MO Statehouse
6:45 pm
Tue January 25, 2011

Hearings on bills to repeal Proposition B begin in Mo. House

A series of public hearings began today for legislation that would repeal, amend, and place exemptions on Proposition B.

Missouri voters narrowly approved the measure in November.

It limits breeders to 50 breeding dogs per operation, requires adequate living space, food, water and rest, and creates the crime of puppy mill cruelty for any violations.

Karen Strange with the group Missouri Federation of Animal Owners told the House Agriculture Policy Committee that Proposition B needs to be repealed.

"It's our understanding, according to (talks) with various (people) in the agriculture industry (and) in our Department (of Agriculture), that no licensed breeder in the state of Missouri could comply with these regulations," Strange said.  "And it's our belief that this was done on purpose."

Strange also testified that her group has, "very grave concerns that (Proposition B) is the first attempt by the Humane Society of the United States to change the face of agriculture as we know it."

Tim Rickey is a Missouri resident and Senior Director of the Field Investigation and Response Department of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).  He testified against repealing or making changes to Proposition B.

"During my 20-plus-year career, I have seen firsthand the horrendous conditions (at) many of the breeding facilities across our state," Rickey said.  "That's not to say that all breeding facilities have horrendous conditions, but the reality is many of them do."

Rickey also told the committee, which took no action today, that the will of the voters should be honored.

A Missouri Senate committee will hold similar hearings tomorrow.