To the editor;
Re: MLA wants rules to curb puppy mills (April 24, 2012).
The private member’s bill introduced by MLA Jane Thornthwaite will not help to curb puppy mills.
Adding these regulations to the BC Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act will not impact a puppy mill operation. The bottom line for these operations is simple economics. Their sales market is pet stores.
If you eliminate the market, production will stop. It is evident that this bill won’t meet the intent when it is reported that the bill is supported by PIJAC Canada. The Pet Industries Joint Advisory Council of Canada is an association of pet store owners.
I applaud Ms Thornthwaite for her interest in curbing puppy mills, but suggest that she should work on the details more thoroughly. Seek input from the governing body for ethical breeders – the Canadian Kennel Club. Their Code of ethics is stricter than what she’s asking for. Talk with the city councils of those communities that have banned the sale of live pets in stores.
We all agree that the “distress” of animals in puppy mills is horrendous but if you’re going to take the time to present a bill to the legislature, get it right. It needs to be simple, enforceable and aimed in the right direction.
As long as the public are uneducated about the fact that the “cute little doggy in the window” at the pet store is from a puppy mill, they will continue buy them. And as long as pet stores can continue to sell them, the puppy mills will always have a place to move their merchandise.
MLAs should vote no to this bill, and send it back to Ms. Thornthwaite’s drawing board to get a bill that will eliminate this problem at the source.