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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Animal Advocates Rally at Capitol Urging Lawmakers to Pass Bills that Would Ban Puppy Mills, Let Students Opt Out of Dissection

MONTPELIER, Vt. – Citizens from across Vermont will descend on the state capitol to meet with their lawmakers today to urge them to pass legislation to regulate commercial dog breeders and another bill which would let students opt out of dissection.

House Bill 769, which bans the large-scale breeding and sale of dogs typical of puppy mills, was introduced by the following Representatives: Virginia Milkey, Mary Morrissey, Betty Nuovo, Carolyn Branagan, Norman McAllister, Patsy French, Tony Klein, Sue Minter, Joan Lenes and Ann Manwaring.

"The commercial breeding of dogs as mere commodities is an inherently cruel practice that should not be allowed to take hold here in Vermont. This proactive legislation will prevent the suffering of dogs who are used as 'breeding machines' for profit, not enjoying life as man's best friend as they should be," said Joanne Bourbeau, HSUS New England regional director.

Senate Bill 34 would allow students to use an instructional alternative to dissecting, incubating, capturing or otherwise harming an animal. Originally introduced by Senators John Campbell, Vince Illuzzi and Dick McCormack, the bill passed the Senate during the first year of the biennium and now rests with the House Education Committee.

"Students who choose not to participate in animal dissection do so for many personal and ethical reasons. It wouldn't be right for us to deny them this choice, especially when studies have shown that alternatives provide similar if not better results in grades," Bourbeau said.

Last year, state legislatures across the country passed 86 new laws for animals. The HSUS works with animal advocates and state legislators across the country to enact laws protecting animals from cruelty, combating animal fighting, halting wildlife abuse, and more.

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