US State Becomes The First To Require Pet Stores To Only Sell Rescue Animals
California has become the first US state to force pet stores to only sell rescue animals.
Governor Jerry Brown signed the legislation into law on Friday, meaning that by 2019 all dogs, cats, and rabbits sold in pet stores must come from animal shelters or non-profit rescue organisations.
The rules mean that any pet store owner who does not comply will be hit with a $500 fine for each animal in violation of the law, which you can imagine could tally up pretty quickly.
"This is a big win for our four-legged friends, of course," Assembly member O'Donnell said. "But also for California taxpayers who spend more than $250 million annually to house and euthanize animals in our shelters. I am very grateful for the strong support we received from animal-lovers across the state and from Social Compassion in Legislation, the bill's sponsor."
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It makes California the first state in the country to enact a policy of its kind and it is believed it will dramatically reduce the trafficking of mill-bred animals into California pet stores.
"We are overjoyed that Governor Brown signed this historic piece of legislation into law," said Judie Mancuso, president and founder of Social Compassion in Legislation.
"By banning the sale of high volume, mill-bred animals, California took a bold step forward. It would not have been possible without the leadership and commitment of Assembly member O'Donnell, his staff, and the broad support from the entire animal welfare community."
People took to social media to express their support for the legislation:
Awesome step! Way to go California! https://t.co/dfBu1lHkjr
- Samantha Roberts (@SamanthaDear8) October 14, 2017
Love, love, love my state!!!! #AB485 #CA #California https://t.co/tXvZEU3JT3
- :flag_us:Roni:anchor: (@paleblueeyes24) October 14, 2017
HUGE thank u @JerryBrownGov & everyone involved w/ #AB485 requiring pet stores to "sell" only rescue animals :pray::dog::feet: :heart:#doglover #AdoptDontShop https://t.co/gQ0KX5WTSn
- Nellie (@NellieinLA) October 14, 2017
However, the bill has faced criticism from the American Kennel Club and California Retailers Association.
"AB 485 blocks all of California's pet lovers from having access to professional, licensed, and ethical commercial breeders," Sheila Goffe, vice president of government relations for the American Kennel Club, told the LA Times.
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