Friday, February 17, 2006

Bill in Congress Would Eliminate Class B Dealers: Would Eliminate Pet Theft and Your Pet Ending Up in USDA Sanctioned Animal Testing Facility

I wrote last week on an HBO undercover documentary that will air 2-21 on pet theft and how animal testing facilities really get dogs and cats. It exposes the world of class b dealers, bunchers, auctions and USDA complicity in pet theft. Here is the link:

http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/02/undercover-

documentary-will-air-2-21.html

For more information on Class B Dealers, C.C. Baird and Pet Theft, see this link:

http://geari.blogspot.com/2005/09/noted-

dog-and-cat-dealers-plead-guilty.html

This article is also on this issue, but is more on an act in Congress that would eliminate Class B dealers. After reading the links above, you will see why any caring individual would find this to be a good thing.


From the article below:

“…[T]here is a bill in Congress entitled the Pet Safety and Protection Act, sponsored by Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), that would eliminate Class B dealers.

“Between the HBO special, testimonies from Baird and a guy in Oregon ... I think we have a damn good chance of getting this law put through,” Derose said. “I feel pretty confident we will get it through now.”

I have to say though, that the bill is good in terms of limiting Class B dealers, but it is not perfect. The points of the bill are listed at the end of the article. Of course, the last four are not desirable. Those are:

• permit breeders (Class A dealers) to supply animals to laboratories.

• permit research facilities that breed animals to supply them to other research facilities.

• permit registered public pounds that receive animals turned in by their owners to provide these animals to research facilities.

• permit individuals to donate their own animals to laboratories for research purposes.

The third and forth points are particularly disturbing as you can imagine the fright already experienced by the animal when they're abandoned. In addition, it treats them like property in that what happens to them when turned over by their "owners" is based on what the "owner" wants. There should be additional safeguards to protect against this. It's scary these are even thrown in.


Perhaps these changes can be made as well. But a good first step that will eliminate the scum Class B dealer.


Article:

Animal rights group wants law to change

http://www.guardonline.com/?module=

displaystory&story_id=33258&format=html

By Andrea Bruner, Assistant Managing Editor

Published Thursday February 16, 2006

LOS ANGELES — Shutting down the “most notorious Class B dealer in the United States” isn’t enough — the law needs to be changed, according to Chris Derose, president of the Last Chance for Animals animal rights group, which is based in Los Angeles.

Derose said Class B dog dealers, who buy dogs from pounds, shelters and small breeders and sell to research facilities, have been around for years.

C.C. Baird of Williford, owner and operator of Martin Creek Kennel, was said to be the most notorious of the Class B dealers at the time. His facility was raided by federal agents in 2003, and he has since ceased operation.

Derose pointed to an article in the February 1966 issue of Life magazine entitled “Concentration Camps for Dogs.” That 40-year-old article, he said, showed “the whole problem of dog theft in this country. That’s why the Animal Welfare Act was introduced.

“Not a single solitary thing has changed.”

Derose said there is a bill in Congress entitled the Pet Safety and Protection Act, sponsored by Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), that would eliminate Class B dealers.

“Between the HBO special, testimonies from Baird and a guy in Oregon ... I think we have a damn good chance of getting this law put through,” Derose said. “I feel pretty confident we will get it through now.”

He likened the Class B dealers to “organized crime sanctioned by U.S. government.”

“Once and for all I think the government needs to clean up the mess it’s made,” Derose said.

Derose said he’s seen some change since he started with Last Chance for Animals. “When I started there were 127 Class B dealers,” he said, but now there’s about a dozen or so throughout the United States.

He said the Baird case was not just an animal rights investigation; it was conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Derose said that for him, the Baird case began 15 years ago in Missouri, when calls came pouring in about missing and/or stolen pets. Derose said he nicknamed Missouri the “Steal Me State.”

He said it took seven years to run license plates and eventually pinpoint who the two biggest dealers were, and the bigger of the two was Baird. “We spent a total of eight years on C.C. Baird.”

Last Chance for Animals followed Baird for a couple of years, trying to figure out how it could get the operation shut down for good. The activists approached the Environmental Protection Agency, who then turned the case over to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, but still nothing came about, Derose said.

Then Last Chance for Animals tried to get its own investigator in. “We tried four different people before we came up with Pete,” Derose said.

“We tried a guy, then a gal, and then a guy named ‘Pegleg,’” Derose said. He said he thought Pegleg would fit into the rural setting, but the Bairds were apparently afraid he would get hurt. Another woman followed, and then finally Pete settled into the area.

Pete provided some 70 hours of footage in Martin Creek Kennel that was taken, along with notes and other evidence, to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Little Rock.

The investigation is detailed in an upcoming HBO documentary entitled “Dealing Dogs.”

Filmmaker Tom Simon said he believes most people are not aware of Class B dealers, especially the conditions in the Martin Creek Kennel. “I think they’re also not aware that the USDA is supposed to be enforcing rules that provide decent welfare for these animals. The question is not whether animals should be used in research. The question is whether laws that require they are being treated humanely are enforced.”

Simon said the USDA is very understaffed, and he hopes the film leads to better enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act.

Shutting down Baird, however, isn’t enough, Derose said. “We’re going for a total ban on Class B dealers.”

He said Baird has agreed to give testimony that will be used in Congress “to show that Class B dealers are a problem.”

Derose said he talked with Baird last month, and Baird gave statements regarding the USDA and its division, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

“That is part of his cooperation (with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which filed suit against Baird and his family),” Derose said. “These dealers are used as a scapegoat or buffer zone for the research facility. They are taking the brunt of what the research facilities should be taking,” he added.

Society for Animal Protective Legislation (SAPL), a division of the Animal Welfare Institute, claims that Class B dealers “routinely violate the Animal Welfare Act. This federal law set the minimum standards of care for animals and requires accurate record keeping on their acquisition and disposition. ... Too often, dogs and cats are subjected to abusive handling and exposure to the elements while kept on the premises of Class B dealers. Sadly, Class B dealers routinely deny these animals sufficient food, water and veterinary care before they are sold off to laboratories.

“The Department of Agriculture lacks the necessary resources to track the interstate activities of Class B dealers to ensure that they comply with federal law. USDA cannot provide an assurance that illegally acquired pets are not being sold by Class B dealers.”

The society’s Web site, www.saplonline.org, also states that the Pet Safety and Protection Act “will protect family pets while allowing research on dogs and cats to continue in an environment free from fraud and abuse.”

In short, the act would:

• prohibit Class B dealers and unlicensed individuals from selling dogs and cats to laboratories.

• prevent stray animals, who may be lost family pets, from being sold to laboratories.

• permit breeders (Class A dealers) to supply animals to laboratories.

• permit research facilities that breed animals to supply them to other research facilities.

• permit registered public pounds that receive animals turned in by their owners to provide these animals to research facilities.

• permit individuals to donate their own animals to laboratories for research purposes.

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