California pet shops to only sell rescued animals
A new law, known as AB 485, is scheduled to make California the first US state to only allow the sale of rescued animals in pet shops, according to a BBC News report.
Set to take effect on 1 January 2019, Californian pet retailers can no longer purchase cats, dogs and rabbits from breeders and must source animals from shelters. Any pet shop found guilty of breaching the new law will face a fine of $500.
Breeders, however, will still be allowed to make private sales.
Patrick O’Donnell, who introduced AB 485, has declared it beneficial to not just animals but to taxpayers, too. Currently, taxpayers across California contribute to the cost of sheltering unwanted animals.
The law has been welcomed by animal welfare groups who have been quoted by the BBC as calling it a victory against “kitten factories” and “puppy mills” where pets are bred for money.
In accordance with AB 485, pet shops in California will now be required by law to retain sufficient records of where each animal on sale was sourced.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) estimates that of the 6.5 million pets entering shelters in the USA each year, currently 1.5 million are euthanised.