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PROFESSIONAL KENNELS CALL FOR TOUGH LEGISLATION

 PROFESSIONAL KENNELS CALL FOR TOUGH LEGISLATION
 JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., Jan. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Missouri professional


kennel owners are calling on state lawmakers to pass a bill this session that would regulate the pet industry and protect new pet owners.
 Robert Brandt, a kennel owner and vice president of American Professional Pet Distributors, Inc. (APPDI), an industry humane care group, said Wednesday that the pet industry was eager to help enact "tough, fair" legislation. Brandt testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on a bill offered by Sen. John Scott (D-St. Louis).
 "APPDI is committed to helping the legislature pass a bill that will ensure humane care and provide warranty protection for pet consumers," Brandt said. "Our goal is to ensure that consumers receive quality pets from facilities which meet high animal welfare standards."
 Brandt said that APPDI opposes the bill introduced by Sen. Scott because it would not ensure humane care at many facilities and does not provide consumer protection. Also, kennel owners oppose the bill, Brandt said, because it would create a state regulation program within the Department of Health, which lacks expertise in animal care issues.
 As an alternative, Brandt urged the legislature to enact a bill that would:
 -- Require pet breeders, distributors, shelters, pounds, pet shops and research facilities to be licensed and inspected annually by the state Department of Agriculture. Breeders with four or more breedable female dogs or cats would be licensed.
 -- Establish animal welfare requirement for pet facilities based on the comprehensive humane care standards created by APPDI. The APPDI standards were developed by veterinarians and animal care experts. The APPDI standards surpass federal requirements.
 -- Allow pet consumers to obtain a refund, exchange or payment of veterinary bills within a reasonable time if they are sold an unhealthy animal.
 -- Create a felony charge for pet dealers who knowingly purchase a dog or cat from an illegal facility.
 APPDI President Doug Hughes, of Purdy, Mo., said that other states are looking to Missouri for leadership.
 "Missouri is the leading producer of purebred dogs in the nation," Hughes said. "As a result, we have a special responsibility to pass legislation here that will serve as a model for other states. If lawmakers adopt the approach advocated by APPDI and other concerned citizens, consumers will have another good reason to feel confident about Missouri-raised pets."
 -0- 1/30/92
 /CONTACT: Doug Hughes of APPDI, 417-652-3579/ CO: American Professional Pet Distributors, Inc. ST: Missouri IN: SU:


AL -- MN008 -- 5459 01/30/92 16:41 EST
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Date:Jan 30, 1992
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