Posted: July 20, 2010, 9:40 p.m. EDT
The City of El Paso Department of Public Health is inviting members of the public to a roundtable meeting on Wednesday, July 21, 2010, to discuss a proposed ordinance that would prohibit pet stores in El Paso, Texas, from selling “puppies” and “kittens.” The roundtable will also discuss changes in pet licensing fees.
The purpose of the roundtable is to get public input so a more specific proposal can be drawn up, according to Armando Saldivar, public affairs officer for the City of El Paso Department of Public Health. Right now, there isn’t much more to go on, he said.
A more specific proposal would outline whether the ban would include just puppies and kittens or whether it would include all dogs and cats, or even extend to all pet animals such as birds, reptiles, rabbits and other small animals.
The roundtable was spurred after Mayor John Cook shot down a proposal that was discussed at a public hearing last week. The proposal aimed to increase license fees for unsterilized dogs and cats, set microchip requirements and prohibit the sale of animals younger than 8 weeks of age, among other animal regulations. Mayor Cook wanted a more stringent ordinance, one that included a pet sale ban, Saldivar said.
There are similar pet-sale ban proposals pending in the cities of San Francisco and Austin, according to the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, which issued an industry alert on the topic today.
PIJAC is urging its members and others to contact members of the City Council to voice their opposition to this “anti-pet proposal.”
“PIJAC strongly supports the right to keep pets, and the right of pet owners to have options as to where they obtain their companion animals based on the pet owner’s individual circumstances, needs and preferences,” PIJAC wrote. “Pet stores provide healthy, responsibly raised pets to the public, and should serve as one of the options pet owners may turn to in choosing a companion animal. Discriminatory bans against the sale of animals by pet stores are poor public policy, and are harmful to pets and pet owners. Such bans do not benefit animals or the pet owning public.”
The roundtable meeting will take place 6 to 7:30 p.m. July 21 at City Council Chambers, 2 Civic Center Plaza.
El Paso City Council is scheduled to vote on the ordinance in August 2010.
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