On September 21, the Humane Society of the United States(HSUS) and other animal welfare organizations filed a legal petition with the U.S. Department of Agriculture calling for improvement of minimum standards of dog care in commercial breeding facilities.
The USDA has taken steps to better regulate commercial dog breeders by:
- adopting rules to stop the import of puppy mill dogs from outside the US,
- require inspections of Internet puppy sellers.
But the minimum standards of care for USDA-licensed dog breeding facilities in the US have remained unchanged.
Current standards do not forbid extreme confinement, stacking of cages, or keeping the animals on wire floors indefinitely. There are also no rules that require the animals to ever get out of cages or receive routine veterinary care or human socialization.
The ugly truth is that the current rules do not ensure the quality of life the animals in commercial breeding facilities.
HSUS and their partners have proposed improved standards that have the potential to dramatically improve the lives of tens of thousands of dogs living in these facilities.
The petition intends to create clear requirements for:
- veterinary care,
- breeding practices,
- properrehoming of retired breeding dogs.
Several investigations have revealed the horrible conditions puppy mill dogs live in. HSUS and other animal welfare organizations have more than sufficient evidence to show that the current minimum care standards in the Animal Welfare Act’s regulations are insufficient to protect dogs.
Together with the ASPCA and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, HSUS filed the legal petition to improve the lives of thousands of puppy mill dogs.
Among others, the petition requests the USDA to restrict the use of wire flooring and stacked cages, and to require that the dogs have adequate space and access to an outdoor exercise area to perform normal dog behaviors like running and playing.
HSUS said in their statement that responsible breeders and pet industry organizations should support these standards and help to stop puppy mills and restore consumer confidence.
Every dog owner—especially a breeder – knows that dogs should have enough space, veterinary care, exercise, and other basic humane treatment.
The puppy mills’ subpar and often abusive treatment of their dogs has caused so much suffering and has gone on for too long.
If commercial breeding facilities claim that the industry cares for dogs properly, the HSUS believes that they should not fear the petition.