Proposal to repeal Prop B introduced in Missouri

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Dec 29, 2010
By dvm360.com staff
Jefferson City, Mo. -- A bill to repeal Missouri’s contested Proposition B already has been pre-filed in the state Senate for consideration in the new year.

Sen. Bill Stouffer pre-filed Senate Bill 4 Dec. 1 to repeal Proposition B. He says the voter-approved ballot measure was misleading and actually weakens Missouri’s existing law governing dog breeding. A better solution would be to amend the existing law if needed and identify new resources for enforcing the current legislation.

“Missouri has one of the most stringent dog breeder laws in the United States,” Stouffer says. “It’s not a matter that we don’t have laws. The matter is we can’t afford the inspectors it takes to enforce those laws and again, Prop B does absolutely nothing to support that.

“I think we at least need to bring the regulations back up to where they were before Prop B passed,” he adds, explaining that Prop B targets licensed breeders but does nothing to deal with the breeders who aren’t following the state’s existing laws governing dog-breeding facilities.

Prop B passed by an estimated 3.2 percent margin Nov. 2. The Missouri Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) was opposed to the issue before it headed to voters, but has stayed mum on efforts to repeal the new law.

In a statement on Prop B before the issue went to voters, MVMA said, “our state has good existing laws, but those laws need enforcement. Cases of neglect and bad conditions have come mainly from unlicensed breeders who are not overseen by state inspection.

“Passing blanket initiatives without careful consideration of the facts and ignoring existing law is not in the best interest of the dogs we are trying to protect. The MVMA believes the answer lies in adequate funding for more inspections and better enforcement.”

No action has been scheduled on Senate Bill 4, but animal-welfare organizations already are mobilizing and urging lawmakers not to overturn the ballot measure approved by voters.