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Breaking News: San Francisco May Outlaw Pet Sales

Hot off the SF Chronicle's website: Sell a guinea pig, go to jail. That's the law under consideration by San Francisco's Commission of Animal Control...

Dr. Eric Barchas  |  Jul 8th 2010


Hot off the SF Chronicle‘s website:

Sell a guinea pig, go to jail.

That’s the law under consideration by San Francisco’s Commission of Animal Control and Welfare. If the commission approves the ordinance at its meeting tonight, San Francisco could soon have what is believed to be the country’s first ban on the sale of all pets except fish.

That includes dogs, cats, hamsters, mice, rats, chinchillas, guinea pigs, birds, snakes, lizards and nearly every other critter, or, as the commission calls them, companion animals.

Talk about taking progressive to extremes!

For what it’s worth, be aware that most of the animals listed above can be had for free from San Francisco’s public animal shelter. From the article:

On Wednesday, the shelter, which is on 15th Street in the Mission District, had six hamsters, nine rabbits, nine mice, nine rats, two guinea pigs, a bowl of goldfish, two birds, a leopard gecko, a bearded dragon and a hermit crab named Charlie.

And of course, conspiracy theories are coming out of the woodwork:

“This is an anti-pet proposal from people who oppose the keeping of pets,” [Michael Maddox, general counsel for the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council] said. “If their goal is to ban the ownership of pets entirely, then this is a good first step.”

Although San Franciscans generally are a fanatically pet loving group, I wouldn’t be surprised by a fringe element of SF animal rights advocates opposing pet ownership on moral grounds. Nonetheless, I rather doubt that such a conspiracy is behind the measure.

I will provide more information as this interesting story develops.