Alabama town criminalizes compassion
News and headlines for December 10 - December 17, 2022
These are some of the stories making headlines in animal protection:
Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation that creates a new justification for killing animals in New York pounds — “mental suffering.” Animal lovers, rescuers, and No Kill advocates throughout the state urged her to veto it. The No Kill Advocacy Center also wrote and asked her to reject it.
There is no definition of “mental suffering” and no standards for applying it. All animals can experience stress on entry to a pound. Many of these animals are used to sleeping on beds and couches in homes or even living on the street and will find their familiar routines upended in a confined place that is loud, often dirty, unfamiliar, and disorienting. Simply getting them out of the shelter through adoption, foster, or rescue would end the stress, yet the bill does not mandate these things. Not only is this a real and immediate threat to shy and scared animals, as well as feral cats, but it is a first-of-its-kind, very dangerous precedent to introduce in the animal control laws of our nation.
On the positive side, Governor Hochul also signed legislation “to ban the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits at retail pet stores, aiming to end the puppy mill-to-pet store pipeline and stop abusive breeders.” Pet stores can partner with rescue groups and animal shelters to have animals. The ban goes into effect in 2024, giving store owners time to modify their business model and build partnerships with rescue groups and shelters.
Thanks to these laws, the number of USDA-licensed breeders has declined by 30%, and “Nebraska Department of Agriculture records show that half of the state’s commercial dog and cat breeders have left the business.”
Indeed, the new law serves three purposes: