Friday, July 24, 2009

FACT OF THE DAY: Fictitious Sales Tax Revenue

The fanatic supporters of SB460 are espousing a new claim that the licensing of commercial breeders will bring a sales tax revenue boon to North Carolina and offset the cost of enforcement by NCDA. This windfall of $720,000 in sales tax is based on the assumption that every one of the 15 females will be bred twice in one year and produce 5 puppies each litter. The estimate continues by using a multiplier of 200 licensed facilities.

This fuzzy math is problematic on several levels but the most glaring is that the Fiscal Note attached to SB460 plainly states that while there are at least 200 commercial breeders operating in North Carolina; of these, only 79 are known to have more than 15 female dogs.

200 high volume breeders do not equate to a state-wide crisis despite the hysterical opinions of HSUS and anti-breeder forces. Most certainly 79 kennels do not justify an expenditure in excess of $400,000 over the next few years during a budget crisis. This expense cannot be absorbed by NCDA and cannot be passed off to county animal control departments that are already understaffed and underfunded.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

SB 460 pulled from Senate Calendar

Senate Majority Leader, Tony Rand (D-Bladen, Cumberland), pulled SB 460 from today’s Calendar after it failed to reach a caucus consensus prior to the start of the Senate session. SB 460 was sent to the Rules Committee, possibly for more amendments.

SB 460 is now entitled the Puppy Mill Ban. IF this bill would pass, everyone who falls within the criteria for regulation will be marked as a potential puppy mill needing regulation.

There is no legal definition for the term "puppy mill." The term "puppy mill" was coined by animal rights activists to be used against anyone who breeds dogs, regardless of the care the animals receive. The name-calling is a means of turning the uninformed public against all dog breeders, gain sympathy and raise money for their constant barrage of animal rights propaganda. In 31 other states where HSUS has introduced their puppy mill bills this year, the number criteria changes. To crack down on alleged puppy mills in Maryland HSUS determined 10 was the magic number; Tennessee, Montana and others 20 was used as the beginning point for licensing; and in Illinois HSUS determined that only by licensing breeders beginning with 3 intact dogs could the state be saved from being overrun with puppy mills. Whatever is most convenient for HSUS seems to be the puppy mill definition of the moment.

There are laws to address abusive dog owners and breeders. SB 460 is not the answer. SB 460 is an unnecessary bill that is part of the radical HSUS agenda.

The NC Department of Agriculture is already understaffed and underfunded. They cannot afford this bill and neither can NC citizens. Tell your Senator to vote NO to SB 460.

Monday, July 6, 2009

SB460 scheduled for Senate floor vote July 8

SB460 moves to the Senate Floor for full vote on July 8, 2009. Call your Senators now and urge that they vote NO to this bill.

Promoted as a puppy mill bill with the usual emotional language, SB460 focuses on labeling dog breeders, i.e., commercial breeder=puppy mill to justify this over-the-top legislation. The term puppy mill is used by animal rights activists in the same manner as a racial slur to cast a negative picture on the whole industry of breeding dogs; the goal is to eventually make all the words interchangeable, commercial=puppy mill=dog breeder.

The cost to dog owners/breeders for construction of commercial grade facilities to meet state requirements will be enormous. It is irresponsible for legislators to force this expense on citizens who are already financially stressed in the current recession.

There are laws on the books right now that adequately address responsible animal husbandry management techniques without stressing the coffers to pay for unenforceable and unneeded regulation.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

State Senators: leave our dogs alone!

Sen. Don Davis (D-Greene, Pitt, Wayne Counties) is the sponsor on behalf of HSUS for SB460. Two billboards are now displayed in Senator Don Davis’ district. They went up last Thursday, one on Highway 70 in Goldsboro and one in Snow Hill close to the Greene County Courthouse.

SB460 is not based on facts or need; it is based on emotion and is part of a nationwide campaign by HSUS to pass restrictive legislation on dog breeders. This legislative campaign is about control, not about animal welfare. HSUS has a well documented history of opposing all purposeful breeding of dogs. SB 460 will punish countless responsible breeders unnecessarily. Senators, listen to NC dog breeders and not animal rightists!

Sen. Clark Jenkins strong arms SB460 through Senate Finance Committee

On Wednesday, July 1, Senate Finance Committee passed the controversial SB460 Commercial Dog Breeders bill on a voice vote, with more no votes than yes votes! How does a vote get derailed? Chairman Clark Jenkins (Dem-Senate District 3, Edgecombe, Martin, & Pitt counties) declared the “ayes have it” and closed the meeting. This procedural maneuver prevented any Senator from asking for a “division”, in which the votes would have been counted accurately.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Why you should oppose SB 460

SB 460 assumes that an owner of 15 or more dogs is not capable of managing and maintaining their animals in good health without state intervention. Numbers do not correlate to quality of care and it is wrong to use a numerical basis to begin excessive regulation of dog breeders.

SB 460 supporters claim the only reason to have 15 females is for mass producing puppies, i.e. continually breeding each female. NOT TRUE. The bill supporters are activists, NOT dog breeders and have no firsthand knowledge of what is necessary to build or maintain a breeding program. It is quite possible for someone to have 15 females without constantly producing puppies.

The requirement for annual veterinary certification of suitable health for breeding is not only vague but is unacceptable. Certification could require anything from routine physical exam to an expensive panel of blood tests and x-rays. There are no standardized, specific laboratory tests or specialized reproductive examination procedures that are suitable for assessing the health status of bitches for breeding. No other species has this pre-breeding regulation in place. This provision only serves to make breeding dogs more expensive and more complicated. The decision to breed or not breed a dog should remain at the discretion of the owner and not become a legislative mandate.

State licensing and regulation as a commercial entity will end dog breeding for anyone in a residential zoned area. The impact in rural-residential zoned areas will depend on the specifics written for each county and the final requirements for housing established by the NC Department of Agriculture.

The Fiscal Note on SB 460 has been provided by the Fiscal Research Division with input from NC DACS. The Department’s Animal Welfare Section estimates costs to implement a regulatory program are almost a half million dollars going forward with virtually no income. With a state budget shortfall in nearly of five billion dollars and government programs being cut, it is the height of irresponsibility to burden NCDA with this initiative.