February 17, 2011
Rep. Senfronia Thompson Introduces Bill to Address Large Scale Commercial Breeders as Animal Advocates Gather to Lobby Texas Lawmakers
AUSTIN, Texas – Texas animal advocacy groups are applauding the introduction of legislation that will ensure the humane care and treatment of dogs and cats in the custody of large scale commercial breeders.
The Large Scale Commercial Breeder Bill, HB1451, is supported by The Texas Humane Legislation Network, The Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®). The bill would establish animal welfare standards for large scale commercial breeders producing puppies and kittens for sale in pet stores, directly to the public and via the Internet.
The bill has the support of the Texas Veterinary Medical Association.
“Veterinarians believe Texans should have the right to choose where they obtain their pets, whether from a responsible breeder, shelter or rescue group. However, veterinarians would also like to see some basic compassionate care standards put in place for the currently unregulated commercial breeding industry that preserve the freedom to do business, while guaranteeing the care necessary to create healthy, well-balanced companion animals and beloved family pets,” said Elizabeth Choate, director of Government Relations at TVMA.
Texas has no existing laws regulating commercial breeding operations, which can house animals in overcrowded, filthy and inhumane conditions, often with no veterinary care or human interaction. The bill applies to operations with 11 or more adult intact female dogs or cats bred for the purpose of selling the offspring.
“Hundreds of commercial breeders operate entirely free of state oversight, and the breeding dogs and cats at these facilities are vulnerable to neglect and abuse,” said Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, the bill sponsor. “Texas can and should do better for our companion animals.”
The bill requires commercial breeders to obtain a license from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation and allows TDLR to conduct inspections. It requires wholesome food and clean water, proper ventilation and lighting for animals confined indoors, and structurally sound and protective shelter for animals confined outdoors. The bill also ensures adequate sanitation conditions, provides confined animals enough space to easily sit, stand, turn around and lie down in a normal manner, and requires appropriate treatment and veterinary care.
Also supporting the bill is a Girl Scout Troop from Corinth, Texas. They are speaking out against puppy mill cruelty and collecting signatures to present to lawmakers urging them to pass legislation to regulate this industry.
Also, several hundred Texans are expected to lobby elected officials Thursday in the annual lobby day set up by THLN, The HSUS, and ASPCA.
About Texas Humane Legislation Network
We are a mainstream voice for the animals of Texas: companion animals, homeless animals, horses, farm animals, native Texas wildlife and exotic animals alike. THLN is the voice at the Texas Legislature for untold numbers of animals throughout Texas who suffer horrific abuse and tragic neglect at the hands of callous humans. Established in 1975, THLN is a grassroots, nonprofit organization that fights for the enactment and enforcement of laws to protect animals from neglect and abuse. We are the political arm and voice for every animal and animal welfare agency in Texas.
Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching “HumaneTV” in the App Store.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.
About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first humane organization established in the Americas and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animal welfare. One million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. The ASPCA, which is headquartered in New York City, offers a wide range of programs, including a mobile clinic outreach initiative, its own humane law enforcement team, and a groundbreaking veterinary forensics team and mobile animal CSI unit. For more information, please visit www.aspca.org. To become a fan of the ASPCA on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/aspca. To follow the ASPCA on Twitter, go to http://www.twitter.com/aspca.