Online Pet Sales, Facilitated by the Humane Society of the United States

Welcome to Vegan Place. You’re reading the best entry ever posted here.

Mind you, I wanted Vegan Place’s opening entry to be uplifting, encouraging, and beautiful. But it is not. Because this morning, the CEO of the Humane Society of the United States dropped a heap of disgraceful words about the group’s latest “victory” into my in-box. Well, something needs to be said about that. As in: If this is a humane “victory” what do the defeats look like?

Here’s the e-mail. The bold highlighting is there in the original. And here’s my bold highlighting: This is the codification of online mass pet retailing. 

September 10, 2013

Dear Friend,

I have a huge victory to share with you! After years of pressure from The HSUS, and hundreds of thousands of emails and support from advocates like you, online puppy mills will finally be subject to federal inspections and oversight. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced plans today to ensure that large-scale breeding facilities that sell puppies over the Internet, by phone, or by mail are licensed and inspected regularly for basic humane care standards. This rule will also apply to large commercial breeders of other warm-blooded pets, such as kittens and small mammals.

We are so grateful for the actions of our advocates. When we stand together, we can make a tremendous difference for animals on a national level.

Thank you for all you do for animals,

Wayne Pacelle, President & CEO
The Humane Society of the United States

I went to Wayne Pacelle’s blog, which posted the announcement today. Pacelle explains that the new administrative rule is “a long-held aspiration for The HSUS, the Humane Society Legislative Fund, and the Doris Day Animal League”–groups that have got the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s inspector general to review enforcement of the rules governing dog breeding, and that found “this glaring gap in the law that allowed Internet sellers to evade any federal oversight whatever.”

Pacelle goes on to thank the Obama administration, the “strong bipartisan support in Congress for closing the `Internet loophole` in the Animal Welfare Act regulations”, and the USDA, which will assign people to license (yes) and inspect the animal vendors.

The very same USDA, as Dissident Voice founder Sunil Sharma observes, “whose `inspectors` regularly visit factory farms and report nothing wrong.”

Pacelle justifies this codification project with one of the most tired old chants: “Puppy mills aren’t going away overnight…”

Of course not, if the world’s most influential humane-treatment group makes a campaign out of codifying them. The HSUS hereby marks its role as the federal regulatory regime for online retail animal sales is rolled out, and declares its key position in deciding who in the industry is not carrying out the sales according to that regulatory regime.

The establishment of the industry-regulating role will be followed by the correlative industry-policing role. Thus, administrative regimes are created with the help of the humane-treatment sector and they beget more jobs in the humane-standards field–an industry upon an industry. University classes are now being created and offered to prepare students for roles in refining animal breeding, use and handling. To say their aspirations to a humane, sustainable ideal amount to a lot of fairy dust would be to understate the actual harms done when the exploitation of animal life is continually hardened into the system of administrative law and custom.

It’s a gorgeous day, the moon has already risen, and I need a run. Thank you for reading. In later posts I’ll try, in the famous words of Harold Chasen’s mother, to be a little more vivacious.

Harold, please

image source

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6 thoughts on “Online Pet Sales, Facilitated by the Humane Society of the United States

  1. Perhaps you are being too hard on the HSUS. After all, they are just starting out, just feeling their way in the business of approving puppy mills. Maybe the USDA will eventually go the whole hog, as they have in the abattoir business, by grading the offspring of these dogs, cats and other mammals. “USDA Certified Grade A Golden Retriever puppy” or “Grade C kitten, not suitable for human companionship.” It won’t be long before scientific advances will enable us to digitize small mammals so that they can be sent as attachments, then downloaded. When that comes about, today’s naysayers will understand the wisdom of HSUS and USDA involvement, although at that point, I expect Homeland Security to be involved as well.

  2. Selling out to the very industry that profits from its use of animals can in no way be construed as animal protection. Federal regulations? Oversight? Nonsense! If HSUS were serious about animals and their abysmal use in our culture, instead of regulating puppy mills, it should be working towards abolishing breeding altogether – and not only of dogs, but all animals, in kennels, in private homes, in laboratories, and on the farm.

    pheasants – the list goes on, seemingly into infinity.

  3. I remember the day I signed off on National Geographic Magazine. I spotted the cover across the library – a fox! Yay! I’ve always wanted to know more about foxes. As I got closer, I saw the title – something like, “Is this the next pet?” If I hadn’t been in a public place I’d have made some very unpleasant sounds.

  4. You know, Wayne, you’re right, puppy mills aren’t going away overnight. And as long as you’re in a position of power, they’re not going away at all.

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