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Puppy Mill Ban in Wisconsin has Unintended Consequences

I thought my own tweets were boring, but this takes the cake: cows in Canada have been fitted with ID chips. Computers attached to milking...

Dr. Eric Barchas  |  Apr 4th 2010


I thought my own tweets were boring, but this takes the cake: cows in Canada have been fitted with ID chips. Computers attached to milking equipment automatically send updates on each cow’s milk production to Twitter for everyone not to read. We can take comfort in two things. First, the project is designed partly to poke fun at Twitter. Second, nobody is required to read the cows’ tweets. In fact, nobody is required to read anyone’s tweets — and nobody does. I am left wondering, however, whether the project will turn the cows into narcissists.

I doubt many readers of this blog are puppy or kitten mill fans. Laws protecting the welfare of dogs and cats used for breeding undoubtedly are good things. Sadly, some long-suffering animals used in puppy mills are suffering even more in advance of a law that will take effect soon in Wisconsin. From the Wausau Daily Herald:

A Marathon animal shelter has been inundated in the last several months with dogs abandoned by unscrupulous breeders who are dumping their stock before a strict state law takes effect.

The large-scale commercial breeders are going out of business or breeding fewer dogs in advance of new regulations signed into law in December by Gov. Jim Doyle. The law requires dog breeders who sell more than 25 animals a year to obtain state licenses. The measure also increases care standards for animals, including requirements that breeders provide dogs with enough food, shelter and exercise.

Scrupulous breeders, of course, will not be affected by the law.

Didn’t I see a Guy Ritchie movie about this? A dog in Maryland swallowed a $20,000 diamond. Fortunately it didn’t lead to an intestinal obstruction.

I was intrigued to find out that the state of Georgia was considering microchip legislation. Such a move sounded controversial–or at least it did until I learned more about the bill. It requires shelters to scan for, not implant, microchips. If enacted, animals in Georgia will no longer be euthanized at shelters without first being scanned for microchips. The bill passed the Georgia state house of representatives by a margin of 150-0. I wonder how it will fare in the senate.

Irresponsible pet owners are, forgive me for saying it, a pet peeve of mine. They give the rest of us a bad name. A recent article on MSNBC.com discussed the havoc that ensues when people abuse pet-friendly hotel policies.

I am used to daily articles bemoaning the shortage of food animal vets in rural America, but this one caught me by surprise. The Somerset County (Pennsylvania) Daily American reports that there is no shortage of food animal vets in the region. I guess there’s a first time for everything.

Hat tip to the AVMA Animal Health SmartBrief, which helped immensely in locating these stories.

Photo: it’s as good as any other tweet out there. Not that anyone reads those things. By David Monniaux.