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Urgent – Take action against Illinois SB 1882 and HB 2824!

i Feb 21st No Comments by

Two companion bills have been introduced in the Illinois legislature that would overturn the Chicago Companion Animal and Consumer Protection Ordinance that prohibits pet stores from selling dogs and cats from inhumane breeding operations, in addition to invalidating similar ordinances in Cook County, Waukegan, and Warrenville.

At first glance, these bills appear to offer additional protections for animals – and we share and support their stated
goals of protecting consumers, increasing transparency in the sourcing of dogs and cats, and screening out inhumane
breeders. We also support the bills’ microchipping requirements. However, one section of these bills (Section 3.8) is
misguided and will be extremely harmful to consumers and animals. Section 3.8 legitimizes sourcing dogs from
inhumane breeding operations, relies on information that is no longer available for its enforcement, and prohibits cities from enacting their own laws regarding the sourcing and sale of dogs and cats in their communities.

Why is this legislation bad for animals and consumers?

  1. It will not screen out inhumane breeders. This legislation offers limited restrictions on where pet stores can source dogs and cats, requiring breeders to have a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) license and meet nominal inspection criteria – but a USDA license and clean record do not mean that a breeder is humane. USDA standards are barely survival standards. Dogs can live in cages only six inches larger than their bodies for 24 hours a day. Stacked cages, mesh or wire flooring, and unlimited breeding are all acceptable. These facilities tend to mass produce puppies and operate solely for profit. USDA licensure sounds reassuring to a consumer but in reality it accomplishes very little.
  2. It does not create transparency. This legislation ties its standards to information that is no longer available.
    Prior to January 2017, USDA breeder inspection records were publicly accessible through an online search tool.
    However, these records have now been removed from the USDA website indefinitely. Even more troubling, the
    legislation states that a pet store is considered in compliance even if the USDA records are unavailable. These
    bills were introduced after the USDA search tool had been removed – rendering the bills’ purported safeguards
    meaningless. There is currently no means for a consumer to research a breeder’s USDA record.
  3. This legislation denies cities and towns in Illinois the authority to make their own laws protecting consumers and animals. These bills would overturn ordinances in Chicago, Cook County, Waukegan, and Warrenville –similar to legislation passed in more than 200 municipalities across the United States. These cities have determined that the sourcing and sale of dogs and cats is an issue of local concern for their communities and
    Illinois home rule units should be able to pass their own legislation as appropriate.

What can you do?

Contact the sponsors and co-sponsors of these bills in the Illinois House and Senate and tell them that you appreciate their efforts and concern for these issues, but Section 3.8 must be eliminated in its entirety.

Tell them that removing the home rule provision (Section 3.8(e)) is NOT ENOUGH – keeping the rest of Section 3.8 explicitly allows pet stores to source from inhumane breeders without any means of researching those breeders.

Contact your own representative and senator (even if they are not sponsors of this bill) and tell them that animal welfare is important to you and that there is dangerous legislation (SB 1882/HB 2824) pending that you do not support.

If you live in Chicago: Call your alderman. Tell him or her that there is state legislation that will invalidate a city
ordinance and deny Chicago’s home rule authority on an issue that is very important to you. Ask them to voice their
opposition to SB 1882/HB 2824 and stand up for Chicago’s right to regulate the source of dogs and cats sold in our
community. You can also do this for your Cook County Commissioner if you live in Cook County.

How to Contact your Representatives

Illinois House of Representatives Contacts:

State Representative Jerry Costello, II (representative who introduced the bill, representing the 116th District): (618)
282-7284 or staterepcostello@gmail.com

Lawrence M. Walsh Jr. (chief co-sponsor, representing the 86th District, including Joliet): (815) 730-8600 or
statereplarrywalshjr@gmail.com

State Representative Norine Hammond (chief co-sponsor, representing the 93rd District): (309) 836-2707 or
rephammond@macomb.com

Randy Frese (chief co-sponsor, representing the 94th District): (217) 223-0833 or repfrese@adams.net

State Rep John C. D’Amico (chief co-sponsor, representing the 15th District): (773) 736-0218 or johnd@ilga.gov

State Representative Margo McDermed (chief co-sponsor, representing the 37th District): (815) 277-2079 or
McDermed@ilhousegop.org

Copy & paste to email them all at once: staterepcostello@gmail.com; rephammond@macomb.com; repfrese@adams.net; johnd@ilga.gov; statereplarrywalshjr@gmail.com; McDermed@ilhousegop.org

Illinois Senate Contacts:

Michael E. Hastings (senator who introduced the bill, representing the 19th District including Joliet and other
communities): (815) 464-5431 or http://senatorhastings.com/contact-me

State Senator Jil Tracy (co-sponsor representing the 47th District): (217) 223-0837

Senator Emil Jones III (chief co-sponsor representing the 14th District): (773) 995-7748
or http://senatoremiljones.com/contact-us

Senator William R. Haine (co-sponsor representing the 56th District): (618) 465-4764
or http://www.senatorhaine.com/contact-us

New co-sponsor added, State Senator Sam McCann (representing the 50th District): (217) 245-0050 or
SenatorMcCann@gmail.com

Locate your State Senator and State Representative: http://www.elections.il.gov/districtlocator/addressfinder.aspx

City of Chicago Alderman Lookup:
https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/mayor/iframe/lookup_ward_and_alderman.html

For more information, contact The Puppy Mill Project at info@thepuppymillproject.org.

Download this post on IL SB 1882 and HB 2824 as a PDF

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