A recent blog post by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) highlights the leading role that cities and counties across the U.S. are taking to ban puppy mills—despite opposition at the state and federal levels.
While many local jurisdictions are banning the sale of pet store animals bred in large-scale, for-profit breeding operations known as puppy mills, the industry is fighting back. The ALDF reports that “pet store lobbyists are pressuring state legislatures to pass preemption laws blocking cities’ and counties’ right to adopt retail pet sale bans.”
This means that the state law will take precedence over any local law that seeks to ban puppy mill dogs from being sold in pet stores. The ALDF notes that Arizona and Ohio have already passed preemption laws.
In addition to state-level push back on the fight against inhumane puppy mills, recently enacted federal measures have also made the effort to regulate puppy mills more difficult. In early 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture removed public access to animal welfare records, including those relating to USDA licensed puppy mills.
What’s the good news? Efforts to pass state preemption bills failed in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Illinois.
As the ALDF notes, “retail pet sale bans are a powerful way for people to fight puppy mills in their own communities…instead of passing preemption laws, states should ban the sale of commercially-bred animals statewide.”
Currently, California is the only state to have enacted a retail pet sale ban. The ALDF says that concerned animal lovers in other states should be aware of any preemption laws in the works. States currently considering such laws include Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, and Pennsylvania.
Be sure to keep up to date on the state of animal welfare legislation in your state by following the work of the Animal Legal Defense Fund.