2 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)
I am happy to announce that the USDA has finally made some changes to their requirements! Sadly, even puppy mill breeders can have a USDA license because the restrictions are not very detailed and they are rarely enforced. Hopefully, these new rules can change that and help save more dogs.
What’s Different Now?
Before, breeders only had to get licensed once and then they were set for life. With the new regulations, breeders need to get a new license every 3 years, which includes an inspection. Also, if they plan to greatly increase the number of animals in their care, they will also need a new license to make sure they are capable of caring for them.
Now, breeders are also required to supply 24-hour access to fresh, clean water along with annual vet visits for every dog in their care. It’s hard to believe that these rules were not in place before, but what’s important is that they are now. It’s good to see that the laws are headed in the right direction after all this time.
Will This Put an End to Puppy Mills?
I wish I could say that these new rules would end puppy mills once and for all, but sadly, that’s not the case. In order for these changes to help dogs, states need to strongly enforce these rules.
Sadly, there will likely still be breeders who will find loopholes and ways to avoid these rules. So, if the rules are not always enforced, then puppy mills will continue to exist.
Also, even with these rules, there are still ways that the dogs can be neglected and harmed. The restrictions might be better now, but they are still just the bare minimum. There are a lot of other basic needs that these dogs should have no matter what.
Luckily, there are two important bills that could greatly improve the wellbeing of these dogs. The Welfare of Our Friends (WOOF) Act and the Puppy Protection Act are two bills that would help get rid of puppy mills.
The WOOF Act would make it harder for breeders to cheat the license renewal process. Then, The Puppy Protection Act would enforce more requirements for the dogs such as regular exercise, larger enclosure sizes, and solid flooring. You can click on either of the above links to learn more or to find out how to help these bills get passed.
While these new regulations are great news, there is still more that can be done. We need to continue spreading the word about puppy mills and supporting these bills until these horrible facilities can finally be stopped for good.
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