Proposed bill tackles puppy mills

Re: Animal sales in pet stores drive need for puppy mills, Letters, May 3.

To the Editor,

Re: Animal sales in pet stores drive need for puppy mills, Letters, May 3.

This letter contained comments on my bill, Standards of Care for Breeders of Companion Animals.

It claimed that pet stores are major markets for puppy mills, and that support for the bill from the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada confirms that puppy mill production will continue as long as pet stores continue to accept and sell puppies from puppy mills.

In fact, support from PIJAC means they can encourage their members, including pet store owners, not to accept puppies from puppy mills.

Many pet store owners and municipalities have already made the decision not to sell puppies in pet stores. This has not decreased puppy mill production, as the letter indicated would happen. A significant number of puppies from puppy mills continue to be sold online or in newspaper classifieds.

This bill will stop unscrupulous breeders by requiring specific standards of care for breeders of three or more dogs or cats.

I agree with the letter’s assertion that the public needs to be educated about where their pets come from. That is exactly why I am introducing this bill.

I want to help educate prospective pet owners about responsible breeding practices, and encourage them to consider where their pet comes from.

The letter also recommended that I consult the Canadian Kennel Club and municipalities where the sale of pets in stores is banned to better inform my bill.

I want to assure the writer that all stakeholders (including the Canadian Kennel Club, Canadian Veterinarian Medical Association, and various jurisdictions) were, and continue to be, consulted throughout the preparation and evolution of this bill.

I respect the writer’s interest in animal welfare and am grateful for the feedback; it is clear that we are both very concerned with curbing puppy mills. I hope I have clarified any concerns about my bill, and I encourage anyone with further questions to contact me at Jane.Thornthwaite.MLA@leg.bc.ca.

Jane Thornthwaite

North Vancouver-Seymour MLA