This is a post from the Pet-Law email list reproduced here with permission of the author. Karen Strange is president of the Missouri Federation of Animal Owners (Mofed) and was among the handful of people in this country who saw the animal rights juggernaut lumbering towards us years before the rest of us recognized it for what it was.
I wrote the following to present to legislators who attended a breakfast we co-sponsored at our state capitol with the Missouri Pet Breeders Association and the Professional Pet Association in the spring of 2009. The term "puppymill" is one of the most disgusting words used in our time, and is one we are working to eliminate from being socially acceptable in our language. We are encouraging breeders to include it in puppy packets and to get it in as many hands of the general public as possible. While it was written for Missouri, it can be revised to suit each state. I strongly encourage educating the public with every opportunity that the "pm" term is grossly misused, is an animal rights term, and has no legal definition.
DISPELLING THE TERM "PUPPYMILL"
There is no legal definition for the term "puppymill".
The term "puppymill" is a phrase coined by animal rights activists and supporters against anyone who breeds dogs, regardless of the care the animals receive. The name-calling is a means to turn the unknowing public against all dog breeders and to raise endless funds for continuous propaganda and money-making schemes by animal rights activists and organizations.
There is a difference between professional kennels and sub-standard kennels.
Professional breeders operate legal kennels, licensed by the state department of agriculture as well as USDA, and meet or exceed all guidelines pertaining to the health, care and well-being of their animals. They are active members in good standing of state associations, attend seminars, and earn continuing education hours for lectures on such topics as pre-natal and post-natal care, nutrition, health care, socialization, grooming, kennel management, tax preparation, ventilation, incubation and reproduction.
Substandard kennels are illegal, unlicensed facilities that produce animals with no regards to their health and well-being.
No one supports neglect or abuse of animals. Calling legal, licensed, professional breeders "puppymills" and claiming that they abuse their animals is grossly unfair and unjust, and is not acceptable.
The term "puppymill" is a derogatory word used by animal rights activists and supporters against anyone who breeds dogs, and is no more acceptable than using slur names for those of different ethnic backgrounds. It is as degrading and offensive to professional breeders to call them "puppymills" as it is to call our fellow man slur names. It is not socially acceptable to call our fellow man names, nor is it acceptable to call breeders slur names.
We ask that you refrain from using the term "puppymill", and that you correct others that use the term to describe dog breeders. Animal rights activists use the term to garner support for fundraising, and those funds are being used to eliminate all agriculture, use and enjoyment of animals. Please help us to stop the spread of animal rights issues. Let's all begin by eliminating the term "puppymill" from our vocabulary.
Karen Strange, President & Lobbyist