Alert: Federal PAWS Bill
Senator Rick Santorum Muzzles Opponents of his S1139 (PAWS) Bill - 10/26/05
NO PAWS - 10/12/05
SAOVA's PAWS information - 7/7/05
Senator Rick Santorum Muzzles Opponents of his S1139 (PAWS) Bill
Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) has scheduled a November 8, 2005 hearing before the Senate Agriculture Research, Nutrition and General Legislation Subcommittee, which he chairs, to take testimony on his own S1139 "Animal Welfare Act of 2005" (PAWS) bill. No opponent or critic of this devastating anti-hobby breeder legislation will be permitted to testify. Only six speakers are scheduled to appear at the Washington, DC hearing, all of them well-established PAWS supporters. Formal speaking requests by others have been ignored, effectively silencing and excluding from the legislative process the tens of thousands of pet owners and organizations opposed to this legislation.
PAWS has virtually nothing to do with animal welfare or closing Animal Welfare Act "loopholes." It's a direct attack on U.S. hobby breeders, hunting dog owners and animal rescuers. PAWS federalizes hobby pet breeding. Rick Santorum and the animal rights lobby failed to enact such a law in 2002 and they're back, trying again. Other PAWS supporters testifying have a financial interest in seeing S1139, or its House equivalent HR2669, passed.
A substantial majority of U.S. pet owners opposes PAWS, including over 30 American Kennel Club parent breed clubs and 300 - 400 other organizations nationwide. Their voices won't be heard on November 8, 2005.
Announced S1139 (PAWS) November 8, 2005 Hearing Witnesses
Kelly Wichman, President of the Dog Federation of Wisconsin, commented, "Why even go through the time and expense of a holding a hearing? There's not a single witness testifying that believes hobby breeders should not be subject to Federal oversight - Uncle Sam in our bedrooms sounds good to them."
California Federation of Dog Clubs President Susan Sholar stated, "I am very upset that this Californian John Hoffman is representing individual dog owners. I have been president here for 5 years and I have never heard of this man. He has never contacted me regarding any dog fancy issues AND his own parent club is opposing PAWS."
Master of Foxhounds Association Executive Director Lt. Col. Dennis J. Foster declared, "We don't need the federal government, overworked and under funded, overseeing people's rights to breed and make decisions for their dogs when state and local laws more than cover the issues. We especially don't need animal rights organizations like HSUS and PETA, who have been involved in writing this legislation telling us what's good for our pets. Whatever happened to a fair hearing with both sides equally represented? This hearing is a farce and an insult to democracy."
Susan Wolf of the North Carolina Responsible Animal Owners Alliance opined "By falsely labeling PAWS the puppy mill bill, its supporters are using emotional jingoism to push a bill that can't be factually justified. Barring hearing testimony from PAWS opponents reinforces the conclusion that this flawed bill can't stand up under careful scrutiny."
"I'm particularly concerned that PAWS will force the USDA to regulate most US hunting dog owners," said Bob Kane, spokesman for the nationwide Sportsmen and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance. "This bill is aimed directly at private hobby breeders and hunters, two of the animal rightists' major longtime targets. Senator Santorum needs to reschedule this hearing and make sure that all affected stakeholders are properly represented," Kane continued.
See http://nopaws.org for additional PAWS information or contact Bob Kane at 540-543-2312
The Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance (SAOVA) is a nationwide, nonpartisan group of volunteers lobbying legislation and seeking to elect politicians who will oppose the animal rightist threat to our rights as Americans. Our members hunt, fish and own livestock, dogs, cats and other pets. For more information about SAOVA, call (540) 543-2312 or visit http://saova.org
PAWS Opponents Force Congressional Standoff from SAOVA - 10/12/05
Dear Friends, It's time for a short PAWS celebration! Senator Santorum, S1139's author, the bill's cosponsors and its supporters, the AKC, HSUS, DDAL, PETA and other animal rights groups have suffered a very significant setback. On July 27, 2005 Sen. Santorum made the following statement on the Senate floor.
PAWS opponents were excluded from the "technical corrections" deliberations of the Senator and also denied the opportunity to deliver testimony at PAWS subcommittee hearings planned for September and October. Both of these hearings were subsequently canceled and it's extremely unlikely that any PAWS hearing will be held in 2005.
Our analysis of the current situation is that the Senate Agriculture Committee members have heard and read so many substantive objections to S1139 (PAWS) that Sen. Santorum isn't confident that he can pass the original bill or an AKC-HSUS approved, amended bill in his subcommittee, let alone have the full committee act favorably on it. The fact that his 2006 reelection polling has plummeted since he introduced PAWS may also be a factor in his delay decision.
Formal opposition by tens of thousand of individuals and over three hundred clubs contributed to the current congressional standoff. Some dog owners almost immediately recognized PAWS for the disaster it is, contacted legislators to oppose the bill, urged owner networks to do likewise and created anti-PAWS webpages. Anyone and everyone that took the time to learn about PAWS's dangers and contacted a legislator should be proud that the American political system responded the way that it should when citizens become aroused.
PAWS isn't dead by any means, but it's sorely wounded. A largely unorganized and publicly disparaged group of amateur animal owner advocates taught the sophisticated, high-priced lobbyists and public relations flacks a thing or two.
DON'T MESS WITH OUR SPORT AND ANIMALS!
Some of you may have noticed that SAOVA formed an ad hoc partnership to pursue the PAWS fight. Let me introduce Kelly Wichman of the Dog Federation of Wisconsin and Susan Wolf of the North Carolina Responsible Animal Owners Alliance. Kelly and Susan both have state legislative lobbying experience on dog issues and were among the very first PAWS critics. Kelly owns Pugs and a Rhodesian ridgeback, while Susan has Shetland Sheepdogs. Both know infinitely more than I do about conformation, show people, related topics and politics. My chief expertise is in hunting dog owner advocacy and general legislative lobbying.
This is an instance where synergies make the whole infinitely greater than the sum of its individual parts. The three of us have been smoothly cooperating and coordinating our anti-PAWS efforts since early July and filed an extensive, joint opposition statement with Senate Agriculture Committee in late August. That opposition package was well received and also shared with selected Washington D.C. lobbyists. Additionally, many individuals and clubs have recently contributed funds to permit us to more effectively respond to the well-financed pro-PAWS faction and to pursue our NO PAWS program this year and next. We're sincerely grateful for your generosity and faith in our legislative knowledge, resolve and lobbying abilities.
The carefully crafted opposition statements and telephone calls of everyone involved contributed to our current positive position. No single group of volunteers can accomplish anything by itself in Washington. Lobbying is a team sport. In recognition of that fact, the three groups have developed a website dedicated solely to this legislative fight. As we move forward, please visit the NO PAWS resource frequently for the latest pertinent news, suggested lobbying strategies and new contact information. This site will soon suggest a significant redirection of your PAWS opposition efforts.
I opined on June 21st, "There is virtually no chance that PAWS can pass, without very much broader support. Its defeat is assured if organizations and individuals vigorously oppose it."
The last four and one-half months have been hard, grueling ones, as we attempted to counter the AKC's PAWS misinformation and slander campaigns, while informing animal owners of PAWS's extreme dangers and how to oppose this bill. Numerous other interest groups also oppose PAWS. It's crucial that we not permit the AKC, HSUS, et. al. to divide and weaken us, as it's now clear they must do to move S1139 or HR2669. PAWS can't be amended to make it acceptable. Its entire basis is fatally flawed, as outlined at NO PAWS FAQ Thank you for your support and efforts to protect our sport and animals.
Please forward and cross post widely.
In the interests of time, I'm condensing some of the best writing that I've come across that discusses the new federal legislation introduced by Senator Rick Santorum (PA). PAWS - the Pet Animal Welfare Statute - is yet the third incarnation of the failed Puppy Protection Act from previous attempts to bring home breeding and rescue under USDA regulations. This measure is quite similar to last year's WI Assembly Bill 536 - Pet Facilities Licensing Act - that established the same numerical limits before reaching the threshold at which breeders and rescuers would have needed to be licensed by the state.
The Dog Federation of Wisconsin opposes PAWS. While we firmly believe in strict enforcement of the existing federal Animal Welfare Act, we do NOT believe that private breeders and rescuers should be subject to USDA regulations. USDA regulations, initially drafted to regulate commercial and laboratory settings, are not achievable for those of us who whelp and keep dogs and puppies in the home.
It is *exceedingly* unfortunate that the American Kennel Club, the nation's largest registry for purebred dogs, not only supports PAWS, but also had a hand in the drafting ALONGSIDE HSUS and DDAL. Neither the Cat Fancier's Association, nor any other dog registry were given the opportunity to provide input.
Excerpted from CFA, complete text at www.cfainc.org/exhibitors/alert-US-PAWS.html
"The Pet Animal Welfare Statute, PAWS, will negatively impact breeders of pedigreed cats with small/moderate sized catteries and breeding programs. It will stretch the limited resources of the U. S. Department of Agriculture by requiring licensing/inspection of breeders who are not commercial businesses. CFA has serious concerns with this federal legislation."
"This bill, we understand, was intended to address an alleged rise in large commercial breeders who sell at retail, including those who sell through the use of the Internet and/or import dogs from outside the U.S. Press releases circulated over the last few days indicate that the American Kennel Club, the Humane Society of the United States and the Doris Day Animal League are all organizations who support this legislation and the purported need. The bill is viewed as an alternative to the defeated "Puppy Protection Act," which applied only to dogs. This bill includes cat breeders; however, the Cat Fanciers' Association was neither made aware of pending legislation affecting us nor given the opportunity to provide input."
Excerpted from a letter to AKC Board of Directors from Bob Kane of SAOVA (Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance), full text at http://saova.org/1139AKCltr.html
"Your definition of "dealer," and I say your definition based on my conversation with Mr. Holt, employs numerical limits of 25 dogs or cats bred and sold, or six litters. At or below those figures, a USDA license isn't required, above them one is subject to federal licensing and inspection. Setting aside the very obvious certainty that the fancy will be engaged in full-time lobbying every future Congress, trying to block those limits' reduction, the AKC failed to recognize the significance of the S.1139 exemption's second test."
"The term ''dealer'' means any person who, in commerce, for compensation or profit, delivers for transportation, or transports, except as a carrier, buys, or sells, or negotiates the purchase or sale of, (1) any dog or other animal whether alive or dead for research, teaching, exhibition, or use as a pet, or (2) any dog for hunting, security, or breeding purposes, or (3) any dog imported from outside the United States, unless the dog is imported by the person for the use and enjoyment of the person, except that this term does not include- (i) a retail pet store except such store which sells any animals to a research facility, an exhibitor, or a dealer, or which sells any dogs imported from outside the United States; or (ii) any person who, during any calendar year- (I)(aa) sells not more than 25 dogs or cats at wholesale or to the public; or (bb) does not whelp more than 6 litters of dogs or cats and sells only dogs or cats bred or raised on the premises of the person directly at retail to persons who purchase such animals for their own use and enjoyment and not for resale; [emphasis added]"
"This dual requirement forces any breeder of over 25 pups from fewer than 6 litters to be licensed, if he or she places a rescue and receives a fee, sells a dog or cat that others bred and raised, or sells an animal co-ownership interest, even to the other co-owner in the same calendar year." All of these breeders and their residences will be subject to federal inspection and fines, if their homes don't meet commercial kennel standards, which are based on animal research facilities. How can this be justified?"
They can be brief. They can also mention that we said NO to similar state legislation just last year - we certainly don't want this regulation at federal level. Be polite, but firm. We do not compromise with the Animal Rights movement, and AKC shouldn't compromise their integrity.
Emails can be something like this, but you will need to modify according to your personal situation:
Emails should go out as soon as possible. Contact information is as follows:
President Dennis B. Sprung The American Kennel Club 260 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10016 212-689-1532 Email: email@example.com
Dr. Carmen Battaglia 335 Wexford Glen Roswell, GA 30075-1482 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 770-998-3679 GSD Club of America Delegate
Dr. Thomas M. Davies 100 John Haley Rd, Brimfield, MA 01010-2196
J. Charles Garvin, M.D. 707 Uhler Rd, Marion, OH 43302-5440 Email: email@example.com 740-382-4242 Dalmatian Club of America / Marion Ohio Kennel Club
Steven D. Gladstone 201 Route 940 Ste A, Mount Pocono, PA 18344-1335 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 570-350-2299 570-839-2552 Reno Kennel Club Delegate
Walter F. Goodman 5 N Palm Bay Tower 720 Palm Bay Lane Miami, FL 33138-5706 Email: email@example.com 305-758-5766 Skye Terrier Club of America Delegate
Dr. Patricia Haines 2980 E Spring Valley-Paintsville Rd. Xenia, OH 45385 937-376-9742 Cincinnati Kennel Club Delegate
Kenneth A. Marden 183 East River Road, Whitefield, ME 04353 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 207-549-4783 GSPCA Delegate
Dr. Asa Mays 3336 Bagley Passage, Duluth, GA 30097 Email: email@example.com 678-957-9544 Hutchinson Kennel Club Delegate
Chairman Ronald H. Menaker, The American Kennel Club 260 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10016 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com 201-848-7042 Greater Freeport Illinois Kennel Club Delegate
Hon. David C. Merriam PO Box 1320, Bonsall, CA 92003 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 760-639-5253 Duluth Kennel Club Delegate
Nina Schaefer 4902 Quarry Row Lafayette Hill, PA 19444 215-402-9989 Email: email@example.com
Patricia Scully 328 Parkside Dr, Suffern, NY 10901-7856 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 845-357-1812 Obedience Training Club of Hawaii Delegate
Patti Strand 11402 SE Flavel St., Portland, OR 97266-5919 Email: email@example.com 503-761-8962 Dog Fanciers Association of Oregon Delegate
We appreciate your help!!
Just because you do not take an interest in politics, doesnt mean it wont take an interest in you. Pericles
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