The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that other nations will no longer be able to flood the U.S. market with tens of thousands of dogs they raise in puppy mills. impression. They announced that other nations will no longer be able to flood the U.S. market with thousands of dogs they raise in puppy mills.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that other nations will no longer be able to flood the U.S. market with tens of thousands of dogs they raise in puppy mills. After delaying final action for years, the USDA has amended Animal Welfare Act regulations and put forth a final federal rule prohibiting the import of such puppies into the United States for resale.


In this era of globalization — with a robust trade in wildlife and their parts, pork and other animal products from factory farms , and the sale of fur pelts all over the world — this is a major moment in our global effort to make trade more humane and to prevent a handful of nations from watering down animal welfare standards in the name of free trade. In this case, it's our goal to choke off the trade in dogs from puppy mills, no matter where they originate.


Each year, thousands of puppies — all just a few weeks old and barely weaned — endure appalling abuse as they are transported to the United States. They are packed into crowded, filthy plastic tubs with little or no food or water, and often exposed to extreme temperatures during transcontinental plane journeys that would be taxing for even an adult, healthy dog. A large number of the puppies get sick, and then perish. The puppies are too young to have received a full series of vaccinations, so they could carry diseases that infect other dogs or even humans, making their import a significant public health concern as well as an animal welfare issue.


This is the second major announcement within the last year from the USDA to protect puppies. Last September, the department adopted a long-awaited rule that requires breeders who sell puppies and kittens sight-unseen, mainly over the Internet, to be federally licensed and inspected. That rule went into effect last November, and it is expected to potentially double the number of puppy mills nationwide that are regulated. Now, with this latest decision from the USDA, we know that sick puppies from foreign puppy mills will not be coming into the United States to take their place.


Dogs and their puppies are not breeding machines, nor cash crops.  Our laws should reflect that sensibility, and with USDA's announcement, we've taken a major step as a nation to protect dogs from cruelty at home and abroad.

 

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