Archive for the ‘Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’ Tag

FWP approves proposal for bobcat fur farm in Fergus County   Leave a comment

From:  3KRTV.com

CENTRAL MONTANA

Oct 25, 2014 9:46 AM by David Sherman

HELENA — Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has approved and issued a license to a commercial fur farm southwest of Roy, despite receiving thousands of public comments against the proposed project.

Gary Bertellotti, FWP Region 4 supervisor, said in a press release, “Based on the analysis in the environmental assessment, applicable laws, regulations and policies, FWP has determined that this action will not have a significant effect on the human or physical environment.”

The license will allow the Schultz Fur Farm to possess captive-raised bobcats, lawfully obtained from a licensed dealer, for propagation and for sale of the pelts in the commercial fur industry.

FWP received more than 21,00 total comments from people across the nation and internationally, including multiple comments from the same people, representing 21,182 individual people and two groups, and one petition from a group called “Cats Are Not Crops.”

Of the total comments received, 20 comments supported the proposal, and the remaining opposed the proposal based on principle and objection to fur farms and the fur industry.

The FWP said that there was “no substantive opposition” to the laws or regulations in Montana that reflect opposition to the permit.

Among the public comments and FWP responses:

Comments: Favor the proposal related to economic development in the area.
FWP response: This is a business and the potential for local tax revenue and direct revenue to other businesses are possible but are not under the FWP control.

Comment: Fur farms are inhumane and cause harm to native animals that should be free (high% of comments received had some form of reference to this):
FWP Response: Fur farms are a legal business and are controlled and monitored under Montana code 87-4-1007 (Inspection) to assure licensed operators comply with the law.

Comment: The space identified in the EA that each animal will have is less that the 42 square feet the AZA recommends.
FWP Response: Fur farms are not required to meet AZA criteria.

Comment: Bobcats are wild animals and should be respected as wild animals.
FWP Response: These bobcats are captive-bred and raised and are not, under Montana law, wild or wildlife, but domestically raised, considered private property, and can be used for the purpose identified as furbearer and industry standards and rules.

Comment: These animals will be inhumanly killed in methods contrary to the AVMA standards.
FWP Response: The methods used to dispatch these animals are up to the producer but there are industry standards that are recognized and used.

Comment: The environmental impacts due to waste and chemical releases from fur farms is well-documented and there will be impacts to the surrounding land, vegetation, wildlife and environment therefore this should not be permitted.

FWP Response: The fur farm owners and operator must comply with state standards set out by DEQ and EPA for discharge of any materials that maybe hazardous to the environment.

Comment: Very specific theme and expressed philosophy that fur farms are not acceptable and killing animals for fur is barbaric and no longer acceptable in today’s world.
FWP Response: Fur farms are a recognized legitimate and licensed business and Montana.

Comment: Bobcats from this can be sold in the pet trade and kittens will grow up and be dangerous to people because they are still wild animals.
FWP Response: Many municipalities, counties and towns prohibit owning them as set by local ordinances. There is no state law that prohibits the fur farm from selling to individuals.

In the final environmental assessment, the FWP said:

Although minor impacts were identified, no potentially significant impacts to the human or physical environment were identified in the EA or through public comment. The EA and this decision notice with all applicable mitigation measures for licensing will serve as the final EA document.

After thorough review of the application, it is determined that there are no significant findings of potential environmental impacts or credible legal challenge to the laws and regulations regulating fur farms.

Click here to read the complete FWP document (PDF).

 

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USDA Announces Landmark Rule to Crack Down on Online Puppy Mills   42 comments

USDA Announces Landmark Rule to Crack Down on Online Puppy Mills.

September 10, 2013

USDA Announces Landmark Rule to Crack Down on Online Puppy Mills

Tens of thousands of dogs suffering in substandard, filthy, and overcrowded cages for years on end will finally get the protection they deserve as a result of a rule the U.S. Department of Agriculture will formally adopt today. This change, a long-held aspiration for The HSUS, the Humane Society Legislative Fund, and the Doris Day Animal League, is decades in the making and will extend federal oversight to thousands of puppy mills that do business online.

Of the dozens of puppy mills that The HSUS has assisted in closing down over the past five years, the vast majority were selling puppies online and escaping any federal oversight because a loophole in federal Animal Welfare Act regulations exempts Internet sellers. Because large-scale dog breeders who sell animals to pet stores are regulated, but breeders who sell directly to the public are not, there has been a massive migration of breeders to the latter sales strategy within the last decade or so. If they could sell dogs and escape any federal oversight, why not get in on that act and continue to cut corners on animal care?

Ricky Bobby
Meredith Lee/The HSUS
Ricky Bobby was among 58 dogs The HSUS rescued
from a North Carolina puppy mill in February 2013.
The operator was selling puppies over the Internet.

The HSUS, HSLF, and DDAL pointed out that it was fundamentally unfair that people involved in the same underlying business enterprise (breeding dogs to sell for profit) would face entirely different regulatory standards. It was a circumstance ripe for fraud and misrepresentation. Internet sellers of puppies often displayed images of puppies frolicking in open fields. In reality, the dogs were languishing, crammed inside feces-encrusted cages, receiving no protection from the elements and no veterinary care whatever. And until the legal standard was modified, the federal government couldn’t take action because none of these mills required federal licensing and inspection.

Due to pressure from The HSUS and DDAL, the USDA’s inspector general looked into enforcement of the rules governing dog breeding, finding appalling abuses of the dogs, deficient exercise of authority by USDA where it had authority, and identification of this glaring gap in the law that allowed Internet sellers to evade any federal oversight whatever. It was that OIG report, combined with our advocacy efforts in Congress and with the Obama administration that finally compelled federal action.

We thank the Obama administration and the USDA for bringing new standards of care to thousands of puppies, but also to kittens, rabbits and other warm-blooded animals who are often raised in inhumane facilities and sold as pets over the Internet, by mail or by phone, sight-unseen.

The HSUS and HSLF called on supporters to act in 2011, and 32,000 people signed a petition urging the Obama administration to crack down on unregulated puppy mills. When the USDA proposed an actual change in its regulations in 2012, HSUS members and other animal advocates generated 350,000 public signatures and comments in support.

There has been strong bipartisan support in Congress for closing the “Internet loophole” in the Animal Welfare Act regulations. Federal legislation, S. 395 and H.R. 847 – known as the PUPS Act, or “Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act” – sponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. and David Vitter, R-La., and Reps. Jim Gerlach, R-Pa., Sam Farr, D-Calif., Bill Young, R-Fla., and Lois Capps, D-Calif., galvanized members of Congress in support of efforts to finalize and implement the rule.

Puppy mills aren’t going away overnight, and it’s still important for any potential puppy buyer to meet the breeder in person at his or her facility to see how and where a puppy was born and raised. But this rule has the potential to allow federal inspectors to peer behind the closed doors of puppy mills and improve the lives of tens of thousands of animals. That is a change worth celebrating, and we thank our supporters, the USDA, and our allies in Congress for supporting this significant step.

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