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Texas VMA takes stand against breeder bill


Legislation targeting breeders is becoming quite common. But state veterinary medical associations usually don't get involved.

Austin, Texas

-- Legislation targeting dog breeders is becoming quite common, as lawmakers fight to limit puppy mills.

The Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA) released a statement opposing a new bill that would limit dog breeding in the state.

House Bill 3180 would license and regulate large-scale commercial breeding facilities, but the TVMA cautions it might "over-regulate" breeders and result in more of the operations the bill targets.

"Through the imposition of significant fees, insurance requirements, and other costly measures, the only breeders left will be those whose primary motivation is financial profit," the TVMA wrote in its statement. "Breeders who truly care about their animals and who spend whatever is necessary to provide the best possible care for their animals, will be unable to afford these additional costs. On the other hand, large commercial breeders whose chief concern is turning a profit will find ways to continue to operate -- at the expense of the animals."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal Welfare Act already regulates commercial breeders, according to the TVMA, as well as other state laws already in place addressing the standards of care and treatment expected from both pet owners and breeders. The TVMA argues that enforcement of existing laws would result in puppy and kitten mills shutting down without having to add more restrictions for responsible breeders.

The Texas Human Legislation Network, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and other animal welfare groups all support the bill.

House Bill 3180 was introduced March 10 and was referred to the House Criminal Justice Committee May 13.

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