The U.S. Department of Agriculture has proposed a new rule that would crack down on the worst puppy mills and roadside zoos. The proposed rule closes a loophole that allows breeders and exhibitors to do business as usual after their federal licenses have been revoked, by relicensing under a family member’s name.
The rule also proposes enhanced veterinary care for dogs held by dealers, exhibitors and research facilities, requires businesses to disclose any animal cruelty convictions before they can obtain a license and it will prevent those who keep exotic animals as pets from obtaining an exhibitor license to skirt local laws that restrict the private ownership of dangerous wild animals. While these are much needed improvements, the USDA should require more humane environments for dogs at dealers by prohibiting wire flooring and cage stacking—both of which can lead to injuries for dogs and their puppies. This rule should also double the required amount of space in each cage.
This rule has the potential to improve the lives of tens of thousands of animals now languishing in the squalor of puppy mills and roadside zoos and we need to let the USDA know we support it. We also need to let them know that we want this rule to go farther by securing more improvements for dogs.
The public has an opportunity to voice our support for this proposal. Please use the form below to submit a comment to the USDA expressing your support for this proposed rule.