A pet goldfish
There is a proposal before the city's government for San Francisco to have a total pet ban, including goldfish. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

A committee of the city council of San Francisco is recommending the city of San Francisco institute a total pet ban. The group is recommending that no person in one of the United States’ most esteemed cities be allowed to either buy or sell a pet.

City council scrambles to combat scourge of goldfish

If San Francisco’s recently recommended ban on pet sales, stores and ownership takes place, residents in the Bay Area can bid farewell to ambitions of keeping even an innocuous goldfish, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Commission of Animal Control and Welfare, a small committee that is part of the city government of San Francisco, is issuing a statement to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, recommending that all pet sales be banned from the city. The statement, entitled “The Humane Pet Acquisition Proposal,” recommends that all sales of animals be halted, except for a few small breeders and adoption agencies. Those who plan to eat the animal in question would also be allowed to purchase.

According to CBS, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors isn’t likely to proceed with the anti-pet recommendation.

Intent was to shut down puppy mills

The Commission of Animal Control and Welfare conceived the anti-pet recommendation to prevent people from buying dogs or cats from “puppy mills” or “kitten mills.” The practice, according to the ASPCA, includes keeping female dogs pregnant in perpetuity, which is often very painful. Adults and juvenile dogs and cats are often kept in filthy, cramped conditions with the intent of selling juveniles en masse to stores or private buyers. Puppy mills also perpetuate genetic defects such as hip dysplasia, as standard breeding guidelines intended to limit potential debilitating disorders are not followed.

Last year, San Francisco legislators attempted to pass a rule to ban puppy and kitten mills specifically, but it was tabled. The current proposal simply extends the proposal to all pets, with the noted exceptions. According to the Chicago Sun Times, only four stores in the city actually sell dogs.

Not the only city

Though San Francisco seems to have expanded to banning inhumane breeding of all pets, the City by the Bay is by no means the first to look into banning puppy mills. The East Texas Review reports that Governor Rick Perry recently signed HB 1451 into law, establishing minimum standards for pet breeders aimed at preventing puppy and kitten mills. The city of Glendale, Calif., is also mulling its own ban on dog or cat sales to curb “mill”-style breeding, according to the Los Angeles Times. The United States House of Representatives is also considering anti-puppy mill legislation, according to WXPI, an NBC affiliate in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Sources

Los Angeles Times: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-goldfish-20110627,0,6881137.story

CBS: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504943_162-20072063-10391715.html

ASPCA: http://www.aspca.org/fight-animal-cruelty/puppy-mills/what-is-a-puppy-mill.aspx

Chicago Sun Times: http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/6160284-474/san-franciscos-pet-cause-is-for-the-dogs.html

East Texas Review: http://www.easttexasreview.com/2011/06/canine-victory/

Los Angeles Times: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/06/glendale-moves-to-ban-all-cat-and-dog-retail-sales.html

WXPI: http://www.wpxi.com/news/28336218/detail.html

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