Last November, the citizens of the State of Missouri passed an ASPCA-supported ballot resolution (Proposition B) to increase regulations for commercial dog breeders and implement humane care standards for the dogs living in the state’s thousands of puppy mills. The state’s legislature was not in session at the time, but after Prop B’s victory, there were immediate rumblings of discontent from some state senators and representatives—and sure enough, as soon as the Missouri General Assembly convened in January, several bills were introduced with the intent to weaken or fully repeal the law enacted by Prop B, the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act (PMCPA). The PMCPA is scheduled to go into effect this November.
The situation in Missouri is coming to a head this week. Completely disregarding the will of the people, last night the Missouri Senate took the first step toward approving Senate Bill 113—a bill to roll back every humane provision of the PMCPA—which indicates that they will probably pass the bill. A final vote is expected on Thursday, March 10. During yesterday’s debate, senators rejected an amendment that would have referred their new, weak commercial breeding law back to the ballot for Missouri voters to weigh in on.
The Missouri House of Representatives is scheduled to vote today on a similar bill, HB 131. For either bill to become law, it needs approval in both chambers of the General Assembly, and it is expected that Senate Bill 113 will move through the House very quickly after it is passed by the Senate. The ASPCA has been emailing our supporters in Missouri regularly, imploring them to call their state senators and representatives to express outrage at the legislature’s dismissal of the popular vote on this issue and to urge legislators to vote no on any bill that would weaken or repeal the PMCPA.
We know the rest of the country is keeping a close eye on Missouri, as what happens there will likely set the stage for puppy mill reform nationwide. Please stay tuned and be sure to read this week’s News Alert for the latest developments from the Missouri General Assembly—developments that could quite possibly spell doom for the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act.