LAS VEGAS -- Lawmakers in Carson City are considering a bill that would ban the sale or transfer of live animals at flea markets.
Puppies, kittens, lizards and all sorts of other creatures are being kept in unhealthy conditions at swap meets across Nevada, according to animal rights activists.
Nevada Voters for Animals President Gina Greisen said she has been working to end the sale of animals in flea markets for years.
"Shavers, old tools, used items, purses and stuff," Greisen said of items commonly found at swap meets. "I don't think that live animals should fall in that category."
She provided a video she said was taken at Broadacres Swap Meet in North Las Vegas in 2009 where dogs were crammed into cages and left in the sun.
The animal rights activists said they want those sales to be outlawed.
"I think this is a long overdue bill," animal rights activist Linda Faso said. "I think for many years people have complained about the conditions of animals sold at swap meets."
It is already illegal to sell animals at outdoor markets when it's too hot or cold.
Supporters of Assembly Bill 246 said swap meets -- indoors and out --- are unsafe for animals.
Several animal rights activists testified at a hearing teleconferenced into the Grant Sawyer Building Tuesday.
The activists argued over the bill's language, but not about its intent.
Veterinarian David Henderson said swap meets basically act as puppy mills, spreading parasites and disease.
"Roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, giardia, toxidea, all these parasites are very common, especially if these animals are kept in unsanitary environments," Henderson said.
The bill has been sent to a work session before it can move forward.
"A bill has to start somewhere," Faso said. "Then you go back you make compromises you iron it out."
One provision is holding her back, one that would allow non-profit organizations to continue to use swap meets.