Animals Survive Perry's Desk

Perry signs puppy mill/cockfighting bills

Without fanfare, Gov. Rick Perry on June 17 signed into law two bills aimed at protecting Texas animals – one that seeks to regulate (out of existence) so-called "puppy mills" and another that strengthens Texas' nearly century-old ban on cockfighting. The puppy mill bill requires large-scale dog and cat breeders to comply with basic health and safety measures intended to ensure that breeding animals and their offspring are treated humanely. The cockfighting bill makes it illegal to attend or benefit financially from cockfights and outlaws the manufacture or sale of gaffs and slashers, weapons attached to a cock's legs. The puppy mill bill takes effect immediately; the cockfighting bill is effective Sept. 1. Late last month, Perry also signed into law a measure that allows pets to be added to protective orders in domestic abuse cases, but he vetoed another measure to let urban counties regulate roadside vendors, including the sale of dogs and cats. That would infringe on "the rights of private enterprise and property owners" while "expanding the role of county government," Perry wrote in his veto statement. "It would be unfortunate if, through regulation, we unintentionally prevented ... the owner of a peach orchard with baskets of fruit or a Girl Scout troop with cartons of cookies from reaching their consumers." Other recent vetoes similarly marked a return to Perry's comfort zone; for more on bills that died at his desk, see "Mind Your Fingers and Your Vetoes."

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

puppy mill bill, Rick Perry, Legislature

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