January 23, 2012
COLUMBUS — A bill that would crack down on high-volume dog breeding operations, dubbed puppy mills, has cleared the Ohio House.
The bill passed on a 91-5 vote Wednesday, sending it back to the Senate to sign off on House changes.
The measure would bolster regulations on the care and treatment of animals housed in large-scale establishments and would distinguish the facilities from traditional dog kennels. Those considered “dog retailers” would have to be licensed.
The bill, which passed the Ohio Senate unanimously in February, creates an advisory board to provide guidance on animal care standards for the facilities. It also allows the director of the state’s agriculture department to contract with local veterinarians to conduct inspections. Annual, rather than biennial, inspections would be required. And animal rescues would have to register with the Department of Agriculture.
“The Humane Society of the United States applauds Ohio’s House of Representatives for working to end the cycle of pet overpopulation and the suffering of countless dogs that puppy mills perpetuate,” said Karen Minton, Ohio state director for The HSUS, in a written release. “No dog should be forced to spend a lifetime in a small wire cage with no human companionship or comfort.”
Ohio is one of 22 states with no regulation or oversight of commercial high volume breeding kennels.