Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Lara Trump drives crackdown on puppy mills, urges action

Lara Trump drives crackdown on puppy mills, urges action

Animal welfare advocate Lara Trump is heading up a new campaign for the first government-wide crackdown on conditions at shoddy puppy mills where dogs sometimes go without water, medical care, or space to walk around.
The president’s daughter-in-law, who just recently announced that she and husband Eric are expecting a second child, is urging the public to speak up for newly proposed Agriculture Department rules requiring more humane treatment by licensed breeders.
“I think the American people would be shocked to know that these things don’t currently exist,” she told Secrets.

In an editorial published by the Washington Examiner today, she joined with fellow animal advocates Reps. Matt Gaetz and Brian Mast, both Florida Republicans, and former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi to call for the changes.
“This is the least we can do to ensure that the dogs who produce America’s next generation of pets, the loving animals that so many of us consider part of our families, are protected and have a life worth living — at the very least, that’s what they deserve,” they wrote.
Those advocates, along with Florida real estate mogul Blair Brandt, have been pushing for a wider federal effort to protect animals and they were instrumental in Florida’s recent vote to phase out greyhound racing.

The USDA rule, open for public comment, would require some 2,500 federally-licensed dog breeders to get each dog examined by a veterinarian, provide vaccinations, and constant water.
The group is also urging breeders to provide better accommodations.
“Dogs in commercial breeding operations deserve a decent quality of life, not just a clean bowl of water and an annual vet exam,” they wrote in the editorial that urges further federal action.
They added, “They also deserve room to run, fresh air, and spacious, comfortable housing. But current rules under the Animal Welfare Act only require enough cage space for dogs in puppy mills to turn around and lie down, and the rules allow cages to be stacked one on top of another, which stresses animals, encourages overcrowding, reduces fresh air flow, and prevents proper sanitation. What is needed is to double the required cage space so that dogs have room to move, not just turn around, and it should require ground-level, unstacked cages. In addition, USDA should ban once and for all the practice of keeping dogs on painful gridded or wire flooring that can hurt their feet.”
Trump urged the public to back the USDA proposed rule. “I hope that thousands of fellow citizens will write to the USDA in support of this rule. Public comments will be accepted through May 21. Please urge the USDA to expand the rule by taking this opportunity to greatly improve dogs’ living conditions as well as their health care,” she said.
Trump, who is often shown on Twitter and Instragram with her two dogs, said her goal is to phase out the negative "puppy mill" characterization of breeding farms.
"My hope is that we never have to call them puppy mills again," she said, adding that the new USDA rules should help. "Hopefully by changing these rules it weeds out the bad actors."

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