Politics & Government

Ballot issue breeds contempt between dog breeders, animal-rights activists

JEFFERSON CITY | The forces for and against Missouri’s Proposition B are making their cases with cute and cuddly puppies.

But make no mistake, the contest to convince voters is a down and dirty dogfight.

Prop B on the Nov. 2 statewide ballot will ask voters whether to enact the “Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act,” a set of laws that would substantially sharpen regulations on dog breeders.

Proponents, led by national animal-rights groups, contend new laws are critical to ensure humane treatment within Missouri’s vast dog-breeding industry.

“The regulations on the books now ensure that dogs in these facilities survive, but don’t do much more than that,” said Barbara Schmitz, campaign manager for Missourians for the Protection of Dogs. “We’re trying to insert animal-welfare provisions into the large-scale breeding equation.”

Breeders and animal-agriculture trade groups counter that the laws will devastate reputable family businesses and raise the price of puppies at pet stores, but do nothing to stop bad breeders.

“What this does is make regulation so strict on breeders that it will basically put them out of business,” said Anita Andrews, director of the Alliance for Truth, a campaign opposing the ballot measure.

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/10/16/2320966/missouris-proposition-b-breeds.html#ixzz12e1LIzqU

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