Westminster Kennel Club Speaks Out Against California Healthy Pets Act Ab 1634

NEW YORK (July 3, 2007) -- The Westminster Kennel Club, America's oldest organization dedicated to purebred dogs, today released a letter stating its opposition to the controversial proposed California Healthy Pets Act AB1634, calling it "an ill-conceived and misnamed piece of legislation."

In a letter from President Peter R. Van Brunt, the club cited its 132-year history of supporting animal welfare organizations and educating the general public about responsible pet ownership, and asked California legislators considering the bill not to allow it to become law.

The letter:

A statement from The Westminster Kennel Club:

The Westminster Kennel Club, founded in 1877, is America's oldest organization dedicated to the sport of purebred dogs.

Throughout our history, by our actions and through the huge media reach of our annual all breed dog show, we have always been proud of our role in educating the dog show fancy and millions of dog lovers in the general public about responsible dog ownership. We welcome the responsibility that comes with staging America's Dog Show, that our legacy and our actions are far-reaching and influential.

Now, we find the need to speak in opposition to an ill-conceived and misnamed piece of legislation that is being considered in the state of California: AB 1634, the Healthy Pets Act. Westminster is located in New York and the largest entry for our show comes from the state of California, but this legislation affects anyone who truly cares for the welfare and the future of our companion animals.

Education, responsible pet ownership and effective, enforceable animal control laws should be the focus of any government activity on the subject of companion animals. For many reasons, mandatory spay and neuter laws are not the answer.

Westminster is proud to have always supported animal welfare and animal welfare organizations in many ways since our founding in 1877, and we will continue to do so. Inherent with that promise is the necessity to advocate for laws in our communities that have the best interests of our companion dogs and cats and their caregivers at heart. AB 1634, the Healthy Pets Act, does not, and we hope that the legislators in California will agree with us and not allow this bill, in any form, to become law.

On behalf of the members of the Westminster Kennel Club,

Peter R. Van Brunt

For a pdf version of this letter, click here.

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