The Senate on Tuesday rejected a measure to allow pet breeders to voluntarily comply with state rules aimed at cutting down on puppy mills in the state.
A different bill with stricter requirements is expected to be heard in the House today. House Bill 2745 was voted down in the Senate 27-19. The bill would have created a special license for breeders who sell, give away or transfer 35 or more dogs in a year. Sen. Jerry Ellis, D-Valliant, said the bill, although voluntary, could easily be changed to require breeders to get an additional license. Compliance efforts would cost money the cash-strapped state doesn’t have. "There is no estimate of the number of people seeking this sort of license,” he said. "I’m sure no one from my district would want to invite more government into their lives.” Sen. Patrick Anderson, R-Enid, said the aim of the bill is to "change the behavior in Oklahoma. We need to set a policy that says we do not want puppy mills in Oklahoma.” Missouri and Oklahoma rank one and two in the number of pets sold. Missouri voters will consider a measure in November to require large breeders to meet certain standards. Proponents say reform is needed so large breeders don’t move here. Although the House bill failed in the Senate, a Senate bill will be heard in the House today.