Getting Puppy Mills to Heel

A bid for the humane treatment of animals

At press time, the Texas House Licens­ing and Administrative Proced­ures Com­mittee was slated to consider Houston Dem Rep. Senfronia Thompson's bid to crack down on puppy mills. HB 1451 would task the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation with promulgating and enforcing regulations pertaining to large-scale cat and dog breeding operations. Puppy mills are unregulated large-scale breeding operations that submit animals to constant breeding in often unsanitary and inhumane living conditions. A similar bill failed in 2009, but this time the bill, supported by the Texas Humane Legislation Network, has also earned the support of the Texas Veterin­ary Medical Association, which previously did not support the measure. The TVMA doesn't want to put "reputable breeders out of business," Elizabeth Choate, the group's director of government relations said last month in a press release. Thompson has said the point of the bill is only to ensure that all breeding operations are conducting business in a legitimate and humane way. For more on this, and on a bid to strengthen the state's ban on cockfighting, see "Cockfights and Puppy Mills," Feb. 21, austinchronicle.com/LegeLand.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

puppy mills, Legislature, Texas Humane Legislation Network, Texas Veterinary Medical Association, Senfronia Thompson

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