County commissioners consider ordinance to regulate sourcing of animals for pet shops, breeders

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Major changes could be coming for pet shops, animal breeders, and distributors in Las Vegas because both the Clark County Board of Commissioners and the Las Vegas City Council are looking at their own set of regulations to make sure animals sold in the area are coming from reputable sources.

The board of commissioners considered an ordinance Tuesday that would regulate the sourcing of animals for new pet shops, but not for current ones.  But after hearing concerns about bad breeding practices, the board postponed their vote to do more research.

“Any law that basically just targets pet stores, it’s not good enough, said Hani Levi, Vegans Rise Up.  “We have to target the problem from the root, which is the backyard breeders as well.”

Puppy mills are also a concern because there are businesses that breed puppies for sale, often in inhumane conditions.

“Nobody in our city council; nobody in our city supports puppy mills,” said Steven Seroka, Las Vegas City Councilman.

If approved, the new rules would allow the city to better enforce where the animals sold at pet shops are coming from.  Changes would include requiring professional permits, quarterly reports on sourcing, and inspections of all pets by animal control officers.

“The goal of this policy is to get a working relationship between breeders, distributors, and our pet stores and our consumers and our community, so that we are all getting healthy pets and we’re also protecting their welfare,” Seroka said.

Animal welfare groups say while the proposed regulations for pet shops like this one are a step forward, they’re still not enough.

“The ideal clearly is a complete ban on pet shops,” 
Karen Layne, the president of the Las Vegas Valley Humane Society said.
“I have no problem with making additional demands upon pet shops, but it’s a long way from banning pet shops.”

The city council will vote Wednesday morning on whether to implement the proposed changes.

In 2016, the city council voted to ban selling pets not obtained from animal shelters or rescue organizations, which was a win for animal advocates.  But, the ban was repealed last November just before it went into effect.

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