USDA Cracks Down on Internet Pet Sales

by Rachel Baker on September 12, 2013

The USDA announced Tuesday new requirements for dog owners who breed more than four females and sell puppies online. These private breeders will have to submit to the same oversight wholesale animal breeders are required to follow.

Shea, administrator of the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, says the agency is responding to a 2010 USDA inspector general’s report that uncovered grisly conditions at so-called “puppy mills” around the country. The report recommended that the department tighten the animal welfare laws — written more than four decades ago, long before the advent of the Internet — to cut down on unscrupulous breeders.

In addition to finding dirty, bug-infested conditions at many breeding facilities, inspectors cited numerous reports of buyers who received animals who were sick or dying.

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