The group responsible for tough new restrictions on dog breeders in Missouri has a message for lawmakers who want to repeal or amend those rules: Don’t.
Missourians for the Protection of Dogs has spent $20,000 to erect several billboards along routes leading to Jefferson City.
Lawmakers will convene next week and may begin debate over changing or repealing Proposition B, the so-called Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act, which voters approved in November.
“Missouri voters have spoken,” the group’s signs say. “Will you listen?”
Six billboards will eventually carry that message to lawmakers, a spokeswoman said, and others will be added if needed.
“If they don’t respect the will of the voters, then they’re saying some votes in Missouri are more important than others,” said Barbara Schmitz, director of the Missouri chapter of the Humane Society of the United States and a spokeswoman for the group that bought the billboards.
A coalition of mostly rural lawmakers has worked to amend or repeal Prop B since it passed by a 3.2 percent margin. Opponents contend the new law, which regulates the treatment of dogs kept for breeding, could lead to costly new regulations for farmers and duplicates existing laws. Prop B passed by substantial margins in urban areas but failed in more than 100 of the state’s 114 counties.
Missouri Sen. Bill Stouffer, a Napton Republican, has filed a bill to repeal the puppy mill measure.
Legislators are free to make any alterations they want to the law because it does not involve changes in the state’s constitution.
Stouffer noted that Prop B would not take effect until next November, giving the General Assembly time to discuss amendments if a repeal did not pass.
Source: Kansas City Star