This Fight is Not Over
I see that Missouri Farmers Care has moved on from fighting for the puppy mills and is now fighting for genetically modified foods. I expect next we'll see an article about the healthful benefits of CAFO manure lagoons.
Governor Nixon signed SB 161. That's all that's happened. He signed a bill that gutted Proposition B. Oh, a few token provisions have been left, but you and I know that the breeders will find their way around these new provisions. I do not expect to see much change in the large scale commercial dog breeding operations in this state.
I remember, either from an article or during the House or Senate debates, someone asking one of the SB 113/SB 161 folks, "Were the breeders asked about the new SB 161 provisions, and if so, were they happy with them? Did they agree with them?" How very nice for agribusiness in Missouri that they have the final say on regulations impacting on them. Most businesses just have to accept what comes their way, but not agribusiness. Not in Missouri.
Regardless of the hypocrisy, and the total disregard for the voters—not to mention Nixon's patronizing attitude about what we voters "meant" and how SB 161 is "good enough"—this fight is not over.
I imagine there might be legal challenges to the new law, especially the emergency provision. We also know there's at least one ballot item being put forward for 2012 that will prevent such arrogant brushing aside of the voters wishes in the future. In the meantime, though, I am following my plan on exposing large scale commercial breeders to the world.
The breeders will never know if that person who contacts them about the puppies they're selling online is a genuine buyer, or someone checking to see what excuse they give for not allowing the potential buyer to visit.
The FTC and the Missouri Attorney General work to protect consumers from deliberate misrepresentation and fraud. That cute little web site that states the breeder is a small family breeder with only a few dogs, better have exactly that, or they will find themselves at the end of an FTC and/or Missouri Attorney General complaint.
Starting the day after Proposition B would have gone into effect, every bad breeder that should be closed down, and would have been closed down under Proposition B's more stringent guidelines will be exposed to the world—along with the Missouri Department of Agriculture's laxity in enforcing true standards. With each publication, the names of the representatives, and Governor Nixon's, will be included in the coverage—as a reminder of what they have enabled.
I also plan on spending a lot of time among the boxes of inspection records at the Department of Agriculture in Jefferson City. We'll see exactly what that 1.1 million of extra money designated by Nixon buys us. It better buy us a lot, and not just fluff pieces on web sites.
I'm not going to give up. I'm not going to say, "Oh, well, we tried. Buck up, poochies". This isn't the end of the fight, it is only the beginning.