Puppy Mill Petition Awaits White House Response
ASPCA and HSUS Push ‘Puppy Mill’ Petition
An anti-puppy mill petition submitted to the White House from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (New York), The Humane Society of the United States (Washington) and the Humane Society Legislative Fund (Washington) had gathered more than 32,000 signatures at press time.
The groups submitted the petition in September using a new feature on the White House website called “We the People.” The White House promises a response to any petition that gathers at least 5,000 signatures within 30 days. The petition met the requirement in less than one week, according to the ASPCA. No response was posted on the website at press time.
The White House petition calls on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to close a loophole in the Animal Welfare Act that regulates large-scale commercial dog breeders who sell puppies wholesale to brokers or pet stores, but provides no oversight or standards for those who sell directly to the public through newspaper ads or the Internet.
The USDA recently issued a proposed rule to prohibit the import of puppies younger than 6 months of age for commercial resale in the United States, implementing a law passed by Congress in the 2008 Farm Bill (see “Legislation” in the November 2011 PET AGE).
“For too long the U.S. Department of Agriculture has not regulated or inspected commercial breeders selling puppies over the Internet to unsuspecting consumers,” said Sara Amundson, executive director of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “The Obama Administration has taken the first step to shutting down the foreign imports of underage puppies. Now it’s time to properly oversee all large-scale puppy mills in the United States.” [January 2012 PET AGE]