California has become the first US state to ban the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores, unless retailers work with animal shelters or rescue groups.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 485 on October 13th, reported The Orange County Register. It will come into effect in January 2019 and is part of an ongoing effort to prevent breeding programmes that aim to mass produce dogs for profit. Pet store owners who break the ban could face a $500 fine.
The Pet Rescue and Adoption Act was authored by assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell. Matt Bershadker, president and CEO of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, praised the law for breaking “the puppy mill supply chain that pushes puppies into California pet stores and has allowed unscrupulous breeders to profit from abusive practices.”
However, Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) President Mike Bober, has opposed the Bill, saying: “It also strips consumers of many pet store protections, risks hundreds of jobs, and reduces pet choice.”
American Kennel Club vice president of government relations, Sheila Goffe, said that AB 485 “fails to distinguish between professional breeders and pet profiteers.”
“AB 485 blocks all of California’s pet lovers from having access to professional, licensed, and ethical commercial breeders,” she continued. “This is not good for Californians or their companion animals.”