Iowa Department of Agriculture proposes animal welfare changes
The Iowa Department of Agriculture has proposed changes to the state’s animal welfare laws that crackdown the living conditions of animals.
The state of Iowa has ranked among the lowest when it comes to welfare laws. These changes will give people looking for their next four-legged friends a little more security.
“I’m working with about 5 to 10 breeders a week,” Ron Solsrud said.
Solsrud is the owner of the Petland in Iowa City. He and a team of others visit every breeding operation they buy their puppies from before they hit the shelves. Despite the state’s lack of welfare laws, Solsrud holds the breeders to his own standards.
“A new breeder contacted me saying they liked what I did and asked if I would partner with them,” Solsrud said. “When I walked on the property I told them there wasn’t someone I was going to work with right now. They didn’t have a big enough area for the puppies to play in and the fences were also not up to my standard. We are looking for clean, safe, nice facilities where the puppies are taken care of physically and emotionally. “
The proposed changes would make his job a lot easier. It would mean better living conditions for the animals: liquid water, litter pans must be cleaned daily, and there must also be sufficient heating and cooling.
“People will be getting healthier dogs,” Preston Moore said.
Moore works for the Humane Society of the United States. His organization has been pushing for these changes for decades.
“Iowans have spoken up in a pretty substantial way,” Moore said. “I think Iowans are tired of seeing Iowa on the very bottom of every welfare list.”
The Humane Society of the United States worked with the department on the language. He said this is the first step in protecting buyers, whether it’s the Solrud’s or those buying from pet stories.
The public will have an opportunity to go over the proposal and give feedback to the board in the next couple of weeks. If passed, the change would be in place as early as January of 2020.