Bill Costly, Not Clear
Moore County legislators were “spot-on” in opposing SB 460, commonly referred to as the Puppy Mill Bill. Here’s why: the vague definition of “commercial breeder.”
SB 460 defined “commercial breeder” as someone who owns an arbitrary number of female dogs “of breeding age” and/or an arbitrary number of puppies. It is not clear if these arbitrary numbers were cumulatively owned over a lifetime or the number on a property at one time.
North Carolina already has effective laws criminalizing animal negligence and cruelty, including a new law passed last session (SB 254) that imposes tough new felony penalties on cruelty.
North Carolina’s existing animal welfare statutes, if properly enforced, do a better job of protecting dogs than the provisions of SB 460 would have, had the bill passed.
SB 460 gave the state authority to initiate investigations on complaints against commercial breeders, but it made county authorities responsible for conducting the investigations and following up work from the state’s motion. The bill did not, however, provide funding for this.
In these difficult economic times, it is unnecessary and unwise to create a costly new program requiring counties and taxpayers to find the funding to implement it.
Proponents of SB 460 falsely claimed the bill did not interfere with a person’s right to participate in hunting and working activities with their dog.
However, SB 460 only exempted those who board or train — not those who breed — dogs for show, hunting, working, etc.
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