Currently APHIS an agency of the USDA has put in place a new ruling to the Animal Welfare Act to further regulate small businesses, in particular, American pet breeders. This ruling was written under the auspices of protecting animals- sounds good so far, right? –We’ve all seen the commercial that tugs at your heartstrings, of animals that need our help. None of us has been untouched by the music and the faces of those that need someone to look out for animals who cannot speak for themselves. (Do you realize that of all the money sent to H$U$, only 1% goes to help animals! …and that’s not in any of their commercials)
So Why Does This New Ruling Specifically Target REPUTABLE HOBBY BREEDERS And Not Animal Abusers?
This ruling forces reputable hobby breeders to “bring their facilities up to AWA standards.” Those requirements make sense for larger commercial operations or laboratories, but not for the hobby breeder. The requirements are costly and so restrictive that almost no hobby breeder would be able to comply.
AWA standards require that animals are raised in a sterile commercial-style facility. These rules are designed for laboratories, commercial and large scale operations–not for a family, small rescue, or hobby breeder. Breeders CANNOT raise animals within their home in a family environment and meet USDA licensing requirements. Per the AWA guidelines, all surfaces in contact with animals must be impermeable and able to be sterilized—that means no carpeting, unsealed wood, pet bedding, sofas or beds in the area where animals are raised.
Socializing puppies or kittens by reputable hobby breeders is successfully done with maximum exposure to the activities of typical home life, including interacting with family, guests and other pets. The home environment also insures that pets are exposed to noises from household appliances. All of this helps the well-socialized pet transition easily in to a new home.
Breeders who are not following the AWA guidelines will be in violation of the USDA requirements (some of their other cited violations include not having all of your animals properly identified per the USDA’s regulations with a collar or tattoo that meets their regulations, or simply by not being available when the inspector showed up unannounced for a “surprise inspection” – and “Sorry Sir, I was at work or we had a death in the family” are not good enough excuses — read the documented violations on the USDA website for yourself) NOW, WHAT DO THESE REGULATIONS HAVE TO DO WITH PROTECTING ANIMALS and ENSURING THE WELFARE OF ANIMALS?
Reputable hobby breeders have prided themselves, not on how many collars their cats or dogs wear or where their animal’s tattoos are displayed, or on how shiny their stainless steel cages are, but rather on the quality, temperament, health, care, and socialization given to every one of the pets they breed and raise. These puppies and kittens are loved by those reputable hobby breeders before they ever go to a new owner. They know what a bed is, what a house is and what love is! Not what its tag number is or what a stainless steel cage looks and feels like! Reputable hobby breeders are policed by peers, through registries and welfare organizations. They hold true to strict accountability requirements set in place to maintain the highest standards.
bunnies, chinchillas, ferrets, mice, rats, horses, along with cats and dogs! So make sure those bunnies and guinea pigs are tattooed! And, how do you put a collar on a mouse? Now that sounds a bit like cruelty!
Additionally, the USDA is recruiting contractors to develop a “spy system” to find all breeders that do not comply – a program that will “Mine Data.” To quote the USDA’s request for qualified contractors, it “has a new requirement for Internet Data Mining Services to gather information from a variety of Internet sites in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and Horse Protection Act (HPA), for the enforcement of basic standards of care and treatment of regulated animals for commercial sale, used in research and transported commercially, or exhibited to the public in the United States.”
Attorney, Frank Losey, writes “Combine this with the largest spy facility in the country, reportedly five times larger than the US Capitol Building, currently under construction near Bluffdale, Utah. Upon completion, according to Wired Magazine, the entire contents of all forms of communication, including your private emails, cell phone calls, internet searches, and other personal data trails (parking receipts, travel plans, bookstore purchases and all other digital “pocket litter” transactions) will be monitored by the National Security Agency (NSA). Wired Magazine reports that this “heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013,” making the NSA the largest, most covert and intrusive intelligence agency in history. Aren’t you feeling just real cozy about now?”
The specs of the USDA contract are to mine information specifically on those that are unlicensed or registered in the following activities:
2) Sales of wild and exotic animals
3) Animals exhibited to the public for compensation
4) Animals used for research, teaching, testing, and experimentation
5) Commercial transportation of animals
6) Horse shows, sales, exhibitions, and auctions (such as Tennessee Walking Horses)
7) Animal auctions
“During the initial 6 months period of this contract, the vendor shall monitor two of the predetermined modules above, Sales of animals used as pets; and Horse shows, sales, exhibitions and auctions. After evaluation of the services provided, subsequent modules may be added contingent upon the success of the pilot project, not to exceed the modules listed above. For each module, the contractor shall work with Animal Care personnel to identify the search parameters needed to accomplish each of the modules above.”
This contracted system will recognize and find:
• Global Domain Registrations
• World Wide Web
• Social Networking Web Sites
• Web logs (Blogs)
• IRC/Chat conversations
• Message Boards
• Public email groups and discussion forums
• Usenet Data
• Auctions – eBay.com and Yahoo.com Auctions
“The Contractor shall provide initial format to include all site information, site owner’s name, site owner’s address, IP address, seller’s name, seller’s addresses, and other information as deemed appropriate such as buyer’s name and buyer’s addresses.”
Frank Losey further comments that “Sarah Conant, formerly with the H$U$ who is now the Chief Officer for Compliance for the USDA/APHIS is the primary orchestrator here. Your tax dollars are paying for this, under the guise of looking for ‘animal abusers.’ How many ‘I am tired of abusing this animal/I know it was banned years ago, but I still sore my horse, so come and buy this animal’ ads are out on the internet? Do they really believe that an internet ad or chat forum provides proof of abuse?
The request for contractor was issued ‘on or about June 29, 2011,’ so who knows, it may already be up and running. Would this be a test for the new spy center in Utah? Or is this a case of technology abuse, and a ‘create a situational need, then lobby for it?’”
Frank makes some very interesting points for Americans to consider!
Now considering the USDA/APHIS parameters and requirements, really, is this about finding animal abusers? Is this really about the welfare of animals? Look at who is being targeted and then look at the word “sales.” It’s not about animal welfare, but rather about garnering money from the small business owner to gain more control. Is this really America or an American principle? On a further note … these are people (USDA/APHIS) that we did not vote into office! This is a ruling set in place that no one, not one of us got to vote on! This new ruling forces the reputable hobby breeder to operate under the same guidelines set forth for commercial operations and further creates problems that will HINDER the welfare of animals by making unrealistic demands in regards to housing and care. Additionally, pet buyers will no longer be able to purchase their pets from out-of-area breeders, unless they are willing to fly to those locations and or pay the breeder to transport. The ramifications that these rulings will have on the cat and dog fancy are huge, with decreasing the ability for serious breeders, who are dedicated to the breed, to maintain adequate breeding diversity to making it extremely difficult for pet buyers to purchase a well-bred animal from a reputable breeder.
As the consequences of such actions continue to trickle down, it is the “average Joe” who suffers due to the difficulty associated with finding a “local” breeder and now also having to bear the unnecessary costs imposed on hobby breeders that will inevitably have to be passed on the consumer. The economy of America is already in trouble and to take “jobs” away from the “average Joe” is unconscionable as hobby breeders are forced to give up what they love or become a commercial operation. To force the pet buyer to choose their pet from a commercial facility is equally unconscionable!
CONTACT YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE AND LET THEM KNOW THAT YOU OPPOSE THIS ABUSE OF POWER Following this link will take you to a page where all you have to do is put in your zip code and your representative is easily identified and a form letter is available to send with the click of a button (although please personalize the letter).
This isn’t about Animal Welfare- You can help fight this ruling by voicing your opposition! Go to: http://the-cavalry-group.rallycongress.com/6980/urge-congress-take-action-to-support-cavalry-group-mission/ and send a quick letter to your state representative. Please do it now! Your next puppy, kitten, pony, gerbil … is counting on you… it doesn’t want to live in a sterile cage.
What can you do to stop this? Write a letter to your state representative! Do it NOW-Go to: http://the-cavalry-group.rallycongress.com/6980/urge-congress-take-action-to-support-cavalry-group-mission/
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