Saturday 13 January 2024

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania has passed a law banning the retail sale of commercially bred cats

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA, has passed a law (ordinance) which bans the retail sale of commercially bred dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores. People should understand that pet stores generally acquire animals from Commercial Reading Enterprises (CBEs). A more common term for these businesses is "puppy mills" or "kitten mills". A description which signifies that the animals are churned out with little regard for their health and for ethical breeding standards.

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania has passed a law banning the retail sale of commercially bred cats
Image courtesy Nathan Winograd's newsletter.

Nathan Winograd writes that, "CBEs engage in systematic neglect and abuse of animals, leaving severe emotional and physical scars on the victims. One in four breeding dogs have significant health problems, are more likely to suffer from aggression, and are psychologically and emotionally shut down, compulsively staring at nothing."

He paints a horror story and thankfully under the new law pet shops can partner with rescue organisations if they want to stock animals for sale/adoption.

The law that is mentioned is one which is becoming increasingly commonplace across America in an acceptance that it is unethical to allow pet shops to purchase dogs from abusive breeders when there are many unwanted companion animals at shelters nearby.

This law will help to encourage people to adopt and rescue animals rather than purchase them, to educate the community about dog and cat puppy mills and kitten mills and thirdly to stop the abuse of these animals.

I'm told that the number of CBEs has declined by 30% across America. In Nebraska, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture's records show that 50% of the state's commercial dog and cat breeders have left the business.

Bethlehem City Council unanimously passed the new ordinance last Tuesday. News media reports that there are no current pet sellers affected by the law but it will stop future businesses doing deals with puppy mills and kitten mills. And of course it sends a very strong message to the community.

The ordinance states: "A significant number of dogs and cats sold at pet stores come from large-scale, commercial breeding facilities where the health and welfare of the animals are not adequately provided for.”

A council member, Grace Smith, said: "I know our furry friends in Bethlehem and throughout the communities, as well as their families, are very grateful."

The penalty for a pet store from selling or offering to sell a cat, dog or rabbit will be a $500 dollar fine for every animal offered in violation of the new ordinance.

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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