Federal Legislation and Regulations
Help Close Puppy Mill Loophole
The Oregon Humane Society is urging you to voice your opinion to the US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) and help close a major loophole that allows Internet puppy mills to escape USDA oversight.
Last month, USDA unveiled a proposal that would bring these Internet-based puppy sellers under the same law that applies to licensed breeders who sell to pet stores.
The USDA is seeking public comment on its proposal. Visit the ASPCA Web page where you can submit your comments online.
Why does the loophole exist? The decades-old Animal Welfare Act was drafted before e-commerce existed, so there was never a provision to regulate companies that sold directly through the Internet. Such e-based puppy sellers are considered to be "pet stores" and thus exempt from the act.
Unfortunately, many large-scale breeding companies rely exclusively on the Internet to sell to the public. With no possibility of federal inspections, dogs are subject to overcrowding, malnutrition and lack of medical care. The proposed USDA rule would close this loophole.
In Oregon, state law limits how many breeding dogs can be at one breeding facility and sets minimum care standards. However, there are no state requirements for inspections or licensing.
Federal Bill Would Protect Egg-Laying Hens
The Oregon Humane Society urges the public to contact their federal legislators in support of legislation to protect egg-laying hens. The proposed federal legislation closely follows a landmark Oregon law passed last year with the support of OHS (details here).
The Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012 (S. 3239/H.R. 3798) was recently introduced by Representative Kurt Schrader, and now has 66 bipartisan co-sponsors. This bill would provide a stable future for egg farmers and improve the treatment of laying hens. Now, under the industry standards, laying hens are housed in barren battery cages, which confine the animals in pitifully small space allotments.
The bill is endorsed by the United Egg Producers, which represents 90 percent of all U.S. egg production, by the American Veterinary Medical Association and other science-based groups.
Contact Your Legislators
For more information and to contact your legislators online, visit the ASPCA's legislative Web page.