Monday, February 25, 2008
The bill in question, HB538, concerns commercial dog breeding. It is basically being touted as the anti-puppy mill law.
So as an ethical member of the dog showing fancy I should be for it, right?
If HB538 passes and goes into law ethical commercial breeders will be stuck with an onerous law that will very well force them out of Virginia. I do not care for commercial kennels, but the good ones have clean facilities with healthy and well cared for dogs. When they pull out where will the pet stores get their puppies? From out of state kennels. Some of this kennels might be well run, but I'm sure a few will not. Puppies will be shipped long distances at a very young age to fulfill the needs of the pet stores. I hate pet stores, they are some of the worst places to buy a dog. But they exist, that is reality.
Meanwhile the seamy underside of commercial kennels, the puppy mills, will just move underground. They will no longer inoculate against rabies to avoid the "gotcha rabies database," they will no longer get kennel licenses and will avoid the vet. The dogs will most likely end up in crude shelters hidden off the beaten path, thus making their horrible existence even harder to find. These puppies will be sold in flea markets and in parking lots. They will be cheap to buy, but expensive to own. I won't be surprised if a few end up rabid and infect their new owners.
Virgina doesn't need this new law, it needs to enforce the ones it already has.