Once again rural legislators at the behest of puppy millers and agricultural trade groups mounted an all-out assault on Missouri's animal welfare laws.
Appallingly, much of this attack was driven by a campaign of lies.
The Missouri Cattlemen's Association (MCA), in an effort to restrict the advocacy work of animal welfare organizations, totally fabricated an incident which sought to discredit the credibility of animal welfare workers. MCA then used this
as a reason to advance legislation that sought to gag animal welfare organizations and allow the Department of Agriculture to monitor and censor animal advocates. Shockingly, this legislation passed overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives. We ultimately defeated these bills in the Senate when we were able to persuade the Senate sponsor to withdraw his legislation.
HB 1355 and
HCB 16 -
Scofflaws in the carriage horse industry also used a campaign of lies in their efforts to pass a law that would have eliminated all local protections for animals
This legislation would have prohibited
municipalities from banning cruel animal events and would have even prohibited municipalities from regulating "working animals." The carriage horse industry argued that the City of St. Louis, without cause and purely on a whim, was attempting to ban carriage horses. The industry failed to acknowledge, however, that the City only threatened a ban after carriage horse operators refused to comply with all existing regulations that were in place to protect the horses as well as maintain public safety. What was most troubling was that the definition of "working animal" was so broad that the legislation would have threatened the welfare of all animals in the state.
SB 918 and HB 1907 - Defeated
The Missouri Pet Breeders Association (MPBA) once again tried to pass legislation eliminating the disposition process for abused and neglected animals. In their efforts to do so, the MPBA disseminated false information about the workings of the disposition process. This was not surprising as the president of the MPBA was recently fined $6,000 by USDA and has had his federal license suspended in addition to having a "cease and desist" order issued against him for his continuing failure to provide care to sick and injured animals. It is understandable then, that the MPBA would vehemently oppose a process that could remove animals from abusive and neglectful situations. The Missouri Cattlemen's Association also used the fictitious incident to lobby for the elimination of the disposition process. This malicious propaganda on the part of puppy millers and the cattlemen, no doubt, led to the passage of HB 1945 in the House of Representatives. Fortunately, we were able to block its passage in the Senate.
SB 817 and HB 1945 - Defeated
We remained unyielding in our efforts to protect the animals and with your help we were successful in defeating these bills - two of them going down to defeat in the last weeks of the session.
Every one of your phone calls, emails and letters to your state legislators has paid off. All of you who reached out to your state senator and/or state representative can feel very proud because you truly made a difference for the animals. It was very gratifying to hear the feedback from legislative staff reporting on all of the phone calls and emails that they were receiving in response to our Action e-Alerts.
Without your help, several of these harmful bills would most definitely have passed into law and the animals would have paid a horrendous price.
You truly made a difference for every animal in the state!
For a list of all the animal bills this session and their outcomes please visit our website Legislative Outcomes.