Target: Nora Wineland, Director of the Center for Animal Welfare
Goal: Protect animals from abusive breeders and cruel conditions
Despite being living, breathing things, animals are still being treated like just another product to sell by online breeders. Instead of finding the perfect fit pet or adding a new member to a family, the experience of buying a pet from these breeders plays out like a shopping trip, with breeders eager to get rid of old stock in order to bring new stock in. These animals deserve to be born and raised (albeit temporarily) in good conditions, and the breeders need to be regularly inspected to make sure nothing is being swept under the rug.
In 2013, the U.S. Department of Agriculture changed regulations in the Animal Welfare Act in order to require breeders with more than four breeding females to be licensed and inspected. An update was made once again in 2014 to further define ‘breeding female’ as one that is currently able to reproduce and is being used to do so. The only breeders who must be licensed under the updated requirements are those who have more than five breeding females and who are selling animals ‘sight unseen’ (without the buyer coming to see the animal first). While these regulations may seem to cut down the number of breeders who are running their businesses unsupervised, there are still thousands who do, simply because of loopholes. Owning less than five breeding females, showing animals to prospective buyers, selling animals for specific reasons other than pets (working, breeding, etc.) – these are all exemptions under the Animal Welfare Act.
Anyone who is selling animals online and making a profit off of them needs to make sure that they are providing quality care and conditions, and the only way this can be guaranteed is through documented licenses and inspections.
Sign this petition to show the Director of the Center for Animal Welfare Nora Wineland that the current regulations in place just aren’t enough, and that animals are not simply a product to be bought and sold online.
Dear Director Wineland,
The number of online animal breeders who are not required to have a license needs to significantly decrease or disappear altogether. The majority of these breeders think of the animals as nothing more than products to be sold and just want their current breeding females to produce more as soon as possible, creating stressful conditions for these animals.
Under the Animal Welfare Act, there are currently regulations only for those hosting more than five breeding females and selling pets unseen. However, there are numerous ways for breeders to get around these regulations and avoid having to be licensed and inspected. This gives them the freedom to profit off of these animals in potentially harmful ways.
I urge you to take action and get stricter regulations put into place. If someone is breeding and selling animals online, it’s that much easier for them to go unsupervised, but you could change that.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Lucie Tylova via Westieinfo