Puppy Mill Bill Passes Out of Senate
SB 876 would strengthen the Texas Licensed Breeders Program and improve conditions for commercially-bred dogs and cats.
AUSTIN – This week, SB 876 by Senator Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton) passed out of the Senate on a vote of 22 to 8. The legislation now moves to the House.
“We are so grateful to our bill authors, Senator Whitmire, Senator Flores, and the newest co-author, Senator Jose Menéndez for supporting this legislation,” said Shelby Bobosky, Executive Director of THLN. “SB 876 will strengthen the Texas Licensed Breeders Program to establish basic standards of care in commercial breeding facilities and prevent cruelty before it happens. Currently, loopholes and unenforceable requirements have prevented the Program from working as lawmakers intended,” said Bobosky.
SB 876 will provide two key changes to the Texas Licensed Breeders Program:
- Lowering the number of breeding females threshold from eleven to five. This allows the Program to cover all commercial breeders in Texas, so pregnant females and their puppies or kittens receive basic care to avoid illness and injury. However, the threshold still provides an exemption for hobby breeders, and the bill provides further exemptions for certain specialty breeders.
- Removing the sales threshold. Currently, the Program only provides oversight to breeders who sell 20 or more puppies or kittens per year. However, many breeders conduct cash-only sales, which are untraceable. Thus, the sales threshold is a major loophole for unscrupulous breeders that prevents accountability and enables cruelty in commercial breeding facilities. By removing the sales threshold, the Program can monitor more commercial breeders as it was intended to do.
“Right now, commercial breeders are operating outside of regulation. The commonsense changes laid out in SB 876 can promote accountability and ensure basic standards of care apply to all dogs and cats in commercial breeding facilities,” concluded Bobosky.
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