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MO House Hearings on Prop B Repeal Continue Today

Categories: Animals
cowboy puppy mills.jpg
Jennifer Silverberg
Cowboy, pictured here with his owner Floyd Dunlap, spent most of his life in the kind of puppy mill that would be made illegal by Prop B. State lawmakers are now seeking to gut the voter-approved initiative.
At 11 a.m. today, the Missouri House of Representatives will continue its committee hearing focused on three bills that could either gut or outright repeal Prop B, the ballot initiative to overhaul regulation of dog breeders.

Prop B, also known as the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act, won support from 52 percent of state voters last November. But as RFT's Kase Wickman pointed out in this blog post, that tight margin of victory disguises two vastly different levels of support.

In urban areas, including St. Louis, voters loved Prop B; in the state's rural center, they hated it.

And that's emboldened rural legislators to propose bills that would, literally, overrule the will of the majority of state voters. On Tuesday, three bills to gut Prop B got hearings in the House Agriculture Policy Committee; yesterday, two were heard in the equivalent committee of the state senate.

The house committee meeting resumes today.

Daily RFT checked in with Tim Rickey of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or ASPCA. Rickey attended committee hearings both on Tuesday and Wednesday and was able to testify against the bills on Tuesday. (On Wednesday, the committee ran out of time before Rickey got a chance to talk.)

Suffice it to say, while Rickey expressed gratitude for the chance to talk, he didn't exactly intimate that things were going well for Prop B supporters.

"Both hearings have been in front of the agriculture committees, and the representatives on those committees are clearly favorable to the breeders on this issue," he says. "Much of the testimony was in favor of their bills to repeal or strip the initiatives. And all the questions were negative for Prop B."

Rickey called the experience "very discouraging and pretty frustrating." But, he added, "I still have hope. Fifty-two percent of voters across the state of Missouri voted in favor of this. I'm hopeful that the people who voted for it will call their legislators and let their support be heard."

Any bills that are approved in committee then go to the floor of the full House and Senate for a vote. And Rickey predicts that's only a matter of time (and formality).

"These bills will go to the floor," Rickey says. "There's no question about it."

For more details about the components of Prop B, see our feature story here. To get involved with the ASPCA's fight for Prop B, see this link.

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23 comments
Marinashanelewis
Marinashanelewis

Are you fed up with Missouri legislators overturning the majority vote of the people of Missouri?.Are you as insulted as I am by by Representatives & Senators stating that we "Don't know what we are voting for"?.If you answered YES... please join me in registering at: http://protectvoters.com/ .It is time to stop the assault on Missouri Voters. This is a non-partisan issue. Whether you are Republican, Democrat, Libral, Conservative, Tea Party or no party.... your vote should count. .UPHOLD THE VOTE. RESPECT MISSOURI VOTERS..MSL

Mike
Mike

So rednecks are only in favor of The People's Voice via referendum votes if it's to do things like keep gay people from getting married or using unwanted, destined-for-the-trash embryos from saving lives. On the other hand, they're just fine with dogs being kept in too small crates without sufficient exercise while they crap on each other.

Missour-ah: We still live in the 1700s and we're proud of it!

Terry Ward
Terry Ward

Welcome to Missouri's new Department of AgriPuppy!

Shelley Powers
Shelley Powers

The Senate has rubber stamped its bill. Unfortunately, too many news outlets have only read the summary and not the full text. The full text of the senate bill completely guts everything Proposition B provides.

Rather than openly repeal Proposition B, the senators sneak the repeal in through the backdoor. Not only are they going against the wishes of the people, they're being deceitful and dishonest about their intentions.

Shame on them

NikB
NikB

This is bullsh*t ! The people have already spoke. It will be a sad day when Prop B is repealed because people have no morals or consious anymore. I live in Missouri & there are too many people who can't afford the pets they have now....do we really need to be the Puppy mill capital of the U.S. If you have more than 50 dogs...you are not giving them the proper care a social animal needs.

Mick
Mick

I couldn't agree with you more Mike. How in the hell does anyone defend this repeal? Boo freakin hoo for the people who might be put out of business. At least you have other choices in life. The poor dogs that live in a box until they're sold sure don't. These breeders give the other toothless hillbilly's a bad name.

shadowlane
shadowlane

Oh please! The dishonesty and deceitfulness was on the part of HSUS in deceptively writing the bill, promoting the bill, and now defending the bill. The people who voted throught they would be regulating or putting bad breeders out of business. The joke was on Missouri voters when they found out that they were ONLY regulating the legitimate licensed kennels! Now the only ones fighting to keep it are HSUS, animal rights radicals, or the clueless ones who have not realized yet that they were duped!

Hazel
Hazel

I agree with NikB. I think there is a definite lack of ethics in anyone who chooses to breed animals for a living knowing that shelters are already overrun with homeless animals. And as for the last comment, "If you have more than 50 dogs...you are not giving them the proper care a social animal needs", you are absolutely right. How can you give that many animals the individual attention and space that they need and deserve?

burgs
burgs

How do you know that one cannot provide adequate care for more than 50 dogs? Where is your proof? How many kennels have you personally visited to support your statements? Are you merely parroting the H$U$ BS propaganda which is not based on any facts that would stand up in a court of law, that are actually just profiling and stereotyping of all breeders as bad people. Are you using information obtained Online of bad breeders and applying that to all breeders? Shame on you. Hopefully some day you will be charged with something in court and will be prosecuted and convicted on what others have done with similar circumstances rather than what can be proved, or not, about you.

Hazel
Hazel

Shadowlane: To put regulations on something that is already illegal would not make sense, and would only send the wrong message. I do wish that there was more effort to shut down the illegal breeding facilities, but that isn't specifically what Prop B was about. Despite the fact that there are illegal breeding facilities continuing unpunished, licensed breeders still need to be regulated. To me, the two are unrelated. Having a license doesn't mean you are upholding high ethical standards in your breeding practices and facilities.

Mare
Mare

Let me guess..you're a dog breeder? For you to say that the HSUS was deceptive only proves you have no argument. No one was duped. The wording of it is so simplistic, I'm sure if you gave it your best, even you could understand it. But I'd bet my last dollar you have not read it. You and all the Karen Strange types took a very simple bill geared toward making living conditions better for animals who are exploited and turned it into something it wasn't. Stop your lying!

Shelley Powers
Shelley Powers

What was deceitful? The HSUS didn't hide its participation. Neither did the ASCPA, MAAL, HSMO, and any of the other organizations.

The people in Missouri voted for the bill knowing that HSUS was highly interested in the outcome, and contributed a significant amount of money to the campaign.

There was no deceit.

There was no deceit in the bill, either. It was challenged in court and won. It was available for anyone to read for months. The text of the bill is quite simple, and only requires an 8th grade education.

There is nothing in the bill about it only being for licensed kennels. Can you point us to where in the bill this was specifically stated? I want to see the text that says Proposition B is only for licensed breeders.

On the other hand, when the Missouri senate agricultural committee touted the bill they just passed, they implied it only modified the 50 limit and the enforcement provisions. It's only when you open the complete bill do you find that it completely guts every single Proposition B provision.

It is nothing more than a repeal, without having the integrity to state that's what it is.

That the representatives would override the will of the people in favor of special interests is bad enough, but to do so in such a duplicitous manner...shameful.

Mike
Mike

You were outvoted by the people, mouthbreather! No go back under your Missour-ah rock and be quiet.

doglover
doglover

This law will do nothing but drive honest reputable breeders out of business. How do they care for a large number of dogs? With paid employees. How many people will lose their jobs if this bill remains intact? how many dogs will lose their home if this bill remains? There are good breeders out there, and there are bad ones too.....it really has nothing to do with how many dogs.....a 3 dog kennel owner can abuse and neglect just as a 40 dog kennel.

Next, HOW are we going to financially support this? Through kennel fees.....and since kennels will go out of business with this law......there will be no money from the state for enforcement.

There were already good laws, 24 pages of laws I believe...this bill lead the public to believe we had no law.....when we already were regulated. Our legislature are bright intelligent people that have READ the laws and compared them, and they feel we should have left well enough alone.

The state Ag dept has a program called Operation Bark Alert that has convicted 58 cases, investigated 330 kennels, and confiscated 3900 dogs.....the program WORKS and now you want to do away with all that. Please, go read the law we have and the new law and you will find we had one better.

anonymous
anonymous

yeah, H$U$! good one!

obviously it's the people who want to regulate breeders who have the vested financial interest. certainly not the breeders themselves.

NikB
NikB

If they are a GOOD breeder they would already be in compliance of the law & not have to make any improvments. I don't need proof...just common sence. Yes...I've visited lots of kennels. Shame on YOU ! I'm the one helping animals....what have you done??? I'm a volunterr & rescuer & a supporter of adoption...not pet store dogs.

NikB
NikB

I probably have WAY more experience than you. I've been to Kanab, Utah "Best Friends Animal Sanctuary" & when I was there they had just come back from Missouri with over 200 dogs from a Puppy Mill rescue. It is plain sad !!!!!!!! You are propably a horrible breeder that keeps those animals in their cages day after day for years. I do more than read....I visit places...What do you do??????? Sit & compaian that your $$$$$ might all go away & you won't be able to abuse more animals. Poor you.

shadowlane
shadowlane

You would lose that bet and your last dollar. You are so ignorant, not even realizing you were duped. Maybe when you finally see how stupid you were to vote to destroy an entire section of Missouri's economy, we can talk. Otherwise, keep plugging your ears, singing 'la,la,la' if anyone happens to disagree with you and H$U$.

shadowlane
shadowlane

Shelley, you have proved over and over again, that you are so stubbornly ignorant that you do not hear or acknowledge any proof or opinion that differs from yours. It is interesting to note, however, that you are no longer claiming that Prop B is not about H$U$. Can't deny it anymore since H$U$ CEO became a lobbyist in Missouri just to try to keep Prop B from being changed. Wonder if he can buy any legislators? He has millions (donated by people thinking they were helping those homeless/shelter dogs and cats on TV ads) Talk about special interests!!!

Jessica White-Bryand
Jessica White-Bryand

NikB have you been to a licensed Missouri kennel? I have and I have seen how much care these dogs really receive. There are more laws protecting dogs than laws protecting MO children. There is no law stating a child must be fed daily, Proposition B will kill new born pups (NikB you support killing innocent puppies?) and is unconstitutional to those who abide by the law and provide for their families, so I ask, where is your morals and conscious?

burgs
burgs

Don't even know me, don't even know if I am a breeder. Yet already labeled me and described my practices. What a piece of work you are!

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