AVMA questions effectiveness of Prop B

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) issued a statement In response to the passage of a new puppy mill law in Missouri.

Proposition B, as it was known, passed with a "yes" vote from 51.6% of Missouri voters on Election Day this year. The new law requires commercial breeders to provide adequate food and water, necessary veterinary care, sufficient shelter and space to turn around, regular exercise and adequate rest between breedings. The law also limits the number of breeding dogs to 50.

However, the AVMA says the law may not be the best way to improve the welfare of dogs in that state.

"Unfortunately, Proposition B doesnt do much to actually provide for the care of animals, but only sets limits on the number of animals that can be kept. And there is no research to show that limit laws, like Proposition B, actually do anything to improve the welfare of the animal," said AVMA CEO Ron DeHaven, DVM, MBA in a video statement.

The AVMA drafted model legislation earlier this year for laws relating to commercial breeders. In his video statement, DeHaven urges pet owners to alert their state lawmakers to the model legislation.

Proposition B was also opposed by the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) for being too broad.

"Our state has good existing laws but those laws need enforcement," the MVMA says in a statement on its website. "Passing blanket initiatives without careful consideration of the facts and ignoring existing law is not in the best interest of the dogs we are trying to protect. The MVMA believes the answer lies in adequate funding for more inspections and better enforcement."

Under the law, First time violators of the new law will be guilty of "puppy mill cruelty," a class C misdemeanor, which carries a $300 fine and up to 15 days in jail. The charge is bumped up to a class A misdemeanor (up to a $20,000 fine and a year in prison) for any subsequent violations.

A video from the AVMA discussing Missouris Proposition B.

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