A proposed law would make it illegal for pet stores to sell many dogs and cats in the state of California.
Assembly Bill (AB) 485 would subject any pet store owner who bought puppies, kittens or rabbits from a commercial breeder to a $500 fine for each animal sold, National Review writer Wesley J. Smith reported. AB-485 has passed California’s lower house or Assembly but it has yet to be approved by the Senate or signed by the governor.
“This bill would prohibit, on and after January 1, 2019, a pet store operator from selling a live dog, cat, or rabbit in a pet store unless the dog, cat, or rabbit was obtained from a public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group, as defined, that is in a cooperative agreement with at least one private or public shelter, as specified,” the text of AB-485 states.
Wrote Smith, “California is on the verge of outlawing pet stores from selling pets unless they come from shelters or rescue organizations.”
Smith fears that the real motive behind AB-485 is an attempt by animal rights activists to outlaw pet ownership. He noted that the proposed law makes no effort to set up a means of distinguishing humane from inhumane pet breeders.
“But it will push us closer to a time where the only place to obtain a pet will be a shelter,” Smith wrote.
The bill, he wrote, seems to be an attempt to write the ideas of animal rights extremists like Peter Singer and Gary Francione into law.
“We oppose domestication and pet ownership because these violate the fundamental rights of animals,” Francione wrote in an essay called The Case against Pets.
Others, though, support the bill.
AB-485 is an attempt to ban “puppy mills” and inhumane animal breeding operations, The Los Angeles Times editorial board claimed.
“It may seem unfair to put the onus for stopping bad breeders on pet store owners who sell puppies they buy legally from commercial breeders,” The Times editors wrote. “Nor does it seem fair to cut off commercial breeders that are humane, assuming there are some, from their prime sales outlet. But the combination of low standards and lax enforcement has helped entrench the business of inhumanely manufacturing animals, particularly puppies.”
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