FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Internet Pet Sellers: Humane Groups Cave In

by LEE HALL

The newest victory for the Humane Society of the United States—isn’t.

Here’s an excerpt from an e-mail distributed this month from HSUS president & CEO Wayne Pacelle,  announcing it.

Dear Friend,

I have a huge victory to share with you! After years of pressure from The HSUS, and hundreds of thousands of emails and support from advocates like you, online puppy mills will finally be subject to federal inspections and oversight. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced plans today to ensure that large-scale breeding facilities that sell puppies over the Internet, by phone, or by mail are licensed and inspected regularly for basic humane care standards. This rule will also apply to large commercial breeders of other warm-blooded pets, such as kittens and small mammals.

We are so grateful for the actions of our advocates. When we stand together, we can make a tremendous difference for animals on a national level. 

This is what the codification of online mass pet retailing looks like. Pacelle called it “a long-held aspiration for The HSUS, the Humane Society Legislative Fund, and the Doris Day Animal League”–groups that prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s inspector general to review enforcement of the rules governing dog breeding and uncover “this glaring gap in the law that allowed Internet sellers to evade any federal oversight whatever.”

Pacelle thanked the Obama administration, the “strong bipartisan support in Congress for closing the ‘Internet loophole’ in the Animal Welfare Act regulations,” and the USDA, which will assign people to license (yes) and inspect the animal vendors.

The very same USDA, as Sunil Sharma observes, “whose ‘inspectors’ regularly visit factory farms and report nothing wrong.”

Local groups are constantly subject to the hydraulic pull of such perverse national campaigns. Last July, the Toledo Area Humane Society joined in, endorsing the proposed redefinition of “retail pet store” so that high-volume dog dealers and online puppy sellers are licensed under the Animal Welfare Act. Pacelle gathered support for the codification project with one of the most tired old chants: “Puppy mills aren’t going away overnight…”Of course they aren’t, if the world’s most influential humane-treatment group makes a campaign out of codifying them.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals weighed in as well—“optimistic the rule change will strike a balance by excluding hobby breeders and targeting inhumane breeding facilities.”  In reality, the Animal Welfare Act has long shielded animal dealers, exhibitors, and experimenters by barring the public from charging them with cruelty under state laws or otherwise challenging them.

A new regulation can spawn countless investigation and policing needs. And so it goes: the exploitation of animals, continually hardened into the system of administrative law and custom, accompanied by still more jobs in the humane-treatment sector–an industry upon an industry; administration upon administration.

Instead of going along with this and telling the federal government we “support stronger oversight of Internet puppy mills” we should be appalled that they haven’t chased online pet vendors out of our sight, and that animal advocates haven’t demanded that.

Lee Hall is a candidate for Vermont Law School’s LL.M. in environmental law (2014). Previously, Lee taught animal law and immigration law, and worked for more than a decade in environmental and animal advocacy. Follow Lee on Twitter:  @Animal_Law

Lee Hall, J.D., LL.M., is a hard-working adjunct professor with teaching experience at both private and public universities, who also works hard at a retail job for basic sustenance and health insurance.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

December 08, 2016
John W. Whitehead
Power to the People: John Lennon’s Legacy Lives On
Mike Whitney
Rolling Back the Empire: Washington’s Proxy-Army Faces Decisive Defeat in Aleppo
Ellen Brown
“We’ll Look at Everything:” More Thoughts on Trump’s $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan
John Stauber
The Rise and Fall of Obamacare: Will the Inside Story Ever be Told?
Ted Rall
Ameri-Splaining
Michael J. Sainato
Mainstream Media Continues Absolving Itself From Clinton, Trump Election Failures
Ralph Nader – Mark Green
Divest or Face Impeachment: an Open Letter to Donald Trump
Gareth Porter
US Airstrikes on Syrian Troops: Report Data Undermine Claim of “Mistake”
Martha Burke
What Trumponomics Means for Women
Ramzy Baroud
Fatah, Hold Your Applause: Palestinian Body Politic Rotten to the Core
Steve Horn
Jeff Sessions, Trump’s Attorney General Pick, Introduced First Bill Exempting Fracking from Drinking Water Rules
Joe Ware
The Big Shift: Why Banks Need to Stop Investing Our Money Into Fossil Fuels
Juliana Barnet
On the Ground at Standing Rock
Franklin Lamb
Aleppo Update: An Inspiring Return to the Bombed Out National Museum
Steve Kelly
Hidden Harmony: on the Perfection of Forests
December 07, 2016
Michael Schwalbe
What We Talk About When We Talk About Class
Karl Grossman
The Next Frontier: Trump and Space Weapons
Kenneth Surin
On Being Caught Speeding in Rural America
Chris Floyd
In Like Flynn: Blowback for Filth-Peddling Fascists
Serge Halimi
Trump, the Know-Nothing Victor
Paul DeRienzo
Flynn Flam: Neocon Ex-General to Be Trump’s National Security Advisor
Binoy Kampmark
Troubled Waters: Trump, Taiwan and Beijing
Tom Clifford
Trump and China: a Note From Beijing
Arnold August
Fidel’s Legacy to the World on Theory and Practice
Dave Lindorff
Is Trump’s Idea To Fix a ‘Rigged System’ by Appointing Crooks Who’ve Played It?
John Kirk
Cuba After Fidel
Jess Guh
Repeal of Affordable Care Act is Politics Playing with the Wellbeing of Americans
Eric Sommer
Team Trump: a Government of Generals and Billionaires
Lawrence Davidson
U.S. Reactions to the Death of Fidel Castro
John Garvey - Noel Ignatiev
Abolitionism: a Study Guide
Clancy Sigal
Caution: Conspiracy Theory Ahead!
December 06, 2016
Anthony DiMaggio
Post-Fact Politics: Reviewing the History of Fake News and Propaganda
Richard Moser
Standing Rock: Challenge to the Establishment, School for the Social Movements
Behrooz Ghamari Tabrizi
Warmongering 99 – Common Sense 0: the Senate’s Unanimous Renewal of Iran Sanctions Act
Norman Solomon
Media Complicity is Key to Blacklisting Websites
Michael J. Sainato
Elizabeth Warren’s Shameful Exploitation of Standing Rock Victory
David Rosen
State Power and Terror: From Wounded Knee to Standing Rock
Kim Ives
Deconstructing Another Right-Wing Victory in Haiti
Nile Bowie
South Korea’s Presidency On A Knife-Edge
Mateo Pimentel
Some Notes and a Song for Standing Rock
CJ Hopkins
Manufacturing Normality
Bill Fletcher Jr – Bob Wing
Fighting Back Against the White Revolt of 2016
Peter Lee
Is America Ready for a War on White Privilege?
Pepe Escobar
The Rules of the (Trump) Game
W. T. Whitney
No Peace Yet in Colombia Despite War’s End
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail