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Sunday, February 1, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 12.0° F  Snow Blowing Snow and Windy
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Madison lawmakers support dog breeding regulation legislation

The latest attempt to impose regulation on dog breeding in the state has passed another hurdle. Co-sponsors for the bill have signed on to the current Smith-Kreitlow version (LRB-2448/2).

Many of those signing on represent the Madison area, including Sen. Fred Risser, Rep. Terese Berceau, Rep. Spencer Black, Rep. Brett Davis (Oregon), Rep. Gary Hebl (Sun Prairie), Rep. Joe Parisi, Rep. Marc Pocan, Rep. Sondy Pope-Roberts, and Rep. Kelda Helen Roys.

The Madison-based Alliance for Animals will be holding a vegetarian dinner and silent auction Saturday, May 2 from 6-9 p.m. at the UW Arboretum Visitor Center with radio talk show host Lee Rayburn as auctioneer to help support the legislation.

Proponents are facing opposition from some quarters, such as hobby breeders who feel that the definition of a "commercial" breeder as someone who sells 25 or more dogs a year is unfair to hobby breeders and even, they say, rescue groups.

For instance, John Yates of The American Sporting Dog Alliance has written that the group rejects the legislation as an "attempt to divide dog owners under a fictitious premise. This legislation is not aimed at substandard breeders. It is aimed at invading the lives of everyone who raises dogs with impossible regulations that are being hidden from view and removed from legislative oversight, and draconian enforcement measures for technical violations."

Rep. Don Pridemore has issued a statement saying the bill goes too far: "Puppy mills produce hundreds of dogs. I have not had anyone speak of a puppy mill in terms of 26 dogs."

The bill could be amended to exempt home breeders who have only a few litters per year, although the figure of 25 or more was arrived at after the previous attempt at legislation set the number at 50 and was deemed too high.

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