Texas Senate Approves New Rules for Breeders

Tuesday, May 24, 2011  |  Updated 9:10 AM CDT
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Dogs Seized in Kaufman County

Animal Rescue Corps

The alleged puppy mill has been a target of law enforcement in the past. Klassie Kennel was raided in 2009 and more than 500 animals were seized then.

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Puppy Mill Bill Causes Controversy

Some dog breeders are opposed to a bill, which would regulate large scale breeders and shut down puppy mills.
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The Texas Senate on Monday night approved a measure that would impose new regulations, fees and licensing requirements on commercial dog and cat breeders.

The bill regulating so-called "puppy mills" will be sent back to the House to approve amendments the Senate added.

The legislation defines commercial breeders as those who sell or exchange 20 or more animals yearly and have 11 or more females capable of breeding.

Breeders would have to be licensed and undergo yearly inspection, as well as provide basic grooming, a yearly veterinary exam and clean caging to animals. The Senate bill exempts breeders who raise greyhounds and herding or hunting dogs from regulation.

Opponents call the bill a government overreach and say it could put responsible breeders out of business. They say enforcing existing animal cruelty laws would be sufficient to address the problem.

Bill sponsor Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, said the legislation is meant to punish only irresponsible breeders and prevent them from raising animals in cruel conditions.

"This bill gets at true puppy mills, which gets to all types of health and animal welfare issues," he said. "The main thing is to stop breeding in inhumane, unhealthy and unsanitary conditions."

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