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Dog-breeding legislation moves through Mo. legislature

The chambers of the Missouri House of Representatives.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)
The chambers of the Missouri House of Representatives.

Updated 6:38 p.m.:

Missouri lawmakers have sent Gov. Jay Nixon a new version of a bill rewriting a voter-approved law on dog-breeding.

Wednesday's quick action by the state House and Senate came after Nixon began the day by signing a previously passed bill repealing key sections of the "Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act" approved by voters last November.

As part of a compromise brokered by Nixon's administration among state-based agriculture and animal welfare groups, lawmakers agreed to supersede their original bill with additional changes to the dog-breeding law.

The end result is that a voter-approved limit of 50 breeding dogs per business will be repealed, and many of the original dog-care provisions will be replaced. The latest version of the bill also gives existing dog breeders more time comply with expanded housing requirements.

Original Story:

The Missouri House has approved additional changes to the state's dog breeding regulations in a deal with Gov. Jay Nixon to sign separate legislation repealing key parts of last year's voter-approved law.

House members endorsed the new bill Wednesday shortly after Nixon signed another bill rolling back parts requirements in the voter-backed law.

The new legislation would give breeders more time to comply with expanded housing requirements for their dogs. It also addresses veterinary care requirements.

Nixon's administration brokered a deal over breeding regulations with state-based agriculture and animal welfare groups.

GOP House Member Tom Loehner of Osage County sponsored the governor’s compromise version.

“Does it put some added burden on the breeders? Yes, it does…but it allows them a time in which they can do that…" Loehner said. "If they want to stay in business and do a good job and keep their facilities, they have the right to do that…if they choose not to and they don’t want to go that extra step, they have the right to get out.”

The House also passed an emergency clause, meaning that the compromise would take effect the moment Governor Nixon signs it.

The House voted 108-42 to approve legislation needed for that agreement. The measure was added by the House to a separate Senate bill, meaning the Senate must decide whether to accept the changes or request negotiations.

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.

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