The Issues • Lack of coordination among animal-welfare advocates • Shelters/rescues need support • Inconsistent law enforcement • Public education • Pet over-population
USDA Commercial Class A – Breeders Sell dogs from their own kennels to pet stores, brokers (dealers), direct to the public Class B – Brokers (Dealers) Sell dogs from other’s kennels to pet stores, labs, at auction State Commercial More than 3 breeding males or females Licensed vs. certified Breeder Classifications
USDA Commercial Breeders • Approximately 4500 Class A and Class B facilities in the U.S. • 400 Class A licenses in Iowa • 60 Class B licenses in Iowa • Third largest number in nation • MO, OK
Inspections • USDA • The breeders big quality claim! • 70 Inspectors in the U.S. (inspecting approx. 10K sites) • 6 Inspectors in Iowa • Inspection schedule based on risk assessment • Low – every 2-3 years • Moderate risk inspected “about once a year” • High – at least every 6 months
Inspections • Records for Jan. 2007 – Aug. 2008 • 878 Records (2 at auctions)
Before and After • Rescued at auction.
CURRENT LAWS • Federal • Animal Welfare Act (AWA) • Applies to commercial facilities • Those who sell to petstores, brokers/dealers, research facilities • Does not apply to retail facilities • Pet stores, breeders who sell direct to public
CURRENT LAWS • Iowa Laws • 162: Care of Animals in Commercial Establishments • Code 162.11 (2): Other than obtaining the certificate of registration from the secretary, any dealer or commercial breeder and any person who operates a commercial kennel or public auction shall not be subject to further regulation under the provisions of this chapter.
CURRENT LAWS • Iowa Laws • 717B: Injury to Animals Other Than Livestock • Specifically 717B.3. Animal Neglect • 717B.5 Rescue of threatened animals • 331.308: A county may rescue, provide maintenance, or dispose of neglected livestock or another animal, as provided in chapters 717 and 717B.
Enforcement • Federally licensed facilities • USDA enforcement of AWA • State licensed facilities • County officials • THE PROBLEM… • NO STATE JURISDICTION!!!
Noble Efforts • Iowa Rescues • Iowa Shelters • Iowa Fosters • Iowa Transports • Iowa Legislators and Law Enforcement • Are things getting better???
HSUS Estimates • 3-4 million puppies sold annually • 3-4 million animals euthanized annually • 4,000-6,000 animal shelters in the US • Recall: ~4500 comm. licensed breeders
Things are getting worse! HSUS Data
The Breeders are Organized • Nationally • AKC. Yes, the AKC! • American Pet Registry • Iowa Breeders’ organizations • The Iowa Pet Breeders Association • The Iowa Federation of Animal Owners • Lobbyist
Now we are, too!! IOWA VOTERS FOR COMPANION ANIMALS
Iowa Voters forCompanion Animals • Official • IRS status 501(c)(4)-a social welfare non-profit with lobbying powers • Potential 527 PAC status • Organized! • Area leaders • Presence at City, County, State levels • Lobbyist
Iowa Voters forCompanion Animals • A voting bloc is a group of voters that are so motivated by a specific concern or group of concerns that it helps determine how they vote in elections.
Iowa Voters forCompanion Animals • Nonpartisan • Potential for HUGE numbers • More than twice as many HSUS members as NRA • Survey of 100K people • ONGOING • Future laws
Iowa Voters forCompanion Animals • THE POTENTIAL TO EFFECT CHANGE! • 2008 Gen’l Election • 2 million Registered Voters in Iowa • 1.5 million Voted (72.6%) • House dist near here • 18.6K Voted • XXX 7315, XXX 7158 • Margin 157 • The other 2K voters??
Iowa Voters forCompanion Animals • Other pertinent elected offices • Secretary of Agriculture • County Attorney • Sheriffs • County Supervisors • Mayors • City Council Members
Iowa Voters forCompanion Animals • Endorse candidates based on survey results • Get-out-the-vote tactics for endorsed candidates WHEN THE PEOPLE LEAD, THE LEADERS FOLLOW. T.Jefferson
Bills IntroducedIowa’s 82nd General Assembly • Shooting of dogs • Companion animals caught in domestic violence situations • State inspection of USDA licensed facilities upon receipt of complaint
“The Puppy Mill Bill” • Introduced into House by Jim Lykam, D-Davenport • Mark Kuhn, D-Charles City • Introduced into Senate by Joe Seng, DVM, D-Davenport
“The Puppy Mill Bill” • Previous attempts • Failure primarily due to Agribusiness opposition • This year WE MADE A DIFFERENCE!!
“The Puppy Mill Bill” • Among top 3 bills!! • Federal deductibility, the puppy mill bill, gay marriage • Humble beginnings. WE’LL BE BACK!!
How a Law is Made • Introduced in one or both Houses • Assigned to a committee • Assigned to a sub-committee • Goes to the floor for a vote • Must pass both Houses • Goes to Governor for signature
“The Puppy Mill Bill” • Opposition: • Agribusiness • Farm Bureau • “Slippery Slope” • “Emotion” • The “real” problem • Cost DOGS AREN’T LIVESTOCK!!
“The Puppy Mill Bill” The Slippery Slope Dogs have borne the brunt of any slippery slope, sliding them closer and closer to the livestock classification.
“The Puppy Mill Bill” SUMMIT TO EXAMINE THE DEBATE ON ANIMAL WELFARE The Animal Agriculture Alliance will hold an industry-wide stakeholder’s summit this week on animal welfare. “Politics, Activism and Religion: Influencing the Debate on Animal Welfare in America” will take place Tuesday and Wednesday in Alexandria, Va. Featured speakers include Wes Jamison, associate professor of communication at Palm Beach Atlantic University and an ordained Southern Baptist minister. He will discuss the results of a new study on how animal rights activists are using religion to advance their agenda.