The AKC suggests self-governance is the best way for dog breeders to conduct their business. Conversely, PETA is calling for intense legislation, which mostly bans breeding all together. Can we find a middle ground? Potentially, yes.
Both sides of the argument seem a bit idealistic and lack realistic governance of breeders and breeding. Let us start with the facts about breeding and pet overpopulation. First, according to the humane society, over 5 million animals (dogs and cats) are euthanized each year. This fact, to most, would warrant a claim that too many animals exist in the United States. Next, few states have laws governing the breeding of animals and their welfare. Finally, the AKC has yet to admit that pet overpopulation exists, instead calling it a “perceived problem.”
Let us first broach legislation. Since it is widely believed that self-governance is not realistic, this would leave the idea of legislation open for a solution to pet overpopulation. Also leaving choices up to the general population would generate varying levels of governance, leaving out consistency.
Current breeding laws vary from state to state, so a federal blanket law would be most effective. For the sake of time, I will not outline specifics of legislation; instead I urge that it is explored.
Virginia has adopted recent laws that specifically govern dog breeders. This law specifically states that those who breed more than a certain amount of dogs (that are subsequently sold) must adhere to veterinary, exercise, and caging restrictions.
A law similar to the one in Virginia could be a stepping-stone toward federal legislation. However, we must first explore the Virginia case to find what works and does not work. Implementation is also a key aspect of potential laws surrounding dog breeding. It isn’t enough to enact laws; they must also be enforced. Once federal laws are approved, money should be set aside to ensure that they are upheld.