Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • No on Proposition B

  • The issue: Voters will consider Proposition B on Tuesday.

    Our view: The so-called “puppy mill law” should be soundly rejected.


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  • The issue: Voters will consider Proposition B on Tuesday.
    Our view: The so-called “puppy mill law” should be soundly rejected.
    While the notion behind Missouri’s Proposition B is a good one, the measure itself is not the answer.
    Voters will consider the issue on Tuesday, and should reject it wholeheartedly.
    Proposition B would require large-scale dog breeding operations to provide adequate care for their animals, ban operators from having more than 50 breeding dogs and create a misdemeanor for violations.
    Animal rights activists, who were the main proponents of getting the proposal on the ballot, claim Missouri is the “puppy mill capital” of the United States.
    No one with any sense supports cruelty to animals, but existing guidelines and the punishments for violators are sufficient.
    The state’s 1,449 licensed breeders already must comply with state and federal rules, so Proposition B is nothing more than a deceptive duplication. Breeders who repeatedly break the law can have their licenses suspended.
    Government has a role to play in regulating industries such as dog breeding facilities, but the boundaries will be overstepped if Proposition B passes. Free enterprise must be allowed to rule over unnecessary government intrusion.
    The estimated cost of implementing the law tops $600,000. Who’s going to pay? Will pet owners have to come up with the money? Or will local governments simply have to absorb the cost and pass it along to the rest of us?
    One overwhelmingly sad sidebar to all of this is that too many of the voices belonging to those who spout concern for animals rights say absolutely nothing about America’s largely unregulated and truly immoral abortion industry.
    Regardless of the election’s outcome, regulators will continue to do inspections of dog facilities and report their findings. The breeders who are abiding by current law will continue to do so and those who thumb their noses at the regulations will do the same.
    As Courier-Post journalist Brent Engel showed in his report about the dog breeding industry in August, there can be compliers and violators in the same family.
    The real fear among Proposition B opponents is that the measure will be the first step by radical activists to regulate other trades, such as the livestock industry.
    Proposition B supporters claim there’s no truth to the contention.
    But no matter how sincere backers are, you can bet that down the road some zealot would use the law as a basis to propose additional regulation of farms and meat producers.
    Such a move would kill not only the agriculture industry and devastate the millions of people who make their living from it, but it would plunge the nation toward a third world status from which we would not recover.
    Page 2 of 2 - Think it can’t happen? Well, more than 15 percent of our food is estimated to have been grown on foreign soil, and some imported foods account for as much as 80 percent of the market in America.
    Our nation in the 21st century must not be beholden to any country for something as basic as our food supply.
    Voters have a chance to stop this unwise proposition, and they should do so Tuesday.

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