To the editor:
Missouri’s reputation with regard to laws protecting companion animals is dismal. Efforts to pass reasonable legislation to improve conditions have failed due to agricultural interests and the big business of selling puppies for profit.
Advocates took matters into their own hands through the initiative petition process when all else failed. Volunteers across the state collected nearly 200,000 signatures to place the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act on the ballot in November 2010, and Proposition B was approved by nearly 1 million voters speaking on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves.
On April 13, 2011, those votes were overturned by 85 state representatives, 77 of whom were Republicans. The will of the people and our right to vote made no difference to legislators who cared only about contributions from agricultural interests.
When the law vanished, Gov. Jay Nixon stepped in to bring all sides to the table, resulting in a compromise. Without his intervention, puppy mill dogs would have had no protections.
The current GOP has a radical mindset on repealing state canine laws. For the sake of those who provide use love and companionship, we cannot allow this. Man’s best friend is counting on you on Nov. 6.