Friday February 01, 2013
On January 31, 2013, a federal judge in Austin, Texas rejected a request for an injunction filed by Texas breeders in order to overturn the Texas puppy mill law. The lawsuit, filed by three Texas breeders and RPOA, was a last ditch attempt to block enforcement of the state's new puppy mill law, which went into effect on Sept. 1, 2012. The new law requires the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation to inspect and license large-scale commercial dog and cat breeders with 11 or more breeding females and who sell 20 or more puppies or kittens each year. Along with requiring a license and inspection, it also establishes minimum standards for the humane handling, care, housing and transportation of dogs and cats by commercial breeders.
RPOA and the breeders attempted to argue that the court should stop enforcement because the law was unconstitutional. They stated that despite being in favor of ridding Texas of its "puppy mills," they simply "cannot live with this law." The court found this argument, among others used, were not the basis of any constitutional rationale. The Office of the Attorney General of Texas defended the law before the court and THLN and The Humane Society of the United States supported the Attorney General's position by filing an amicus brief asking the court to uphold the law. The lawsuit will continue, but the denial of the injunction is a crucial victory for the puppy mill law and a positive sign of what is to come.
THLN would like to give a special thanks to the law firm of Hunton & Williams, LLP for its excellent legal representation in this matter.
Thursday September 13, 2012
The Austin BBB recently released a press statement heralding the passage of the puppy mill bill along with warnings about puppy mill breeders and advice on how to avoid scams. Please see the press release here.
In addition, Brian Francis; Deputy Executive Director of the Texas Department of License and Regulation (TDLR) will be hosting a breakout session at our 4th annual THLN conference on September 29th to give more facts about this law, rules, reporting, etc... More information about our conference can be found by clicking here.
Wednesday April 04, 2012
Supported by THLN, House Bill 1451 was signed into law during last year's legislative session. This law requires that dog and cat breeders who own 11 or more breeding females and sell more than twenty puppies or kittens a year, be licensed and inspected and provide basic standards of care to their animals. This law was celebrated as a major victory for animal welfare agencies and animal lovers alike.
Through our action alert email, we sent out the call for everyone able, to attend the TDLR Commission meeting in Austin March 27. During this meeting, the Commission listened to public testimony from experts in animal welfare and concerned citizens. The Commission held a brief discussion regarding the standards and adopted the final rules for these breeding facilities.
Unfortunately, the word "basic" seems to be all that the Commission cared to hear. Despite the recommendations that animals be provided larger cages, flooring that was at least 50% solid, and cages that were not stacked, the Commission did nothing to boost the federal standards outlined under the Animal Welfare Act. They ignored the advice of their own Advisory Committee. They ignored you and the thousands of public comments they received.
Because of this decision, because the Commission chose to take the "easy" way out, animals living in squalid conditions in these breeding hellholes will continue to suffer. These innocent cats and dogs will continue to live in tiny cramped barren wire cages while being bred until they no longer can produce. Furthermore, they will continue to live in the harrowing conditions that we so hoped the Commission would take the opportunity it was given to improve.
We will not sit quietly. THLN, in conjunction with the ASPCA and the Humane Society of the United States, has issued a press release condemning this decision and expressing our sincere disappointment. All of your helpful actions will not be in vain. We will continue to seek opportunity to change the conditions for these animals. As always, we and the animals continue to need your help and support. If you wish to donate to THLN to help fund our efforts to help these and other animals, please click here.
Click here to view all Press Releases.