Shameful!

Puppy mills are just plain evil.  They exploit and abuse dogs for profit.  They simply should not exist.  Yes, you should be able to raise dogs and sell them, but certainly not abuse them in the process.  And when you consider the number of times puppy mills end up being raided and closed down and dozens of dogs put into the system they create serious externalities.  Thus, it only makes sense that they be properly regulated.  Even the Republicans in the NC House see this.  The NC Senate?  Not so much.  From WRAL:

— A proposal to regulate large commercial dog breeders appears to be dead for the year, doomed once again by opposition from state Senate leaders.

The House passed legislation in 2013 that would require large breeding operations, or “puppy mills,” to meet basic standards of animal welfare, sanitation and humane treatment. The Senate refused to take up the proposal.

Large commercial breeders that sell puppies to the public are not regulated by the state. There are no inspections or licensing requirements.

For years, poll numbers have consistently shown that North Carolina voters favor state regulation of dog breeding operations. But the American Kennel Club, hunting groups and agricultural interests have worked diligently against the idea. They argue that requiring kennel inspections violates breeders’ property rights and say setting standards for companion animals could trigger similar requirements for livestock breeding operations.

This opposition is just stupid.  And shame, shame on the supposed dog lovers at the AKC.  As for the agricultural interests, the bill is about dogs!  Yes, the mis-treatment of pigs and other livestock in NC is deplorable, but that’s not what this bill is about.  It’s not some small step from regulating dog breeding to regulating hog farms.  It would be nice if it was, but clearly not in the actual world we live in.  And so frustrating that people pretend otherwise.

And you know what is really shameful about this whole sorry thing, the admitted reason that the Senate leaders will not allow a vote on the legislation:

Advocates for regulation calling Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger’s office say they’re being told “the puppy mill language was pulled due to unethical behavior on the part of its supporters.”

The reference to “unethical behavior” stems from an incident in January when regulation supporters met with Sen. Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick, a veterinarian who opposes the House legislation.

Rabon’s comments in that meeting were laced with obscenities, calling House leaders a profane term and accusing McCrory and his wife of improperly lobbying for the 2013 bill. He also told them the legislation wouldn’t be considered in 2014.

The supporters recorded the meeting and released it to the media, embarrassing Rabon and Senate leaders.

The woman who recorded the meeting said the audio recorder was in plain sight at all times, but Senate leaders accused her and others of “secretly” recording the meeting and attempting to “extort” lawmakers by releasing it.

Got that?  A horrible person (and I happily stand behind that characterization based on this information) was publicly shown to be horrible and the Senate leadership cannot abide by it.  The solution is to make dogs suffer.  That’ll show those animal lovers!  Record us acting like complete jerks and the dogs get hurt!  This is just so breathtakingly immature and stupid.  And these are the people running my state!  Ugh.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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