A ban on dog, cat, rabbit etc. has been implemented in California to prohibit pet stores for retail sale of companion animals. California Governor, Jerry Brown, has signed the law named AB 485, being the first state in US regarding companion animals. The bill ‘AB 485 Pet Rescue and Adoption Act’ got passed unanimously in the California Senate with a 32-0 vote. Similar type of law has also been passed in other cities in US like Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles etc.
According to the new law in California, dogs, cats or rabbits derived from a public animal control agency or ‘society for the prevention of cruelty to animals’ group or rescue group are prohibited. Selling of animals in compliance with castrating them is within the regulation of the law. A pet store operator will face penalty of $500 for violating this law.
The law authorizes a private animal shelter into cooperative agreements with animal rescue groups to include rabbit in their list. However, the law is not applicable to a person from purchasing animals from private breeder.
The law is the recent step against large-scale commercial breeding in US known as ‘puppy mills’. Target of the businessmen in this process was only making money, providing animals in crowded and unsanitary condition with limited medical facilities.
The ‘Humane Society’ supported the bill. They alleged that the businessmen compelled to put animals to death in huge number every year; and also 99% of the puppy sales used to come from irresponsible breeding in puppy mills. However, the pet shops defended the law stating that buyers would face difficulty to find specific breeds as a result of this law.
Public awareness has contributed a lot to the development and implementation of the legislation prohibiting such torture to the innocent animals for vested interest. Lawyers have focused on the inhumane treatment to animals in puppy and kitten mills with overcrowded, unsanitary conditions, inadequate socialization, lack of appropriate veterinary care, lack of food and drinking water etc. Animals bred in such conditions prone to suffer from multitude health and behavioural problems.
Cruelty of these pet stores and puppy mills got focused due to continuous campaigns and public criticism. This law has at least reflected the concept that animals are living being with inherent value rather than only commodities that can be bought and sold.