The Tennessee senate has voted to reject a bill that would have extended the Commercial Breeder Act, a five-year-old law that enforces tight regulations on puppy mills and is set to expire in June. Instead of voting to keep regulations in place for another year, state legislators have decided to spend the summer developing new oversight programs for commercial puppy breeders, all the while leaving a hole in monitoring breeding until they approve a new bill.
"The committee's decision today does not change our intent to bring new legislation forward in 2015 that keeps inhumane puppy mills out of Tennessee, recognizes those breeders who treat their dogs right [and] protects dogs and consumers alike," State Senator Ferrell Haile, who sponsored the defeated stop-gap measure, said in a statement.
Tennessee's decision to renege on the law is a step back from the state's crackdown on puppy mills, a move that has been followed in a number of other municipalities throughout the country. Most recently, the city of Chicago passed a ban on the sale of dogs from commercial puppy breeders, while other areas across the country are considering similar measures.
Organizations like the ASPCA strongly support new measures in Tennessee (and elsewhere) that will stay tough on puppy mills. To show your support for a new bill that would build on the success of the Commercial Breeder Act, or to voice your concern about Tennessee's failure to extend it, you can contact a legislator.