New Laws Not Needed For Animal Controls
Kudos to Scott Mooneyham (May 1 column) for pointing out some of the flaws in the "puppy mill bill" (SB 460), which attempts to stamp out abusive breeding facilities.
This type of animal abuse is horrible and should be stopped. It was stopped under North Carolina's current animal welfare laws! Additional laws that severely limit the rights of responsible breeders are not needed. We need better and prompter enforcement of the current law.
Breeding one litter a year and keeping 15 adult intact females over a 12-month period (the bill states that a four-month-old puppy is considered an intact adult) does not make an individual a "commercial breeder" subject to warrantless property searches, fines and seizures of animals.
How can the state prove that a person is breeding two dogs "with the primary purpose of sale of their offspring as companion animals"?
Having 15 intact females on your property for over a year does not mean that all of them are being bred -- some may be active show dogs, some may be retirees that are too old to undergo spaying, some may be puppies that are being kept until you can tell if they are appropriate for showing or hunting, and some may not even be owned by you.
Most breeders tend to keep females and often sell the pups that they decide not to keep, with a spay/neuter contract.
According to the state's Fiscal Research Division, implementing SB 460 will cost at least $444,804 annually by 2013-14, not including court costs. Revenues from licensing and fines are estimated at $12,000 a year by 2013-14.
Does this expenditure of taxpayer dollars in our current economic climate make sense when there are adequate animal welfare laws in place in our state?
Ursula M. Walsh
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