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Posts Tagged ‘American Kennel Club’

Bill Aimed at Ending Abusive Dog Breeder Practices Passes the North Carolina Senate

August 7th, 2009 1 comment

The North Carolina Senate has passed a bill that targets the kind of abusive practices by some commercial dog breeders that have earned them the name “puppy mill” and that have caused misery to countless animals in their custody.  The measure follows the shutdown of two large puppy mills in that state in February and its passage has been controversial, with the American Kennel Club claiming the bill would burden dog “owners,” and not just breeders.

Law will Regulate Commercial Dog Breeders to Prevent Puppy Mills

New S.C. Law Seeks to End Animal Cruelty by Puppy Mills

New S.C. Law Seeks to End Animal Cruelty by Puppy Mills

Senate Bill 460 clearly defines a “commercial breeder” as any person who owns or maintains 15 or more intact female dogs of breeding age and 30 or more puppies primarily for the purpose of sale.  The measure provides for the establishment of minimum humane standards for the care of animals at commercial dog breeding operations, including the provision of adequate housing, exercise, food, water and veterinary care.

Commercial Dog Breeders must Register with the State and be Subject to Inspection

The measure provides that no commercial breeder will be permitted to operate in North Carolina without first registering with the state.  In order to register, the breeder must be in compliance with all established standards for the care of the dogs.  Failure to register constitutes a Class 2 misdemeanor and may subject the breeder to an injunction.  Commercial dog breeding operations are subject to inspection by authorities upon reports of inhumane conditions.

Penalties for Failing to Provide Adequate Minimum Humane Treatment

Under the new law, the failure of a commercial breeder to adequately house, exercise, feed, water and provide veterinary care for the animals in its custody is a Class 3 misdemeanor and will result in a fine of not less than $50 per day per animal.  Any commercial animal breeder convicted of a violation will lose its registration, meaning that it can no longer operate in the state.

Abusive Puppy Mills in North Carolina

The legislation comes partly as a response to an incident in February in which local authorities, along with the Humane Society, raided and shut down two abusive puppy mills in Wayne County, North Carolina.  According to a Humane Society press release congratulating lawmakers on passing the legislation:

[More than 300] dogs were housed in filthy, cold, cramped cages without access to exercise, adequate veterinary care, or human contact.  Many of the dogs were covered with fecal encrusted dreadlocks and suffered from severe skin and eye infections.  Some had chain collars embedded in their necks.

American Kennel Club Opposed the Measure

The American Kennel Club opposed the measure, arguing, among other things, that it would add a “duplicative layer of regulation on responsible dog owners and breeders in North Carolina.”  The measure, however, does not apply to mere dog “owners.”  It applies only to clearly defined commercial dog breeders.  Moreover, it appears that at least some commercial dog breeders have proven incapable of self-regulation to the detriment of the health and wellbeing of hundreds of dogs in their care.

The law becomes effective May 1, 2010, and applies to the commercial breeding of dogs on or after that date.

More States on Board with Puppy Mill Legislation

According to the Humane Society, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Virginia passed laws in 2008 targeting puppy mills.  Arizona, Indiana, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington state passed laws in 2009 to cracking down on puppy mills.  Several other states are now considering puppy mill legislation.

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Banfield Will No Longer Perform Tail Docking and Ear Cropping Procedures on Dogs

August 4th, 2009 3 comments

Banfield, The Pet Hospital, has announced that it will no longer perform the “unnecessary cosmetic procedures” of tail docking and ear cropping on dogs.

Quoted in USA Today, Banfield, the nation’s largest network of veterinary hospitals, stated:

After thoughtful consideration and reviewing medical research, we have determined it is in the best interest of the pets we treat, as well as the overall practice, to discontinue performing these unnecessary cosmetic procedures.

Tail docking and ear cropping are both common procedures that have become more controversial in recent years.  Tail docking involves cutting off most of the dog’s tail within a few days of the dog’s birth.  Tail docking is performed on many terrier and hunting breeds.

Doberman Pincher With Cropped Ears

Doberman Pinscher With Cropped Ears

Ear cropping consists of cutting a notch off of a dog’s floppy ear and bandaging it to force it into an upright “alert” looking position.  Ear cropping has been a popular procedure for many breeds, including Doberman pinschers, terriers, boxers and Great Danes.  Ear cropping is done when the puppy is between 12 and 14 weeks old.

The American Veterinary Medical Association passed a resolution last year opposing tail docking and ear cropping on dogs when performed solely for cosmetic purposes, and encouraging the elimination of docked tails and cropped ears as breed standards.

The AVMA’s efforts at eliminating these surgically created characteristics as breed standards, and the efforts of some state lawmakers around the country to outlaw tail docking and ear cropping, have been met with resistance by the American Kennel Club.  The AKC insists that the procedures “are acceptable practices integral to defining and preserving breed character.”

Although the article in USA Today reports that Banfield has also discontinued performing devocalization procedures, Banfield’s own July 27 press release fails to mention that procedure.

So-called devocalization, a far less common procedure, involves the full or partial removal of a dog’s vocal chords.  Devocalization surgery is performed solely to prevent the dog from having the ability to bark or to “soften” the dog’s bark.  The procedure is almost always performed for the convenience of the owner.  Massachusetts lawmakers recently began considering a bill that would outlaw devocalization on dogs unless medically necessary.

Banfield, founded in 1955, has more than 700 veterinary clinics and over 2,000 veterinarians nationwide.   They can be contacted at internet.inquiries@banfield.net or by phone at 1-800-838-6738.

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Categories: Dogs in the News