Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Humane treatment in pet businesses

Published (2/22/2008)
By Craig Green
Share on: 

Puppies and kittens: they’re cute and cuddly; they’re also part of a growing business.

Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL-Mpls) told the House Public Safety and Civil Justice Committee that Minnesota is one of the top states for mass-produced dogs and cats. The animals often live in overcrowded wire cages stacked on top of one another, where waste can go from one cage to the cage below.

HF2469, known as the Dog and Cat Breeders Act, would provide state licensing and inspection procedures, additional standards of care, and administrative and criminal penalties for dog and cat breeders.

Sponsored by Hornstein, the bill was approved by the committee Feb. 19 and is headed to the House Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs Committee.

Hornstein said disease and parasites are common among pets purchased from cat and dog breeders, and the problems are sometimes passed onto their new owners.

“This is not only a question of humane treatment of animals; it’s also a consumer protection bill,” he said.

Keith Streff, director of humane investigations with the Animal Humane Society, said current federal regulations are inadequate, and there are no state laws for dog and cat breeding. In his 23 years in the industry, Streff said, he has never seen or participated in a federal intervention dealing with breeding, no matter how abhorrent the conditions.

Although she has seen the conditions of some of the breeding facilities, and hopes for the day when the current situation ends, Linda Wolf does not support the bill. Wolf, a veterinarian for more than 20 years, said that the bill too specifically targets the smaller breeders and excludes the largest wholesale breeders from the restrictions.

Robert Weise, president of the Minnesota Pet Breeders Association, said there are already laws on the books to protect the animals and that additional regulation won’t protect the dogs.

The Senate companion, SF2292, sponsored by Sen. Don Betzold (DFL-Fridley), awaits action by the Senate Agriculture and Veterans Committee.

Session Weekly More...

Session Weekly Home

Related Stories

At Issue: Offering a way out
Omnibus public safety policy bill aims to help future workers
(view full story) Published 5/9/2008

Minnesota Index
Figures and statistics on crime and punishment in Minnesota
(view full story) Published 3/28/2008

At Issue: Preparing for the worst
Emergency responders push for new training centers
(view full story) Published 3/14/2008