Politics & Policy

The Corner

California to Outlaw Pet Stores Selling Many Pets

The animal rights movement–which must be distinguished from animal welfare–intends to outlaw all animal husbandry and the human use of animals. 

That includes pets. But they will be at the back end of the multi-generational animal rights project. After all, a lot of pet lovers give money to animal rights groups unaware of the movement’s true ideological goals.

Now, California is on the verge of outlawing pet stores from selling pets unless they come from shelters or rescue organizations. From AB 485:

A pet store operator shall not sell a live dog, cat, or rabbit in a pet store unless the dog, cat, or rabbit was obtained from a public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group that is in a cooperative agreement with at least one private or public shelter pursuant to Section 31108, 31752, or 31753 of the Food and Agricultural Code.

The purported goal here is to prevent pet stores from obtaining their dogs from puppy mills and selling these abused animals to an unwary public.

I’m not buying. Notice there is no provision in the measure to establish a regulatory means of certifying humane breeders of dogs and other animals, and allow stores to purchase animals from them. That’s because all breeders–not just puppy mills–are the actual targets (along with pet stores) of this bill. 

Breeders are already under animal rights pressure, and may experience harassment and threats from the fanatics who think that owning a dog is akin to owning a slave. A law like this would just make it that much harder to stay in business.

This legislation–which I have little doubt will pass in ever-more radical California–will harm commerce, stifle freedom, and do little to improve the welfare of animals. 

But it will push us closer to a time where the only place to obtain a pet will be a shelter. Until, that is, animal rights ideologues like Gary Francione get their way and we are unable to own any pets at all.  Here’s what he wrote last year:

With respect to domesticated animals, that means that we stop bringing them into existence altogether. We have a moral obligation to care for those right-holders we have here presently. But we have an obligation not to bring any more into existence.

And this includes dogs, cats and other non-humans who serve as our ‘companions’…We love our dogs, but recognize that, if the world were more just and fair, there would be no pets at all.

And that’s what animal rights is really all about.

Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

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