House Meeting on SB 113 and Proposition B Today

The House is holding a public meeting on SB 113 today, at 12pm in HR 6. I'm sure there will be great political theater today, but very little in the way of substance. Those representatives who listen more to the Missouri Farm Bureau than the voters of the state will not be swayed by anything said today.

The Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation put together a FAQ on SB 113 are compared to Proposition B. Good stuff, no hyperbole, just plain facts. No one knows the laws relating to animals better than MAAL.

Note the comment about funding. As I showed with a recent post, even the funding talk is so much smoke and mirrors. The additional funding that SB 113 provides is a veritable drop in the bucket, and will have little impact on inspections.

More importantly, MAAL notes how the organizations who are really going to get hit by the new fee ceiling are the shelters and rescues—the ones who operate on donations and who take in the dogs abandoned into the rescue infrastructure by commercial dog breeders indifferent to their welfare. The shelters/rescues have to pay a fee for every dog they process. This means they have to pay a fee for every dog they take in. As MAAL notes, it's like charging a homeless shelter the same hotel tax as the Hilton.

That the rescues and shelters are being especially hard hit I chalk up to just plain meanness and vindictiveness.

I also find it disturbing that the breeders of this state have filed a complaint to the FBI, accusing the HSUS of terrorism, just because it made FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests of the USDA. The information requested is from form 7003, which breeders have to file every year. Form 7003 is the USDA license renewal form. It does not ask for "personal" information. It asks how many dogs were bought, and how many sold, and how much the breeder made doing so. A reasonable request to make, considering how the commercial dog breeders have been making wild claims about losses of millions of dollars of state revenue, at the same time they portray themselves as poor, Mom-and-Pop operations barely squeaking by. This is information the Missouri General Assembly should, itself, be demanding—if the body actually worked on logic and fact, rather than lobbyist demands and hyperbole.

We, who support Proposition B, have also been called terrorists—Representative Riddle actually called us this on the Floor of the Missouri House of Representatives. Unbelievable.

I have to ask the representatives: is it really worth having the Missouri Farm Bureau on your side to align yourselves with such hysterical crackpots? To align yourselves with people who deny others their Constitutional rights? Who call those of us who support a citizen initiative terrorists? Because make no mistake: for all your words of "But we really know what you want", this is who you're siding with, and we know why you're doing so.

Contrary to what you keep saying, we're not stupid.