http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=61&articleid=20100503_11_A15_Oklaho468988 - 5.07.10 | Issues: Puppy Mills
Governor Henry has signed the Oklahoma puppy mill bill, SB 1712. A few days ago, the Tulsa World ran a good editorial on the passage of this bill by the Legislature:
by: World's Editorial Writers
Monday, May 03, 2010
Oklahoma lawmakers have accomplished several things with passage of the puppy-mill bill. It not only will protect companion animals from inhumane treatment, it will give the state a much-needed image boost.
Senate Bill 1712, known as the Commercial Pet Breeders Act, calls for the creation of an eight-member board to develop rules governing breeding operations that have 11 or more female cats or dogs. The board will establish licensing requirements and penalties for failure to comply.
Oklahoma has been one of the nation's top puppy-mill states for years, usually ranked second only to Missouri, where a reform battle also is being waged.
A handful of lawmakers and animal-welfare advocates have sought for years meaningful puppy-mill reforms here, but strong resistance from breeders and other stakeholders thwarted the effort. This year, however, the landscape changed, thanks in part to an aggressive initiative petition drive in Missouri. Some advocates believe that the prospect of a similar crusade being launched in Oklahoma was one factor in SB 1712's success.
Some breeders continue to argue that current federal requirements are sufficient to ensure satisfactory conditions, but advocates insist otherwise. Horrible discoveries at some breeding sites bolster the argument that federal measures are insufficient.
Some opponents also contend that the potential effects of SB 1712, sponsored by Sen. Patrick Anderson, R-Enid, can't be known because the board hasn't been impaneled and the rules haven't been written.
That's so, but the track records of similar boards policing specific activities suggest this one can be effective. And with the right stakeholders at the table, there's a good likelihood appropriate and needed measures will be adopted.
We're as prone as anyone to blast lawmakers for their actions. This is one time they got it right. Good work.