An agreement has been reached between agriculture groups and animal-welfare organizations on new regulations for dog breeders in Missouri. But, the announcement from the Nixon Administration comes after the legislature approved revisions to Proposition B.
Voters in November split along rural and urban lines to narrowly approve Proposition B, an attempt to run puppy mills out of Missouri. Rural lawmakers immediately cried foul, worried the measure really targetted livestock production and worked to revise the measure. The end result: SB 113 has been sent to the governor.
Now comes word from the State Agriculture Department and the governor’s office that an agreement on the controversial issue has been reached.
Rep. Tom Loehner, a Republican from Koeltztown, is willing to go with the compromise if dog abuse is addressed without ending the industry.
“Like I said from the beginning, nobody wants to see dogs mistreated, mishandled or anything like that, but to lump all the breeders together, the ones that are doing a good job and the ones who aren’t, is not fair,” Loehner tells the Missourinet. “And I still believe most of our problems lie in our unlicensed facilities.”
Loehner was the House sponsor of the dog breeder initiative revisions. He still would like Governor Nixon to sign SB 113.
“I do not know exactly where 113 is going to stay,” Loehner says. “For now, it’s going to be sent to the governor, it’s going to be on his desk and he can do whatever he wants to do with it. I have not heard from him, either way, what he wants to do with it.”
What the governor will do with SB 113 remains a mystery. Nixon hasn’t said much about the bill; has only stated he will review it and decide what to do. A spokesman for the governor says no decision has been made on whether Nixon will sign or veto the bill. The spokesman did say the agreement “transcends” SB 113.
State Agriculture Director Jon Hagler isn’t worried about the timing of the agreement.
“Whether it came before the legislative process or after the legislative process,” Hagler says in an interview with the Missourinet. “There’s plenty of time to take this solution and to run with it.”
Hagler says he’ll work with legislators to get the agreement on the governor’s desk.
Letter of Agreement document
Legislative Text document