The "Pet Animal Welfare Statute of 2005" (PAWS) Senate Bill 1139/House Bill 2669 - May 2005 - The "Pet Animal Welfare Statute" (PAWS) is a bill to amend the federal Animal Welfare Act. The AWA currently regulates large-scale commercial breeders who sell pets at wholesale. PAWS would dramatically change the concept of the AWA as established by Congress. It would require federal licensing and inspection of the private homes of many hobby breeders. Until now no federal license has been required to breed cats and dogs in a private residence and sell retail to the public. PAWS would change that for many in the cat and dog fancy. PAWS will also have an impact on rescue organizations, requiring licensing of many of these as retail sellers. PAWS will require in-home breeders and rescue that fall within the number limits being established to follow AWA standards. These standards are written for commercial establishments and not in-home facilities. Compliance with commercial regulations will be difficult if not impossible for rescue and small, private cat and dog hobby breeders.
As rabbit breeders, if this bill passes, sooner or later it WILL be applied to us as well. How many of us have gross sales of $500.00 or more per year? Many of us can can make that from one litter of angoras, some of us from a single animal.
This bill, like many truly bad pieces of legislation, has the best of intentions - from its author's point of view. He wants to stop "puppy mills". Don't we all? But federalization is NOT the answer! "Puppy mills" are ALREADY illegal! What is needed here is enforcement of state and local laws already on the books, not more government involvement in the lives of private, law-abiding citizens. I am embarrassed that a "conservative" Senator, namely Rick Santorum, was stupid enough to get roped into writing this disaster-waiting-to-happen. This will give Animal Rights groups the foothold they need to invade the lives of anyone who wants to breed animals as a hobby.
Please go to the sites above and below, read them, and then call, write, and email your legistators and let them know that you oppose this intrusion into our lives.