Several weeks ago I announced the good news that Missouri voters approved Proposition B, requiring that large-scale commercial dog breeders provide in a year’s time sufficient space for dogs, an annual veterinary examination, humane methods of euthanasia, and a limit on the number of reproductively intact animals used for breeding, among a limited number of other humane care standards for dogs. In the few weeks since Prop B was passed by voters, a handful of Missouri lawmakers have stated they will file legislation to gut the language of the measure. One of those legislators, Sen. Bill Stouffer, R-21, actually introduced a bill to completely repeal Prop B and leave Missouri’s dogs in the same horrendous conditions they’ve suffered for years now.
The HSUS and our coalition partners are busy reminding lawmakers that they should respect the will of the one million Missouri voters who favored Prop B. Newspapers across Missouri are already speaking out and telling lawmakers that it is not right for them to subvert the will of the voters, and it is anti-democratic. Our system is built on majority rule, and a majority of Missouri citizens—including majorities in most House and Senate legislative districts—favored Prop B. The voters acted precisely because the legislature has failed to stop puppy mill abuses. Dane Waters had an op-ed about this issue in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Right after the election I noted that, in campaigning against the measure, the Missouri Farm Bureau leveled an array of false charges against Prop B and also against The HSUS. I wrote an open letter to address these charges and to set the record straight. We received a number of powerful comments in response, and I want to share them with you.