New Iowa law attacks ‘puppy mills’
A new law in Iowa gives the state new powers to ensure that pets are treated humanely at breeding facilities. House File 2280, signed into law by Gov. Chet Culver on March 9, is aimed at eliminating “puppy mills,” breeding facilities that neglect the health concerns of the pets that are born there.
The new law modifies the regulation of non-farm animals by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), to expand protections of the state’s 20,000 dogs currently in breeding operations to ensure they are treated humanely, according to the governor’s office. IDALS will issue “certificates of registration” for breeding facilities and will be empowered to enforce the terms of the certification.
The law clarifies that IDALS has the authority to enter a federally licensed breeding facility upon a complaint to ensure the health and welfare of the animals there. “The good news is the vast majority of animal shelters, pet shops, kennels and breeders obey the existing animal protection laws, and those facilities have nothing to fear from this legislation,” Culver said in a statement. “But, for any facility operating as a ‘puppy mill’ or raising companion animals in unhygienic and inhumane settings, now is the time to change course, or pay the consequences. This law expands protections of vulnerable animals, and provides assurance to Iowa families that the pets they adopt are healthy, clean, and have been raised humanely.”
Commercial establishments, including breeders, dealers and pet shops, will pay a $175 annual fee, which will help fund state inspectors. Read more information on Iowa’s new companion animal protection law.