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Los Angeles Nears Ban on Dog, Cat And Rabbit Sales

The city councils of Los Angeles and Burbank are considering laws that would ban the sale of commercially bred dogs and cats, and for Los Angeles, this could also extend to rabbits.

By The SmallAnimalChannel News Division
Posted: October 26, 2012, 8:30 p.m. EDT

rabbit posed by flower
© Gina Cioli/BowTie Studio
Commercially bred rabbits could be one of the pets that would be banned from sale in Los Angeles if laws under consideration are passed.

The Los Angeles City Council moved a step closer Wednesday, October 24, 2012, to banning the retail sale of commercially bred dogs, cats and rabbits when it voted 12-2 in favor of a proposed ordinance.

The Los Angeles Times reported that more than 20 pet stores would be affected by the ban, which faces a final vote on Oct. 31. Los Angeles would become the largest U.S. city to enact such a ban, the newspaper added.

The ordinance would permit the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits obtained from an animal shelter, humane society or nonprofit rescue organization. Residents could continue to buy pets directly from breeders.

The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) lobbied against the legislation during a hearing Oct. 2, stating that 11 pet stores could go out of business.

Washington, D.C.-based PIJAC urged its members to contact Los Angeles council members and ask that the ordinance be rejected because:
   • The legislation should focus on closing bad operators, not all operators.
   • The proposal would hurt small businesses and put people out of work.
   • Putting pet stores out of business would open the door to underground markets.

PIJAC also advised its members to contact government leaders in neighboring Burbank, California, which is considering a law that would ban the retail sale of dogs and cats, except those obtained from registered nonprofit animal rescues, adoption agencies or shelter groups.

Burbank pet stores would be required to maintain a record of the sources of its animals and would have one year after the legislation passes to abide by the regulations.

A Burbank City Council report identified four stores that sell puppies or kittens: Peggy Woods Pet Emporium and Millennium Pets, which have commercially bred animals, and Pet Mania and Burbank Pet Plaza, which carry animals given up for adoption.

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