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:
July 26, 2016
Andrew Levine
Pillory Hillary Now
Kshama Sawant
A Call to Action: Walk Out from the Democratic National Convention!
Russell Mokhiber
The Rabble Rise Together Against Bernie, Barney, Elizabeth and Hillary
Jeffrey St. Clair
Don’t Cry For Me, DNC: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Angie Beeman
Why Doesn’t Middle America Trust Hillary? She Thinks She’s Better Than Us and We Know It
Paul Street
An Update on the Hate…
Fran Shor
Beyond Trump vs Clinton
Ellen Brown
Japan’s “Helicopter Money” Play: Road to Hyperinflation or Cure for Debt Deflation?
Richard W. Behan
The Banana Republic of America: Democracy Be Damned
Binoy Kampmark
Undermining Bernie Sanders: the DNC Campaign, WikiLeaks and Russia
Arun Gupta
Trickledown Revenge: the Racial Politics of Donald Trump
Sen. Bernard Sanders
What This Election is About: Speech to DNC Convention
David Swanson
DNC Now Less Popular Than Atheism
Linn Washington Jr.
‘Clintonville’ Reflects True Horror of Poverty in US
Deepak Tripathi
Britain in the Doldrums After the Brexit Vote
Louisa Willcox
Grizzly Threats: Arbitrary Lines on Political Maps
Robert J. Gould
Proactive Philanthropy: Don’t Wait, Reach Out!
Victor Grossman
Horror and Sorrow in Germany
Nyla Ali Khan
Regionalism, Ethnicity, and Trifurcation: All in the Name of National Integration
Andrew Feinberg
The Good TPP
400 US Academics
Letter to US Government Officials Concerning Recent Events in Turkey
July 25, 2016
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
As the Election Turns: Trump the Anti-Neocon, Hillary the New Darling of the Neocons
Ted Rall
Hillary’s Strategy: Snub Liberal Democrats, Move Right to Nab Anti-Trump Republicans
William K. Black
Doubling Down on Wall Street: Hillary and Tim Kaine
Russell Mokhiber
Bernie Delegates Take on Bernie Sanders
Quincy Saul
Resurgent Mexico
Andy Thayer
Letter to a Bernie Activist
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan is Strengthened by the Failed Coup, But Turkey is the Loser
Robert Fisk
The Hypocrisies of Terror Talk
Lee Hall
Purloined Platitudes and Bipartisan Bunk: An Adjunct’s View
Binoy Kampmark
The Futility of Collective Punishment: Russia, Doping and WADA
Nozomi Hayase
Cryptography as Democratic Weapon Against Demagoguery
Cesar Chelala
The Real Donald Trump
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Propaganda Machinery and State Surveillance of Muslim Children
Denis Conroy
Australia: Election Time Blues for Clones
Marjorie Cohn
Killing With Robots Increases Militarization of Police
David Swanson
RNC War Party, DNC War Makers
Eugene Schulman
The US Role in the Israeli-Palestine Conflict
Nauman Sadiq
Imran Khan’s Faustian Bargain
Peter Breschard
Kaine the Weepy Executioner
Weekend Edition
July 22, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Good as Goldman: Hillary and Wall Street
Joseph E. Lowndes
From Silent Majority to White-Hot Rage: Observations from Cleveland
Paul Street
Political Correctness: Handle with Care
Richard Moser
Actions Express Priorities: 40 Years of Failed Lesser Evil Voting
Eric Draitser
Hillary and Tim Kaine: a Match Made on Wall Street
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail