This just in from Nevada Animal Owners Alliance…

This just in from Nevada Animal Owners Alliance…

Animal owners and business were recently facing a couple of proposed changes to the county animal ordinances which would have put onerous and expensive standards into effect.

The first change would have re-defined commercial dog breeders as anyone who breeds three or more litters per year, regardless of litter size.  The current threshold is 5 or more litters, which was defined less than five years ago with help of local breeders.  Animal rights groups sought to lower that number so that more breeders could fall under the new commercial breeder state law that HSUS and other pushed through last session.  With reasoned testimony before the county commission last night, we were able to prevent the threshold from being lowered and the decision of the county commissioners was to leave it at the current 5 litters.

The second ordinance was called Animal Welfare Permitting” and was aimed squarely at regulating all commercial animal enterprises.  While common sense regulation is not a bad thing, this proposed ordinance carried many standards and requirements that would have been detrimental to animal health and to the businesses that own them.  For instance, one of the biggest requirements was that all animals owned by a commercial enterprise who be required to be housed on impervious surfaces.  The Sierra Safari Zoo, which has been in business for over 25 years, testified that not only would this requirement put them out of business due to the prohibitive cost of it, but that housing the hoofed animals and the big cats on concrete would be very deleterious to their health and welfare for a number of reasons.  Additionally, when read in its entirety, the ordinance defined horse boarding and training facilities as commercial enterprises that would have to comply by housing their horses on concrete.

Again, with reasoned and articulated testimony, we were able to get the commission to understand our concerns and the negative consequences of the ordinances to our livelihoods, businesses and animals.  They sent animal services back to the drawing board and stated they did not wish any ordinance to have unintended consequences to those business and citizens who were doing things correctly and obviously cared greatly about their animals.  They also directed animal services to work with us to develop the ordinance.  Yesterday was indeed a good day for animals and their owners in Washoe County.

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