Some U.S. cities and states have banned the sale of pet shop animals. The Missouri House of Representatives has passed State Rep. Ben Baker’s bill that aims to block such bans.

“This is to address concerns from people in my district that have reputable businesses, whether it is the breeders in this industry or wholesalers in this industry that see these problems happening in other states,” said Baker. “What this is doing is saying, ‘Look, you can still regulate how animals are treated in your city. You can still regulate even pet shops to some degree with local ordinances.’ We’re just saying you can’t regulate them out of business by just passing an ordinance that says, ‘We’re banning the sale of live pets.’”

Baker, R-Neosho, said his bill is a prevention measure.

“Obviously this is a concern of the people that are in this industry, that are abiding by the law and abiding by the regulation that is currently in place both federally with USDA and then also on the state level as well. It is a heavily regulated industry,” said Baker.

On the opposing side, a citizen named Amanda Pick said she’s “appalled” by the overreach of the state legislature. She said municipalities should be able to maintain their own control over business standards.

“Puppy mills and pet stores they support spend too much money and time in Jefferson City,” she said in written testimony on the legislation.

A Senate committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Tuesday on House Bill 995.

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