Don't be shocked. Get involved. Stuff like this is everywhere. The animal-rights people have been largely successful in taking on a mainstream image and presenting themselves as the nation's authorities on animal care and welfare. Their PAC gives money to hundreds of legislators, who are proud to be labeled "pet-friendly." In the interest of dealing with "pet overpopulation," "puppy mills," and various other perceived problems, they craft legislation whose real intent is to halt the breeding of dogs altogether. Frequently they target the best breeders, presumably so later the only "purebreds" will be from commercial breeders and they can claim nothing distinguishes them from mutts.
Far worse proposals than this are on the way in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Albuquerque, NM has a lengthy new law defining many standard pet-care practices as "animal cruelty" and giving the government broad authority to impound and sterilize your animals. Louisville, KY has adopted an ordinance of nearly 100 pages containing many intrusive, stupid requirements.
Last year we barely defeated Senate bill 1139, the Pet Animal Welfare Statute, whose ultimate goal was to have all dog and cat breeders regulated and inspected by the USDA. Don't think that because your care standards are high, you'd survive inspection. You'd have to build a very expensive, engineered building for your dogs--a building which would violate zoning ordinances for most of us. "Dogs used for hunting" were singled out for additional restrictions. While sponsor Rick Santorum of PA was resoundingly voted out of office, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin has announced his intention to bring PAWS back in the current Congress.
For those who don't know, AKC supported this horrible legislation.
If this disturbs you, and I hope it does, please get involved. It is not hard to find out who your representatives are, or to send them a letter, FAX, or email letting them know that proposed legislation affects you, that it does not have the "animal-friendly" effect they think it does, and that you vigorously oppose it.
SAOVA is actively fighting anti-pet, anti-hunting legislation and would welcome your interest and support. Visit us at http://www.saova.org . Our "news and updates" page includes writeups on some of the statewide and local ordinances and proposals.
Amy is right...these types of laws/ordinances have been attempted everywhere. The Austin, Tx opposition group has been successful, so far, in their fight to block similiar ordinances only because a small group of breeders have continued to show up for every meeting regarding the issue.
"Head in the sand" attitudes by dog owners who think it just happens elsewhere only gives the opposition power and success. The ripple effect will continue to affect everyone.
I've heard there is current research indicating that castrated males may be more likely to bite--but the "spay-neuter everything" people have been pushing the idea for years that sterilization reduces aggression.
Nancy, good for you being involved. Yes, a few people can make a difference if they figure out what they're doing and are consistent. It's scary being involved with this stuff, but empowering, too--I used to feel my vote didn't count, but now I know my voice does.
I wish that I had been successful in opposing Round Rock's ordinances. They essentially put your dog behind a fence at all times or on a 6' lead at all times (no training allowed anywhere since public access must be protected by a fence), and give complete access to your property for animal control. No special rules for other control devices such as for e collars.
Unfortunately, it was not so and we are moving soon to another county.
My friends in Austin face mandatory spay and neuter, limited animals, $500.00 breeders fee per animal unneutered, registration of all litters, and other limiting ideas.
Unfortunately, the city can't figure out that if they would prohibit selling puppies on the roadside and in shopping mall parking lots, they would make progress in limiting the market for puppy mills and across the fence breeders (notice I coined a new phrase instead of backyard breeder). This would be more effective than penalizing folks who should be on their side...AKC organizations, their membership and reputable breeders.
Just because one legislator decided to attempt to pass this doesn't mean squat.
In my experience there are a number of extreme bills that are brought up each year in Indiana...for instance requiring a "carry permit" for all long guns...banning hunting within 1000 feet of any inhabited dwelling, etc.
This won't go anywhere, but I'll contact my legislators, anyway.