Senate Bill 460 — the anti-dog breeder, anti-hunting bill promoted by the radical Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) — passed the Senate on Wednesday, by a narrow 23-22 vote. The legislation is now in the House, where it has been referred to the Committee on Commerce, Small Business, and Entrepreneurship.
Please contact members of that committee and urge them to oppose S 460. Please click here to contact the members of the House Committee on Commerce, Small Business, and Entrepreneurship.
The Senate vote was close thanks to a strong coalition of NRA members, responsible dog owners and breeders, and numerous groups representing their interests, all opposing this onerous bill. Even the prestigious American Kennel Club (AKC) — a group synonymous with representing the interests of dogs, dog owners, and dog breeders for 125 years — weighed in against the legislation. Unfortunately, Senate Democratic Leadership chose to side with the anti-hunting extremists at the HSUS, and worked to force the legislation through the chamber. Numerous Democrat Senators who had previously supported the rights of hunters with their votes or during their campaigns sided with HSUS on this vote.
While the language has been watered down along the way, its true intent remains. HSUS will use this bill, should it pass, as a template for future legislative efforts in order to achieve its true goal — eliminating ALL commercial dog breeders. HSUS as much as admits this is its goal through its own words. The group has publicly stated, “There’s no reason for anyone to patronize a pet store or a breeder.” Clearly, if there is “no reason for anyone to patronize…a breeder,” there must be no reason for there to be any breeders, in the world HSUS would like to see. The group further paints ALL commercial breeders with the same broad brush it uses to condemn so-called “puppy mills,” when it states it has been working to expose “the cruel realities of the commercial dog breeding business.” That’s not a condemnation of just “puppy mills,” but EVERYONE in the “commercial dog breeding business.” HSUS also claims that “good breeders don’t breed to make money.” In other words, HSUS is not solely concerned with the cruel treatment of dogs by a few unscrupulous breeders. Instead, it condemns any commercial dog breeder as being “cruel,” and anyone who breeds dogs for money cannot, in the eyes of HSUS, be a “good breeder.”
But for the best indication of what are the true goals of HSUS, one must simply read the words of its President, Wayne Pacelle. From the book Bloodties: Nature, Culture, and the Hunt, when asked if he can foresee a future with no pets, Pacelle stated, “If I had my personal view, perhaps that might take hold. In fact, I don’t want to see another dog or cat born.” In the May 1993 edition of the publication Animal People, Pacelle is quoted as stating, “One generation and out. We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals.” Eliminating dog breeding would, of course, help Pacelle’s anti-hunting agenda, by eliminating that segment of the hunting population that uses dogs. He has stated, “We are going to use the ballot box and the democratic process to stop all hunting in the
And while the true intent of HSUS is at the heart of NRA’s opposition to S 460, there remain numerous immediate concerns with the bill, in spite of efforts to water it down to misdirect the public and gain support. AKC points out the bill contains a vague definition of what constitutes a “commercial breeder,” as well as contradictory, unclear enforcement provisions. Furthermore, the standards for care at a “commercial breeder” facility are not specifically spelled out. They are left open to interpretation that could lead to standards that are designed not to ensure healthy, happy animals, but to ensure many (if not most) “commercial breeders” would not be able to meet the standards that are set.
The battle in the Senate is over, for now, and NRA would like to thank all Senators who voted against S 460. Several Senators deserve a special thanks for their votes. There were rumors circulating that Senators Tom Apodaca (R-48), Peter Brunstetter (R-31), Debbie Clary (R-46), Fletcher Hartsell (R-36), and Bob Rucho (R-39) intended to support S 460. All five senators have histories of supporting hunters, and they assured NRA directly that the rumors were not true. All five senators stuck with NRA members by voting against this bill, and they deserve our thanks. Our special thanks also go out to those Democrats who voted with NRA and against HSUS and S 460, and would not give in to pressure from Senate Democrat Leadership. They are Senators Doug Berger (D-7), Steve Goss (D-45), Joe Sam Queen (D-47), John Snow (D-50), and A.B. Swindell (D-11).
NRA will continue to work to oppose the HSUS agenda, and will continue to oppose S 460 in the House. Please contact your State Representative, especially if he or she is a member of the Committee on Commerce, Small Business, and Entrepreneurship, and respectfully urge him or her to oppose S 460.
To contact your State Representative, please click here.