Supporters of Proposition B claim the state Senate has stripped every core provision from the voter-approved dog breeder law. Legislators disagree as the fight moves to the House.

Rep. Stanley Cox (R-Sedalia) rejects claims by Missourians for the Protection of Dogs that lawmakers are gutting the law. Cox argues they are improving it while upholding the core issue: ending animal abuse.

Cox counters that Prop B is flawed.

“They adopted specific rules that effectively drive every lawful breeder of puppies in this state out of business,” Cox said during a news conference at the Capitol. “Our goal is to allow them to continue (in) business and to uphold the will of the people in regard to making the animals actually safer and less vulnerable to abuse.”

The Humane Society of the United States claims legislative action reverts to weak state law that allowed the emergence of puppy mills. Missourians for the Protection of Dogs claims in a new report that many of the worst puppy mills in the state remain in business six months after being exposed. The group further claims that nine of the 12 dog breeders it tagged as “Missouri’s Dirty Dozen” in October of 201 still have a state or federal license.

Though a House committee has held hearings and work sessions to craft its own bill, HB 131, House Speaker Steven Tilley (R-Perryville) says the House will take up the bill passed by the Senate: SB 113&95.

“The Majority Leader and I have talked about it and I think we’re just going to move the Senate bill,” Tilley told the Capitol Press Corps after the end of the legislative week Thursday. “So, as soon as I get it, we’re going to refer it to a committee and have them start working on it.”

The Senate bill eliminates the limit of 50 breeding dogs, requires four inspections a year of breeders, restricts language to dogs rather than domesticated animals, goes after unlicensed breeders and removes language making violations criminal offenses, leaving dog breeding as a regulated industry.

AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [1:20 MP3]