THE MISSOURI SENATE HAS ADJOURNED FOR THE YEAR
After another contentious year in the Missouri Legislature, we are elated to report that the animals have prevailed once again.
The efforts to undermine our animal welfare laws this year in the Legislature consisted of outright lies by those seeking to overturn our animal protection laws and included personal and even slanderous attacks against the Alliance for our unwavering efforts in advocating for the welfare of the animals.
These personal attacks and dishonest efforts to erode our animal welfare laws were made at the behest of the puppy mill industry, agricultural trade groups, and even a veterinarian association.
We are delighted, therefore, to announce that the animals have prevailed against these continuing assaults on their welfare and the malicious attacks against those who advocate for them at the Capitol.
These spiteful attacks only reveal the frustration that these industry groups are encountering in their failed efforts to undermine our animal welfare laws. In this session, there have been serious attempts to eliminate the disposition process for abused and neglected animals as well as an effort to prohibit municipalities and counties from regulating veterinary medicine and from outlawing abusive veterinary practices.
Due to your support, the Alliance was able to thwart all of the many bills that would have weakened our animal protection laws this session. These are two of the bills that posed the greatest threat to the animals that we were able to defeat this year.
HB 2204 & SB 847 – sought to eliminate civil disposition hearings for abused and neglected animals. Disposition hearings permit animal victims to be permanently removed from harmful situations and expedite their adoption into good homes. If passed, this legislation would have often resulted in abused and neglected animals being left in the hands of their abusers until a criminal trial. This legislation was sought by the Missouri Pet Breeders Association, the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, the Missouri Farm Bureau, and shockingly, even by the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association. This legislation would have also eliminated the authority of animal control officers from rescuing abused and neglected animals.
HB 1586 & SB 1058 – was intended to overturn the ordinances recently enacted in the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County that prohibit veterinarians from declawing cats. Regrettably, the bill went even further by prohibiting any restrictions or regulations of veterinarians by local government regardless of how cruel or abusive the practice. Many agricultural groups were very supportive of this legislation as they sought to prohibit counties from enacting bans on cruel practices occurring at factory farms, such as dehorning and castration of cattle without anesthetics.
Without your generous support, these harmful bills would most definitely have passed into law, and the animals would have paid a horrendous price.
Thanks to you, we were able to remain unyielding in our efforts to protect the animals, and we were able to defeat all of the harmful bills and preserve our legal protections for the animals of Missouri.