A bill has been passed in California that forces pet shops to sell only animals obtained from rescue centres, shelters or similar associations.

Not just for dogs and cats

The new law, AB 485, concerns the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits. For the law to become official, it needs the signature of Governor Jerry Brown, who has until 15th October to sign the bill.

As of 1st January 2019, each pet shop would be required to only sell rescue animals, and pin information about their origins in a visible place on each cage or enclosure.

Putting the animal’s welfare first

During an interview with the Independent, a spokesperson for PETA spoke about the benefits of the new scheme. “There’s a direct link between the industry and the millions of dogs and cats in shelters around the world who are euthanised each year because there aren't enough good homes for them all.”

This move would help combat the sale of animals raised in ‘puppy mills’, defined by the ASPCA as “a large-scale commercial dog breeding facility where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs.” Here, dogs are often found in squalid conditions, with a female who is kept purely for breeding purposes. These facilities pose risks not only to the adult dog and puppy’s immediate wellbeing, but also to the genetic line, as they are bred with no regard for potential hereditary diseases.

Arguments against the bill

The main criticism for the law seems to come from those who wish to buy certain breeds that may become more difficult to find. These are the breeds that are not normally found in rescue centres.

However, private breeders will still be allowed to sell their animals privately, which could be a solution to this issue.

Photo source: ASPCA

Credit: The Independent

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