any dealers who have violated USDA breeder regulations. Here is what you need to know about what that means:
In order to vet their dealers, pet shop owners are required to use the search tool available via the USDA to see it the breeder has any recent violations. They are considered to be acting in good faith as long as they use the search tool when placing an order. Fair enough. But here is where it gets interesting (read: horrifying).
The USDA search tool has been deactivated indefinitely and the amendment specifically states that pet shop owners are off the hook if they can’t use the search tool.
Click here to read the full story.