ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is cracking down on dog breeders who sell puppies over the internet.
The new crackdown will force the breeders to apply for federal licenses. Up until now, in Missouri repeat puppy mill offenders have bypassed receiving the federal license but Melanie Kahn with the Humane Society of the United States says that is about to end.
“You will be required now to have a federal license and be regulated. In essence, it closes that Internet loophole that has existed under the Animal Welfare Act for so many decades,” Kahn explained.
In Missouri, many puppy mill breeders, including those who have been identified as repeat offenders, continue to be licensed on the state level. When the Humane Society released its list of the 100 worst dog breeders, Missouri was home to 24.
“Missouri is still one of the worst puppy mill states in the country,” Kahn said. “We are cautiously optimistic this crackdown will improve conditions for the dogs but we know from various raids and rescues that we’ve done with operators that have been running puppy mills that in many of these cases there have been no eyes on dogs.”
Several calls, emails, and requests for interviews from KMOX News to the Missouri Department of Agriculture over the past several months have been ignored.