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A ban on imports from foreign puppy mills for commercial sale

May 24, 2008 |  6:57 pm

Poodle_puppies The Humane Society of the United States--not surprisingly--was closely following the just-passed Farm Bill (the Senate and the House overrode a presidential veto). HSUS says the bill ushered in "key new protections for animals." According to an HSUS release:

The final bill -- which is now considered law, except for one section excluded due to a technical glitch -- bans the import of puppies from foreign puppy mills for commercial sale in the U.S. The law spares young, unweaned, and unvaccinated pups from harsh, long-distance transport -- during which they are exposed to extreme temperatures and often die in cargo holds -- and will keep foreign breeders from adding to the tragic overpopulation of pets in this country.

The Farm Bill also adds a provision to federal law to make almost any form of animal fighting a federal felony. It's also now a federal crime to knowingly possess or train animals for fighting, and the maximum prison time for a single violation of any section of the law goes from three years to five years. It is hard to overstate what a blow this is to dogfighters and cockfighters, and it brings us one step closer to eradicating these criminal industries.

The Associated Press reports that about two-thirds of the law would pay for nutrition programs such as food stamps, which would see increases of around $1 billion a year. About $40 billion is for farm subsidies and almost $30 billion would go to farmers to idle their land and for other environmental programs.

--Alice Short

Photo: Craig Mathews/Associated Press

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