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Iowa Puppy Mill Ranking Drops Nationally Despite Increase in Licenses Granted

Posted: Monday, October 16th, 2017 at 6:28 am
Author: KCII News - Sam McIntosh

A report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that Iowa’s ranking of large-scale dog breeding operations, or puppy mills, has dropped.

Iowa Friends of Companion Animals President Mary LaHay says it’s not the time to bust out the confetti, “We would love for this drop in ranking to be good news, unfortunately it’s not. Ordinarily you might think that since we saw a drop in our ranking it would mean that we have fewer of these problematic breeders in our state, but the fact of the matter is we have more than we did last year. We have seen a significant increase in the number of USDA licenses in the state, in fact approximately 40 new licenses since last year.”

The USDA is responsible for regulating and overseeing commercial dog breeders nationwide, which includes issuing licenses and inspecting kennels to ensure they comply with the Animal Welfare Act. Iowa is sitting at a #4 ranking because of significant jumps in puppy mills in states like Ohio and Indiana.

According to Iowa Friends of Companion Animals the USDA has shifted more of its focus to industry-friendly policies including reducing public access to information from inspection reports. With less information being made available to animal advocates and the general public, LaHay recommends that constituents contact their local legislators to prompt the USDA to do a course-correction on their policy changes, to prevent further industry expansion.