Four little kittens sit in a box and stick their heads out curiously.
(Photo Credit: Anita Kot | Getty Images)

Vermont Bill Looks to Ban Pet Store Sales of Cats

In an effort to tackle the issue of puppy farms and promote animal welfare, Vermont is considering a bill that could put an end to the sale of dogs, cats, and wolf hybrids in pet stores. The proposed legislation, known as H.567, was introduced by Representative Emilie Krasnow of South Burlington to the House agriculture committee on January 31. Krasnow stated that the bill aims to deter the state from becoming a breeding ground for puppy mills, notorious for their inhumane conditions.

Vermont legislators consider banning pet stores from selling cats, dogs

This initiative follows the example of seven other states that have already adopted similar laws, with Maine’s legislation serving as a model since 2019. The bill’s introduction comes amidst concerns that Vermont could become attractive to pet stores driven out of neighboring states due to tightening laws against puppy mills. Following New York’s ban on pet sales, Connecticut observed an uptick in pet store openings, indicating a potential shift of the industry to more permissive states.

During discussions, Krasnow drew attention to the singular pet store in Vermont that currently sells such animals. Thanks to a grandfather clause within the bill, this establishment would be exempt from the proposed restrictions, ensuring that Vermont’s small puppy-selling pet store industry does not expand while still allowing existing businesses to operate.

Despite the positive intentions behind the bill, it has received opposition from the pet industry and breeders. Critics argue that banning pet store sales might inadvertently fuel a black market for pets — per the Other Paper. Representatives from the National Animal Interest Alliance and the Pet Advocacy Network have expressed concerns about the potential for increased unregulated, unlicensed breeding operations that do not adhere to any animal care standards.

Nevertheless, Rep. Krasnow remains hopeful about the bill’s potential to foster a healthier, more humane pet community in the state. With support from local organizations, the Humane Society, and state representatives, the bill represents a significant step toward ending the sale of animals from inhumane breeding facilities in the state.

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