Publication name: Star Tribune
URL for more info: http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/119516799.html
It would become illegal in Minnesota to produce or distribute information about animal mistreatment or agricultural pollution under a bill introduced this week at the Legislature.
Animal rights advocates say the bill -- which resembles measures being pushed by legislators in other states, including Iowa -- amounts to an unconstitutional infringement on free speech that would have a chilling effect on whistle-blowers trying to bring attention to cases of animal cruelty.
All Iowans must contact their state senator to oppose HF 589 / SF 431!!!The Iowa Legislature
Update: HF 589 / SF 431 has passed in the House and is now in the Senate.
When puppy mill operators know they can't win, they try to change the rules. That's precisely what they did in Iowa. A new bill, introduced by Rep. Annette Sweeney, provides unscrupulous breeders protections against undercover investigations.
Iowa House File 589 amends Iowa Code 717A, which relates to agricultural production including criminal penalties for animal facilities. The most troubling part of the bill pertains to the prohibition of producing, possessing, and/or distributing undercover video and/or audio recordings of activities within an animal facility.
The bill has some big name supporters like Monsanto, DuPont/Pioneer and several Iowa agricultural associations. While no big puppy mill facility in Iowa officially supported the bill, they will reap the benefits now that it passed. The final tally for the House vote was 66-22, with all the nays coming from democrats like Rep. Jim Lykam and Rep. Pat Murphy. The bill still needs to pass the Senate.
“The overwhelming majority of farmers and people that own breeding facilities and all that here in Iowa operate very reputable businesses and treat their animals well. That's how they make their money,” said Rep. Murphy. “But for that small percentage that has a problem with it, you've got to wonder what they want to hide.”
While livestock facilities are subject to state official inspections, companion animal mass breeders run their business with just occasional USDA surveillance. Without comprehensive legislation about the issue, even the federal government remains critically understaffed and powerless to handle the volume of work required to keep the industry in check in states like Iowa.
“Iowa is a relatively small state but ranks 3rd in the number of puppy mills, 2nd on the number of puppies sold, more than 74,000 a year and there's no state oversight of this booming industry,” said Emily Price in a special report for KCCI TV from Des Moines, Iowa.
In the absence of effective government processes, organizations like CAPS followed up on complaints and performed undercover investigations. In some cases, like Kathy Bauck, the evidence collected was crucial in stopping unlawful animal cruelty. Without undercover video and audio, these organizations would lose a critical weapon in the fight against mistreatment of innocent animals.
The website Iowa Voters for Companion Animals showcased in their website how CAPS gathered incriminating undercover footage from three separate Iowa locations. The graphic images represent a stark reminder of the necessity of such measures and the ineffectiveness of the overworked USDA inspectors.
For more information about puppy mills go to CAPS' website and for ways you can help fight HF 589 go to the Iowa Voters for Companion Animals website.
If you haven't called yet, this takes 2 minutes. SB 113 guts the Missouri puppy mill bill, Prop B. Pet factory owners have narrowly passed a bill to take protection for breeding dogs out of their state. The vote was 85-71, meaning the governor COULD veto this. WE WANT HIM TO VETO 113! Call Gov. Jay Nixon today at (573) 751-3222.
Leave a message. This is IMPORTANT.
For more information, visit the Animal Law Coalition page or click here.
Publication name: philly.com / Philly Dawg
URL for more info: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/pets/Miracle-in-Missouri-Gov-activists-breeders-reach-deal-on-kennel-bill.html
Last week it looked like Proposition B, "The Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act," in Missouri was dead.
Lawmakers in the puppy mill capital of the nation had scuttled the voter-approved referendum aimed at making commercial kennels - of which there are more than 1,000 - more humane.
Today Gov. Nixon announced a deal to save the major provisions of the proposition, drawing praise from animal welfare advocates, breeders and the farm lobby alike.
"The agreement that was signed today upholds the intent of the voters, protects dogs and ensures that Missouri agriculture will continue to grow," said Nixon in a statement.
The Puppy ExperienceCAPS Day of Demonstration for Puppy Mill Education on June 23, 2012, in which CAPS held three simultaneous protests against pet shops on Long Island, kicked off a campaign urging The Puppy Experience in Aquebogue on Long Island to go humane.
The Puppy Experience purchased puppies from Kathy Bauck, even after she was convicted of animal cruelty based on evidence from a CAPS undercover employment investigation. Bauck was one of the largest and most notorious dog brokers and breeders in the country. The Puppy Experience bought puppies from Missouri-based The Hunte Corporation, the largest brokerage facility in the country. A CAPS investigator worked undercover at Hunte for six months and investigated some of their breeders (links to both documentaries). The Puppy Experience has also purchased puppies from JAKS Puppies (Jolyn Noethe) in Britt, Iowa, which also sells to Happiness is Pets. Check out the USDA photos for Wendie and Doug Dettbarn in Iowa, who sell to JAKS.
Images from a CAPS protest of the Puppy Experience: