Riverhead Schedules Hearing on the Controversial Puppy-sale Bill
The controversial bill of legislator Jon Cooper that seeks to ban most sales of puppies in pet stores in Suffolk County will be the focal point of a public hearing at the County Legislature in Riverhead this afternoon.
The bill is a direct attempt at stopping the importation of puppies from large dog-breeding operations, or so-called puppy mills, which are alleged to breed animals cruelly in for the purpose of gaining maximum profits. The proposed measure prohibits pet stores from selling puppies on retail, unless the said puppies came from a Suffolk County breeder or an animal shelter.
Cooper’s bill has won the praise and support of animal advocates, but has drawn fire from representatives of the industry, who have already organized a national campaign against the proposal.
The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, a trade group based in Washington D.C., is asking pet-store members to attend the hearing today and register their protests.
In a statement, the organization, said, “PIJAC strongly supports the right to responsibly keep pets, and the right of pet owners to have options as to where they obtain their companion animals based on the pet owner’s individual circumstances, needs and preferences.”
The organization also added, “Pet stores provide healthy, responsibly raised pets to the public, and should serve as one of the options pet owners may turn to in choosing a companion animal. Discriminatory bans and limitations against the sale of animals by pet stores are poor public policy, and are harmful to pets and pet owners. Such bans do not benefit animals or the pet owning public.”