TALLAHASSEE, Florida – The battle for pet stores intensifies in the State Capitol with two competing bills to consider, but as the Humane Society warns, one is a Trojan horse.
If you are considering buying a cat or dog for a loved one this Christmas, the Humane Society recommends adoption or purchase from a trusted breeder.
One thing he doesn’t recommend is buying from a pet store.
“Because we know the puppies and kittens that are for sale in retail stores are from puppy mills,” said Kate MacFall, Florida director of the Humane Society.
MacFall told us that the group’s No. 1 legislative priority in the next session is a bill that would ban the sale of cats and dogs in pet stores outright.
“This question is becoming more and more popular and is the subject of more discussion,” MacFall said.
But MacFall said they were competing with a bill introduced in the Senate that sells itself as protecting animal welfare.
“It’s really disguised as trying to be an animal welfare bill, and in fact, it does the exact opposite,” MacFall said.
MacFall says the devil is in the details.
The bill includes a pre-emption that would overturn local policies banning retail pet stores.
“It would remove two ordinances that were passed this summer, strict ordinances here in Florida, and then ban any future ordinances that ban the retail sale of dogs and cats,” MacFall said.
The pre-emption bill has been raised several times in the past, but advocates successfully overturned it.
They expect this year to be no different.
“Pet store pre-emption invoices just ensure that the pipeline from the puppy mill to the pet store remains intact, and that they are harmful to animals and consumers as well,” MacFall said.
Neither bill got both a House and Senate sponsor, but MacFall told us she expects a senator to sign the pet store ban in the coming weeks. .
MacFall also noted that the pet store ban legislation would not prevent people from buying cats and dogs from breeders.
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