Home > Animal Rescue, Backyard Breeders, Pet News, Puppy Mills > Is Iowa State and true CDC teaching puppy millers how to run a mill?

Is Iowa State and true CDC teaching puppy millers how to run a mill?

November 18, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

I recently saw someone share a petition on Facebook that made me do a double-take. The title of the petition?

Iowa State University & CDC: Stop Teaching How to Run a Puppy Mill.

What? Why would Iowa State University and the CDC be teaching people how to run a puppy mill? Surely they must be mistaken. That made absolutely no sense.

IMG_2486According to the petition, the Center for Food Security & Public Health (located at the Iowa State University), with funding from “the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, offers an eleven-part course in Regulatory Compliance for Commercial Dog Breeders.” The petition went on to say that it was “unconscionable” that these two agencies would help to facilitate the breeding of dogs when so many are sitting in shelters waiting for a home. Well, I cannot argue with that. It’s a legitimate point.

But, I wanted to know more about their claims. So, I Googled the Center for Food Security and Public Health. It wasn’t hard to find them, or the 11-part course offered to breeders. As it turns out, the courses they offer are nothing more than a series of PowerPoint presentations covering the licensing and regulatory requirements under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). In essence, they inform a potential puppy miller of the rules and licensing requirements of a USDA- licensed breeder. They probably are required to offer the courses by law.

I think what is more laughable is that they offer these courses at all.

I mean, how can one not laugh when one reads the slide (Slide 16) on the Enforcement Measures in the course labeled Presentation 1: Introduction to APHIS Animal Care and the Regulatory Process:

If violations of the AWA are found, enforcement measures can include:

  • Confiscation or euthanasia of animals
  • Issuance of a cease and desist order (stopping a business from buying/selling dogs)
  • Monetary fines
  • Suspension or loss of a license
  • Formal prosecution (being taken to court)

Very few USDA-licensed commercial breeders ever face these types of enforcement measures. Take Deborah Beatrice Rowell, a USDA-licensed breeder in Pine River who was raided this summer and had 130 dogs seized. The seizure wasn’t conducted by the USDA. No. It was Minnesota law enforcement who stepped in, alongside the ASPCA and Animal Folks MN.

In fact, the USDA seems to have done nothing despite reports showing noncompliance over several years.

USDA inspection photos and compiled USDA inspection reports that showed noncompliances over multiple years, including one official USDA warning for lack of proper shelter. (from Animal Folks MN)

It took the USDA years before they shut Kathy Jo Bauck down too, and that only happened after CAPS video-taped the horrible conditions in her facility and it was aired on TV news.

Also laughable is the course on dog exercise (see slide 11 of that presentation):

Let’s go through an example.

Sparkles is a Scottish Terrier that measures 18 inches from the tip or her nose to the base of her tail.
First calculate the minimum floor space required for her by taking her length 18 inches and adding 6 inches and multiplying the sum by itself. This equals 576 inches (4 sq ft.) This is the minimum amount of space Sparkles needs for housing purposes.

To calculate the inches of floor space required if Sparkles will not receive additional exercise, take 576 and multiply by 2 to equal 1152 inches (8 sq. ft).
If Sparkles will not be taken out for additional exercise, she needs to be in a primary enclosure with 8 square feet of floor space.

IMG_8857Try measuring your own dog once. Start at the tip of his nose and go to the base of his tail. Now follow the calculations above for minimum housing requirements where exercise is needed. Then measure the size pen your dog would live in for life if they were in a pen not requiring any exercise. At all. Ever.

Now you can start to see the ridiculousness of such a requirement. The sad thing is that most puppy mill dogs live in housing that is at the smaller requirement, the one that requires exercise, and yet receive no exercise at all. Ever.

I don’t have a problem with the Center for Food Security & Public Health and CDC educating commercial breeders on the requirements of federal law.

What I have a problem with is the fact that they even bother at all. Educating breeders on USDA licensing requirements is like threatening to punish your child and not following through. How much is your child likely to respect you and your rules if they know they can get around them every single time? How likely is it that a commercial breeder will either? 

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  1. November 19, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    Wow…you are right, what is the point? Would much rather see the effort put into shutting these monstrosities down.

    • Mel
      November 19, 2013 at 6:21 AM

      Amen to that SlimDoggy!

  2. November 19, 2013 at 7:54 AM

    More ridiculous and stupid stuff from the government.

  3. gapchtag
    November 19, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    If private industry was doing the inspections we would not have puppy mills.

  4. November 19, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    This is just disgusting. Instead of putting their effort (and I can only assume money)into educating these people, why are they not stopping them?!

  5. November 19, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    The USDA has been gutted in recent years. Meat producers, for instance, are responsible for largely regulating themselves.

    While the regulations regarding commercial dog breeding are laughable and do nothing to protect animals, this PPT was probably created since the USDA doesn’t have inspectors available to actually check breeding facilities.

    People complain that the government isn’t doing its job. And then they vote to continually cut its funding to do important work.

    Even if we pass stronger laws, we’re not supporting efforts to enforce them.

  6. November 19, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    Pamela is correct: the USDA has been gutted and no longer is even able to protect the human food supply, let alone police puppy millers. Here in MO it is the state authorities cracking down.

  7. November 19, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    Unfortunately when it comes time for the government to cut, instead of cutting their own frivolities, they cut important stuff. Gapchtag is right, if this was privatized you’d see inspections.

  8. November 19, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    Wow, this is pretty sad…

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