Proposition B – Dog-breeding initiative

Ballot text
Shall Missouri law be amended to, require large-scale dog breeding operations to provide each dog under their care with sufficient food, clean water, housing and space; necessary veterinary care; regular exercise and adequate rest between breeding cycles prohibit any breeder from having more than 50 breeding dogs for the purpose of selling their puppies as pets; and create a misdemeanor crime of “puppy mill cruelty” for any violations?

It is estimated state governmental entities will incur costs of $654,768 (on-going costs of $521,356 and one-time costs of $133,412). Some local governmental entities may experience costs related to enforcement activities and savings related to reduced animal care activities.

What it’s asking
This initiative would expand controls on dog breeders, most of which are in rural Missouri.

Missouri has more licensed commercial dog breeders than any other state. Authorities have seized about 3,700 mistreated dogs from licensed and unlicensed facilities in the past year.

This proposal would create several stipulations for dog breeders. It would require anyone with more than 10 breeding dogs to provide the dogs with access to food at least once a day and with a continuous supply of water. Breeders would have to have each dog examined at least once a year and have dogs humanely euthanized if necessary. Dog pens would have to be between 12 and 30 square feet, depending on the size of the dog, and the proposal would prohibit stacked cages and wire flooring.

Supporters point to a long-standing history of poor treatment at puppy mills—poor treatment that has often gone unaddressed—and say that better enforcement of current state regulations is not enough. Fifteen other states have enacted tougher regulations.

Those who oppose the proposal say that it would put many dog breeders out of business, and say that the limit of 50 breeding dogs would result in decreased revenue. These opponents say that current regulations are adequate but require tougher inspections and enforcement. They also say that passage of these regulations could lead to limits on the way cows, chickens and pigs are stored.

Our take
Yes…we like puppies. But seriously, protecting animals from malnourishment and poor living conditions is a worthy endeavor.

Sign up for the email edition

Stay up to date with everything happening at Washington University and beyond.