Missouri Farmers Care, a coalition of leading Missouri agriculture advocacy groups, applauds the Missouri General Assembly's efforts last week to pass Senate Bill 113. The group noted that it will strengthen the enforcement of Missouri's animal welfare laws and preserves the voter intent of the recently passed Proposition B.
"This is a great day for everyone who truly cares about animal welfare," said Missouri veterinarian Dr. Alan Wessler, a member of Missouri Farmers Care. "The legislature took a strong stand to ensure that our dogs and puppies receive the care they need. We need Governor Nixon to do the same and sign SB 113 promptly."
SB 113 requires dog breeders to work with licensed veterinarians to ensure their animals receive proper care and exercise. SB 113 provides extra resources for the Department of Agriculture to conduct on site inspections, including funding to hire new inspectors. SB 113 includes tough new provisions against unlicensed dog breeders—breeders Proposition B failed to address. SB 113 also expands the regulations under Proposition B to include animal shelters.
SB 113 also eliminates a controversial section buried within Proposition B that would have allowed animal rights groups to interfere with animal agriculture in Missouri, according to Missouri Farmers Care coalition. Proposition B's main proponent, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), is an animal rights activist group that has successfully pushed anti-farming legislation in several states since 2002, including Florida, Arizona and California.
"SB 113 makes important improvements in the care of dogs and helps protect Missouri farmers from radical animal rights groups whose agenda is to create controversy, raise huge sums of money and support efforts to ultimately end livestock farming," Wessler said. "Groups like HSUS and PETA clearly intended to use Proposition B as a Trojan horse that would allow them to come in later and attack Missouri farmers like they have done in several other states. Now, that won't happen."
SB 113 was sponsored by State Senator Mike Parson (R-Bolivar) and handled in the House by Representative Tom Loehner (R-Koeltztown).
Source: Missouri Farmers Care press release