Various states in the country are taking opposing approaches regarding puppy mills. Back in September 2017, California was the first state in the nation to pass legislation to require pet stores to sell rescue animals only — in essence, banning puppy mills.
On the flipside, shortly after Donald Trump was inaugurated, his administration quietly relaxed the protections that keep pets from suffering abuse in inhumane facilities, such as puppy mills.
This allowed All About Puppies in Tampa, Florida to receive dogs from several large-scale out-of-state dog breeders with multiple USDA violations discovered at inspection.
Dept of Agriculture removes animal abuse data . . .
As of February 3, 2018, the section of the United States Department of Agriculture's website that provided updated info regarding animal abuse was removed without any prior warning or acknowledgement.
Prior to, this public listing identified zoos, dog breeders, horse breeders, and research labs that violated the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act. As Mother Jones reported, all of this data was available for online viewing and was used not only by journalists and animal rights activists, but by private citizens as well when considered to adopt a pet.
Can no long identify puppy mills . . .
This poses major hurdles for animal advocacy organizations, such as the Humane Society, and pet-store owners in states like Arizona, Connecticut, Louisiana, New Jersey, Maryland, Ohio, and Virginia, where it is illegal to sell puppies unless they came from a reputable breeder. Due to the Trump administration’s approach, prospective pet owners will no longer be able to use the USDA's site to easily identify puppy mill owners that breed large numbers of dogs in unkempt and under abusive conditions.
Govt Action that benefits abuser . . .
"Here we have a government action that benefits no one except people who are caught abusing animals and don't want the public to know," John Goodwin, the senior director of the Humane Society's Stop Puppy Mill campaign, told Mother Jones.
Whether or not this White House directive will remain in place is yet to be determined. In the meantime,the Humane Society has already filed legal action against the USDA, stating that the decision "flies in the face of sound public policy by undermining governmental transparency and undercutting efforts to enforce the Animal Welfare Act." Time will tell, if the administration will respond or make any changes to these actions. For those that oppose their approach, please write to your state congressman and senators to protest and return focus to this important issue.
Primary Source: Mother Jones