Jefferson City—Missouri Farmers Care, a coalition of leading Missouri agriculture advocacy groups, applauded the Missouri General Assembly’s successful efforts to pass SB 113, which strengthens the enforcement of Missouri’s animal welfare laws and preserves the voter intent of the recently passed Proposition B.
“This is a great day for everyone who truly cares about animal welfare,” explained Missouri veterinarian Dr. Alan Wessler, a member of Missouri Farmers Care. “The legislature took a strong stand to ensure that our dogs and puppies receive the care they need. We need Governor Nixon to do the same and sign SB 113 promptly.”
SB 113 requires dog breeders to work with licensed veterinarians to ensure their animals receive proper care and exercise. SB 113 provides extra resources for the Department of Agriculture to conduct on site inspections, including funding to hire new inspectors. SB 113 includes tough new provisions against unlicensed dog breeders—breeders Proposition B failed to address. SB 113 also expands the regulations under Proposition B to include animal shelters.
SB 113 also eliminates a controversial section buried within Proposition B that would have allowed animal rights groups to interfere with animal agriculture in Missouri. Proposition B main proponent, HSUS, is an east coast animal rights activist group that has successfully pushed anti-farming legislation in several states since 2002, including Florida, Arizona and California
“SB 113 makes important improvements in the care of dogs and helps protect Missouri farmers from radical animal rights groups whose agenda is to create controversy, raise huge sums of money and support efforts to ultimately end livestock farming,” concluded Dr. Wessler. “Groups like HSUS and PETA clearly intended to use Proposition B as a Trojan Horse that would allow them to come in later and attack Missouri farmers like they have done in several other states. Now, that won’t happen.”
SB 113 was sponsored by State Senator Mike Parson (R-Bolivar) and handled in the House by Representative Tom Loehner (R-Koeltztown).
As of March 30, 2011, members of Missouri Farmers Care include: Missouri Pork Association, Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, Missouri Soybean Association, Missouri Corn Growers Association, Missouri Farm Bureau, MFA Incorporated, Missouri Beef Industry Council, Inc., Missouri Dairy Association, MO Federation of Animal Owners, Missouri Egg Council, Inc., Missouri Agribusiness Association, FCS Financial, Missouri Dairy Growth Council, Missouri Veterinary Medical Association, Cargill, Missouri Rural Electric Cooperatives, and Missouri Pet Breeders.