Statement regarding petition for rulemaking under Animal Welfare Act

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In a statement issued today, the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council commented on a petition for rulemaking under the Animal Welfare Act to increase minimum standards at commercial dog breeding facilities:

“We at PIJAC believe that the federal government has a responsibility to pet owners, pets and those who raise them to enforce standards of care that best provide for the health and well-being of our companion animals. The breeders, distributors and retailers of the responsible pet trade routinely exceed the current minimum standards; in many cases they already meet or exceed the standards proposed in this petition.

“As part of our commitment to animal care, we are proud of our ongoing support of an independent study on commercial breeding by the Center for Animal Welfare Science at Purdue University, one of the nation’s preeminent schools of veterinary medicine. This program, unprecedented in its depth and scope, will develop and test rigorous, science-based canine welfare standards for breeding dogs. The results of this study will be published and made publicly available. We strongly encourage their consideration as a basis for any potential revisions to the current standards and regulations that would be truly beneficial to the animals.

“We support a strong, national standard for responsible commercial breeding and enforcement to find and close the kinds of illegal operations that give all breeders a bad name. Federal standards based on sound science and rigorous academic study – not a patchwork of local bans and ordinances based on anecdotes and emotion – is the best way to address the issue of substandard breeding.”

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