Don’t Let Corporate Agriculture and Puppy Mills Write Our Laws

April 1, 2021


  • State-level preemption bills override local governments by nullifying their ability to regulate businesses that threaten community health and safety. 
  • Every year corporate lobbyists attempt—often successfully—to pass preemption bills.
  • We need YOUR help to stop the passage of these harmful bills, which protect only corporate interests while harming communities and animals.

Across the U.S., hundreds of localities have advocated for and enacted laws aimed at ending some of the cruelest practices of puppy mills, factory farms and other businesses that exploit animals.  

But these local efforts are continuously threatened by industries that want to protect their profits and avoid local oversight or accountability. These industries aren’t interested in making their case to local governments. Instead, they go straight to the state capitols and pressure lawmakers to push preemption bills: measures that take power away from local communities by prohibiting them from regulating or restricting certain businesses.

When it comes to most animal welfare issues, preemption is a dangerous strategy that has already succeeded in many states across the country.

Such an effort to thwart local control is happening right now in Iowa, a state that is home to over 1,500 commercial animal breeders, dealers, pet shops and animal auctions—and more factory farms than any other state in the nation.

Iowans, like many compassionate Americans, have worked in their towns, cities and counties to enact compassionate, reasonable policies that respect the importance of agriculture in their state while prohibiting some of the worst practices. Localities have independently acted to require more thorough and frequent inspections of puppy mills than the state requires, to increase local regulation of factory farms, and to prohibit the sales of commercially bred puppies in pet stores.

Yet animal industries and their lobbyists want to undo these laws and prevent others like them from being enacted. 

These very same interest groups support and defend the cruel “depopulation” of thousands of pigs at Iowa’s largest pork producer; the practices of an Iowa farm that kept 300 raccoons in metal cages in 100-degree heat; and the licensing of an Iowa dog broker who maintains over 150 dogs on his property despite failing to provide veterinary care or proper housing. However, examples such as these are not restricted to Iowa. Cases of corporate interests preempting the health, safety and well-being of animals  can be found nationwide. 

These preemption bills don’t reflect on the values of a vast majority of Americans citizens. Instead, they aim to insulate a small group of deep-pocketed corporations from local oversight or regulation. We need your help to stop such bills from being passed across the country: Join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade today and help us fight to protect animals.