USDA Faulted for Not Cracking Down on Violators
We talk a lot about puppy mills and how to close them down. it doesn't help when the US government is aiding and abetting them by wagging nursemaid fingers at them instead of cutting them off at the knees (figuratively and financially speaking). Thanks Morgan for barking in about this article and this issue!
Hi, Joy -
The Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation does a lot of rescue, and has a lot of dialog - with a strong focus on shutting down (ie via letter writing campaigns to politicians) or at least rescuing dogs from puppy mills. The Rescue volunteers spend a lot of time at mill auctions.
These auctions are under USDA juristiction: there is supposed to be an agent to oversee each auction and make sure sick, injured or mistreated animals are not being sold. This simply doesn't happen, with USDA agents ignoring horribly disfigured, ill and feces-coated animals - several dogs died AT the last auction for lack of water and protection from heat. I don't know that I want all the above text posted, but the link below is to a good and importance news article that may help raise awareness about the horrible job our government is doing in terms of protecting animals and enforcing the animal welfare
act. It would be great to bring this problem to the attention of motivated Dogsters!
Thanks for your time!
Morgan, everything you wrote needed to be printed so I did include the entire bark. Thanks for barking in and raising this issue for Dogsters. The Kerry Blue site is really a good one, too. Easy to get around on and lots of information!
Here is the beginning of the Detroit Free Press article Morgan mentioned. Its an excellent job of journalism but be warned, it is a little graphic!
Agency faulted for not cracking down on violators
BY STEVE NEAVLING
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
Dogs peered out of filthy, overcrowded cages, their fur matted and covered in feces. Not far away, flies flitted around two dead Pomeranians. Pups shuttered in a dark pen.
Animal welfare activists say those conditions prompted them to press the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2001 to shut down a dog-breeding facility in southwestern Minnesota operated by Reuben Wee.
But for four years, they say, deplorable conditions persisted and dogs died before local authorities -- and not the USDA -- intervened and charged Wee with animal cruelty. Wee was convicted in September 2005 before being sentenced to 30 days of house arrest and barred from breeding dogs, according to Paul Malone, a Murray County attorney who prosecuted Wee.
The USDA's inaction predictably drew fire from animal welfare activists. But it also highlighted complaints from within the USDA's ranks that the agency is simply not enforcing the Animal Welfare Act, which bans the inhumane treatment of animals held in breeding and research facilities.