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Missouri's Prop B Passes by Narrow Margin

Posted: November 3, 2010, 7:50 p.m., EDT

Missouri's Prop B Passes by Narrow MarginMissouri voters approved a controversial measure yesterday that will establish new regulations for the state’s “large-scale” dog breeding operations.

Proposition B, otherwise known as the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act, will amend the law to require any person who owns more than ten unaltered female dogs for the purpose of breeding to follow certain standards for feeding, veterinary care, housing, exercise and rest cycles between breeding.

No person will be allowed to have custody of more than 50 dogs for the purpose of breeding. Under the proposed statute, a crime of puppy mill cruelty will be considered a misdemeanor.

The question made it on the ballot as a result of a successful ballot initiative launched by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Humane Society of Missouri, and Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation. Voters approved the measure by a narrow margin of 51.6 percent to 48.4 percent.

Prop B spurred much debate in the weeks leading up to Election Day. Supporters, such HSUS and ASPCA, touted the measure as a much-needed tool to help police Missouri’s large-scale commercial dog breeders and ensure dogs receive humane care. Opponents, such as the American Kennel Club and Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC), called the measure excessive and unnecessary, since state and federal laws already govern Missouri’s breeders. They also said some of the provisions were cost-prohibitive and would force licensed breeders out of business.

In a statement released today, ASPCA president and CEO Ed Sayers called the passage of Prop B a “landmark achievement in the ongoing fight against animal cruelty.”

“The potential impact of Proposition B is staggering,” he said. “We are more hopeful than ever that the strong momentum around puppy mill cruelty will push other states to follow Missouri’s lead, causing a ripple effect throughout the nation.”

Michael Maddox, vice president of governmental affairs and general counsel for PIJAC, said the passage of Prop B furthers the anti-pet agenda and will adversely affect the availability of pet dogs, as some breeders will be driven out of business. He also said the use of a ballot initiative to institute new pet industry regulations sets a “very poor precedent.”

“Ballot initiatives favor organizations that have a lot of money because they can plant their message through the airwaves,” he said. “And it makes it more difficult to educate voters the way you can educate legislators about the true impact of these types of proposals.”

The provisions in the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act take effect November 2011. To view the act in its entirety, click here.

Related story: Missouri’s Prop B Draws Strong Support and Opposition

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Missouri's Prop B Passes by Narrow Margin

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Reader Comments
anyone who invests in breeding as a way to earn a living or the lawmakers who support them should be required to volunteer at a county shelter for a month. They will then realize that a very large number of dogs and cats are routinely euthanized because of lack of homes or adopters. It is so sad to witness day after day of animals surrendured or abandoned. No humane person would then think it ok to go ahead and allow more to be born for their profit. We need more laws to protect these innocent creatures. Thank you Mo.
Pat Orsini, Raleigh, NC
Posted: 4/18/2012 1:06:06 PM
this is bs, its just gonna hurt the kennels that do follow the rules.. rual missouri understood this.. the city voters were poorly informed.. that is the only reason it passed
payton, st. james, MO
Posted: 11/4/2010 7:01:41 AM
I'm glad it passed! It's needed!
Cathy, St. Louis, MO
Posted: 11/4/2010 2:06:32 AM
The humane society is but the tip of the iceberg. I lived in Missouri for 6 years so have some strong connections there. I left for work reasons just 3 years ago. I am now in North Dakota where the humane society tried to get pay to hunt outlawed. There ads were deceptive and the motives behind their effort became evident. The initiative was voted down here. I believe in regulation for industries such as large scale dog breeding but the setting of an arbitrary number of breeding females along with other intrusions into private businesses is excessive. I am disappointed that Missouri bought the song and dance in the wake of voting in favor of embryonic stem cell research. I have a PhD in biology and am now a surgeon so I am aware of the issues involved. I also agree that this was a misuse of the ballot initiative concept and does indeed favor the self appointed guardians of right and wrong who have money to bully their way thru. I have much more to say but will stop for now.
Jerry, Grand Forks, ND
Posted: 11/3/2010 8:20:24 PM
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