This week, three Atlanta City Councilmembers introduced a bill to ban stores from selling animals from “puppy and kitten mills.” The legislation will move to the Public Safety Committee for consideration at the meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 23.
Councilmember Amir Farokhi spearheaded the proposal, and it was co-sponsored by Councilmembers Carla Smith and Natalyn Archibong.
Farokhi told First Coast News the ordinance is close to his heart.
“Atlanta is a humane city and our policies toward animals should reflect that,” he said. “My wife and I own a rescued dog and two rescued cats. Our city should follow the lead of many others to promote the adoption of rescued animals and reduce demand for inhumane puppy and kitten mills.”
The Atlanta Humane Society released a statement in support of the bill.
“When profit is primary motivation of the supply and sale of dogs and cats, animals suffer,” said Dr. Gloria Dorsey of the Atlanta Humane Society. “Ending the practices of puppy and kitten mills who seek to minimize care, ignore suffering and maximize revenue is a critical step in ending animal cruelty and helping ensure that Atlanta is a healthy pet community.”
However, some Georgia politicians disagree with limiting pet store sales to rescued dogs and cats. Earlier this year, House Representative Rick Jasperse sponsored a bill to overturn laws in cities and counties regulating puppy sales. The bill was rejected by the state senate in February.
“It’s about the free market and for Georgia’s consumers to have the ability to choose what they buy,” Jasperse said at the time.
He believes local governments have no business banning the purchase of otherwise legal “retail items”, including commercially-bred puppies.
“Taking away consumer choice isn’t the appropriate way to do it,” Jasperse said. When asked if he was standing up for puppy mills, he responded: “Well, I’m not doing that. I’m standing up for consumer choice.”
According to BestFriends.org, 24 U.S. states currently have bans on retail pet sales in one or more of their cities including eight in Georgia.
H/T to First Coast News
Featured Image via Facebook/Atlanta Humane Society
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