Senate Amendment 3723 - PAWS Bill is Back

Amy Dahl writes:

Please, PLEASE take a few minutes, read this, and FAX a short message to four Senators. Even if you have never written a lawmaker before, it's not hard -- just read, and follow the instructions.

PAWS, or SA 1139, was the HSUS-backed Senate bill requiring USDA licensing of home breeders. USDA licensing would require keeping dogs in expensive new kennels that would be prohibited by zoning for most of us, and by the expense for almost everyone else. The trigger of 25 puppies per year would not apply to "hunting" dogs--not just breeders, but also owners, of "hunting" dogs could be regulated (depending how courts interpreted unclear language).

In 2005-06, PAWS was defeated by an unprecedented effort on the part of clubs and individual dog owners, despite the credibility lent by the support of AVMA and AKC (it is believed that AKC saw an opportunity to gain ground with respect to other registries). Now its supporters are trying to attach it as one of many amendments to this year's Farm Bill. Time is short. Please act today, and spread the word to as many of your hunting and dog-owning friends as possible.

Bob Kane writes:

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has filed a Farm Bill amendment, effectively reintroducing the unsuccessful Santorum-Durbin-HSUS-AKC-AVMA PAWS bill of 2005. This amounts to a procedural end run, bypassing Senate committee hearings and their votes. HSUS used the same maneuver in 2001, attaching the so-called Puppy Protection Act to the last farm bill without a recorded vote. The GOP-led House conferees removed it. The nature of floor amendments and changed Congressional control considerably enhance HSUS's prospects for gaining what it couldn't in 2005-2006.

There's a new provision banning the import of *any* dog or cat younger than six months old, but other changes from PAWS2005 are largely cosmetic. HSUS's primary goal hasn't changed. The measure requires the federal regulation of any person selling more than 25 dogs and/or cats per year at retail or wholesale, reversing the current distinction which exempts private retail sellers.

It also leaves intact the separate requirement that *all* hunting dog owners be regulated, regardless of size. Stripping the wholesale-only regulation shield creates the same "gotcha" situation that was the primary motivation for SAOVA's extensive efforts to defeat SB1139 (PAWS2005). If this rider becomes law, it sets the stage for a savage, unpredictable fight at the USDA implementation stage and/or expensive federal court litigation to keep the federal government, HSUS, PETA or AKC out of hunters' homes and kennels.

AKC and AVMA aren't likely to fight this rider. It's the same bill they fought so hard to pass in 2005. It also now contains pet import restrictions, something that they both support, as well as an alternative party kennel inspection provision much desired by the AKC. Sen. Durbin's SA3723 amendment is on the Senate floor, as is the large, complex and controversial Farm Bill. A vote on the bill and its amendments has been stalled, pending negotiations between Democratic and Republican leaders. That deadlock could be broken at any time. There is a very substantial risk that all, or most of all of SA3723 (PAWS2007) will be deemed to be non-controversial. If HSUS and Senator Durbin sell that falsehood to Agriculture Committee leadership, SA3723 will be added in the floor manager's omnibus "technical" amendment package and passed without debate. We should strive to prevent this from happening. Relying on 2007-2008 House Agriculture Committee leadership and their conferees to block this measure would be unwise.

Walt Hutchens wrote:

In news items over the weekend we've learned that the Senate'sstalemate over the 2007 Farm Bill has been broken. With hundreds ofamendments 'on the table' for discussion, it has been agreed that eachside (Republicans and Democrats) will be allowed to choose 20 forinclusion in the Senate's version of the Farm Bill, SA 3500.Once that package comes together, we may expect it to pass the Senatequickly and move to a House-Senate conference committee where thedifferences between House and Senate versions will be adjusted.

Our next and best shot at killing New PAWS (old PAWS plus import restrictions and provisions for third-party inspections of 'regulated persons') is by preventing the PAWS amendment (SA 3723) from being included in the Senate's Farm Bill package. Sen. Durbin (sponsor) and HSUS, will of course be working hard to see that it IS included.We ALL need to work on this. Fortunately, what needs to be done is easy -- just four simple faxes that can be all alike, except for the Senator's name.Your message is simple, something like this will work:


Dear Senator XXXXX

Please OPPOSE the inclusion of SA 3723, the so-called Pet Animal Welfare Statute, in the 2007 Farm Bill. This unwise measure would do great damage to American dogs and cats. It couldn't even get a committee hearing last year and attaching it tothe Farm Bill is a clear attempt to do an end run around normal Senate procedures. Sincerely,Your Name, address, and (preferably) telephone number.


Use your own words -- form letters may be ignored! It's good to say something about yourself that shows why you care, but don't get bogged down and DO keep your message short. Don't worry about getting the exact right words. Just make it clearthat you want your Senator to be AGAINST (or VOTE NO ON) SA 3723. Be polite! Fax to the following:

1. Your own state's two U.S. Senators. You can find those fax numbersby going to the Cat Fanciers Association 'alerts' page at: Click the blue 'Complete Senate Roster contact information', pick out your two senators, and get their fax numbers. Other blue lines onthe 'alerts' page have the bill itself, and the bill merged into the AWA, if you want to read the details.

2. ALSO fax to the Farm Bill floor manager and Senate Agriculture Chairman Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Ranking Minority Member Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA). These are the two most powerful Senators with regard to what gets into the Farm Bill. These fax numbers are:

Sen. Tom Harkin -- 202-224-9369
Sen. Saxby Chambliss -- 202-224-0103

Since action to include amendments in the Farm Bill is expected to start Monday, December 10, PLEASE SEND THESE FOUR FAXES IMMEDIATELY.

OK, me again (Amy Dahl). SAOVA has created a website at There may not be time to organize club and group support as we did with PAWS, but if you are a club officer or board member, please consider Club Faxes to the four Senators as well as getting your Club on board in opposition to the amendment. Forwarding and cross-posting permitted. Please spread the word as widely as you can. Thank you for your attention. Now please, take a few more minutes and send four Faxes, and get as many friends as possible to do the same.

Amy Dahl

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