A bill to regulate Alabama’s cat and dog breeders is dead for this legislative session, Angie Ingram, the founder of the Alabama Puppy Mill Project, said last week.
“We will be back next session. Those who voted against the bill did not listen to their constituents,” said Ingram.
Supporters of the bill like Ingram believe that laws are necessary to combat widespread abuses by breeders. Opponents believe that laws like this will punish good animal breeders.
The bill would have created the Alabama Cat and Dog Breeders Commission and would have required breeders to be licensed by the state. The commission would have been responsible for creating guidelines for breeders, performing inspections and setting licensing and inspection fees. Each violation of the regulations would have resulted in a $1,000 fine.
The bill would have enacted guidelines such as one hour of exercise for animals daily in an area that has grass or soil and is at least three times larger than the animal’s kennel or cage. The animals would have to have time between pregnancies, be groomed regularly and be examined by a veterinarian at least once a year. In addition, puppies could not be sold before they are 8 weeks old.
Ingram said she decided to get involved with regulating breeders after participating in a raid on a puppy mill in Clay County in 2014. There were over 150 dogs in horrific and inhuman conditions, she said.
Breeders who were opposed to the bill said that the bill was harmful to good dog breeders. The dog breeders of Marma Farms in Fruithurst, Gail and Dave Gordon, said that they would be negatively affected by the bill.
“We would have been devastated if this bill had passed. This is how we spend our retirement and we would sit and rot if the bill passed,” Dave Gordon said.
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