June 1st, 2005

MA hates dog rescue

The headline might be over-the-top, but if they don't want dog rescue to stop in Massachusetts, then they should rescind or modify this "emergency order" ASAP. The emergency order was issued out of the blue without consultation with rescue groups on May 26, 2005 and imposes drastic restrictions on "importing dogs across state lines" which will put out-of-business most rescue groups in Massachusetts by requiring stays in expensive 'state-approved isolation facilities' (only one of which currently exists in MA!) for all imported dogs. Somerville Dog and the Canine Coalition have more information on this surprising and draconian order. It appears that the "National Animal Interest Alliance" is (at least partly) responsible for this undemocratic "order", which was imposed without public consultation or review by appealing to an "emergency" that simply doesn't exist. Poor control of animal health is an issue, to be certain, but the problem is insufficient enforcement resources for the Massachusetts AGR to enforce existing regulations. This new "emergency" adds new regulations which penalize the "good guys" who are trying to monitor their dogs and comply, without addressing the problem of dangerous fly-by-night "adoption" groups at all. If you make it impossible for people to comply with the law, no one will comply with the law. The NAIA seems to be an anti-"animal right" group who is siding with business interests (pet stores and breeders) in trying to stifle competition from rescue groups who save "unwanted" dogs from destruction. It is equivalent to bookstores trying to ban libraries because they suppress the sales of books -- but that's another bee in my bonnet which I'll save for another time.

If you are a Massachusetts resident, contact your state representatives and let them know that rescue groups are an important part of Massachusetts animal welfare. Email me if you'd like more details or pointers on who to write or what to do. Thanks!

I'll post some additional information in the comments to this entry, if you are interested.