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A SAOVA message for sportsmen, pet owners and farmers concerned about protecting their traditions, avocations and livelihoods from anti-hunting, anti-breeding, animal guardianship advocates. Forwarding and cross posting, with attribution, encouraged.

Dear Friends,

Senator Rick Santorum’s November 8, 2005 S1139 "Pet Animal Welfare Act" (PAWS) subcommittee hearing was most significant for what didn’t happen, not for what did. Last week was plus for the breeders, rescuers and sportsmen opposed to this bill. I say this based on decades of Washington experience and numerous face-to-face conversations with key Hill staff and full-time professional lobbyists.

What was an internal PAWS stalemate a month ago became an obvious legislative setback at the hearing. Not only did the Santorum subcommittee hearing lack a quorum, no other senator make even a token appearance. There is minimal congressional support for S1139 and not even its few non-legislator supporters have common objectives.

On July 27, 2005 Sen. Santorum made the following statement on the Senate floor.

… I intend to convene a hearing and mark-up of PAWS shortly after the August recess to make technical corrections, and to clarify some of the bill's language to better reflect our intentions as set forth in this statement.

Groups concerned about PAWS’s impacts were locked out of the "technical corrections" meetings held over the last four months and also weren't permitted to testify. The one-sided nature of the hearing was made dramatically public by the Washington’s political newspaper Roll Call’s full-page advertisement showing gagged animals outside of a padlocked hearing room. That SAOVA ad was funded by many concerned individuals, clubs and organizations and is attached to this message. To support this NO PAWS effort, see http://www.nopaws.org/donate.htm

The hearing itself was hurriedly scheduled eight days before the 2005 session ends. It was no more than a staged effort by Sen. Santorum for six individuals to publicly support PAWS. Tellingly, there was no S1139 mark-up. Moreover, Sen Santorum presented no written document of any kind. He only indicated that a PAWS "discussion draft" would be available in the "coming weeks." Dissention between the AKC, HSUS and the Doris Day Animal League (DDAL) over what that discussion draft might contain and whether they would support it surfaced at the hearing and subsequently.

A widely distributed post-PAWS hearing statement by AKC Director Gladstone was predictably a self-serving piece of spin doctoring, as you would expect from a group that stands to benefit financially if this bill becomes law. PAWS still breaches the private-commercial breeder barrier and still contains numerical standards. Rescuers will also be disappointed. The "negotiators" can't agree on meaningful exemptions that don't open loop holes. Further, owners of dogs sold for hunting, security and breeding purposes will be regulated IRRESPECTIVE of other numerical provisions in PAWS.

To get HSUS to go along with the alternative inspection scheme advanced by the AKC, any PAWS revision will require that home breeder inspections and standards be **at least as burdensome** as USDA's current commercial ones. That means engineering standards, not performance ones, e.g. annual reports, separate facilities with heat and *air conditioning*, double drains, wash down surfaces, no rugs or blankets, etc. The DDAL representative indicated any AKC alternative inspections are totally unacceptable to her organization.

AKC currently charges $250 for a reinspection. How much do you think it will charge to check your kennel's compliance with new standards to allow you to avoid a USDA inspection? Will UKC, FDSB and ACA breeders be charged extra? Will HSUS and DDAL inspect private breeders? Will all AKC dog breeders be required to pay for the alternative inspection costs? Unless you only sell a very few sterilized animals, or PAWS is rewritten to exclude that "purposes provision" - Yes.

It's time for all breed clubs to get off the fence and take a stand against this anti-dog legislation. Please encourage those clubs that appear very close to opposing PAWS.

National Beagle Club of America
Poodle Club of America
Boston Terrier Club of America
American Maltese Association
Vizsla Club of America
National Vizsla Club (FDSB)
Gordon Setter Club of America
American Bouvier des Flandres Club
Newfoundland Club of America
Sussex Spaniel Club of America

PAWS is aimed directly at each and every owner of a hunting breed, **IRRESPECTIVE** of any numerical value for dogs or litters sold. Under PAWS you may be federally licensed and inspected for a single purchase or sale. Wayne Pacelle and AKC's Chairman Ron Menaker said on Tuesday that sportsmen had nothing to fear from PAWS. Both men are lying through their teeth.

The facts are that owners of dogs sold for hunting, security and breeding purposes will be USDA regulated independent of other, numerical provisions in PAWS. That's how much the AKC has solved the problem it created by collaborating with HSUS and DDAL on PAWS last spring. AKC was taken to the cleaners in May and negotiated nothing to change its mess over the last four months. It’s been out-maneuvered and out negotiated at every turn. PAWS is a wide-open door to federal licensing of certain breeds and any breeder selling a non-sterilized puppy.

I personally don't give a fig who's permitted to inspect breeders under the AWA. SAOVA wouldn't care at all about AKC's alternative inspector schemes, if hunting dog owners weren't liable for federal licensing under PAWS. AKC's financial bottom line gymnastics also don't concern me, but the total hypocrisy of AKC's management and Board of Directors is positively soul deadening.

From the very first day, this has always been about AKC's competitive position, hurting other registries and trying to regain lost registration business, not animal welfare. I suspect it will lose more registrations and market share than it thought it would gain from all of this PAWS foolishness. AKC's image is in tatters and its customers extremely alienated. Most dog owners are bright enough to see through all of this and they will continue to work very hard to defeat PAWS, however much professional spin AKC puts on any cosmetic revisions.

When the AKC's Board Chairman, Directors, Officers and Washington consultant repeatedly demean, belittle and degrade hobby breeders concerned about PAWS, it only stiffens our resolve to bury S1139. We have the same reaction when HSUS's Wayne Pacelle publicly announces that dog fighters masquerading as legitimate breeders have been among those working most diligently and persistently against the bill.

Nearly every major breed club in America is actively opposing PAWS, including the Yorkies, Scotch Terriers, Pomeranians, Papillons, Dachshunds and Miniature Schnauzers. Are these fighting dogs? PAWS never had much of chance of passage. After this last week, it's going down hard and so are its supporters.

Please forward and cross post widely.

Bob Kane
Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance -
Working to identify and elect supportive legislators
** NO PAWS **
http://saova.org/1139.html
http://www.nopaws.org

The message above was posted to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware residents by the Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance (SAOVA) on one of ten regional read only elists.
 

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Santorum, what a jerk. He's the guy who diagnosed Terri Schiavo (the comatose feeding tube woman) on the basis of watching 20 minutes of video tape. Just like a real doctor (har har).

Anyway, go to google.com and do a search for "Santorum". Check out the first result :D

You must some kind of real jerk to have people do that to you.
 

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Yeah, that's why I hate extremist anything. I like nice solid middle of the road guys. Those politicos who are too far one way or the other tend to surprise you with some idiocy just when you thought you had a good reading on the guy.
 
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