A COMPULSORY spaying and microchipping order proposed by a city council in the USA has sparked outrage and opposition from dog and cat fanciers across the country and, indeed, from around the world.
The local authority in Riverside, California have issued a raft of ordinances at the behest of Dr. Allan Drusys, the Riverside County Chief of Veterinary Services. The aim of the plans is to encourage responsible pet ownership and reduce the number of unwanted dogs and cat.
The measure will require all dogs and cats to be spayed or neutered unless the owner qualifies for and purchases an intact animal license. A first violation of the mandatory spay/neuter ordinance can result in a fine of up to $250, and a second violation will result in a fine of up to $1,000 or by imprisonment in the county jail of up to six months.
Even though a narrow exemption is provided for show dogs and cats, the American Kennel Club and the US Cat Registries have said that it is imperative that fanciers unite to oppose this measure.
An AKC spokesperson said: "Once these ordinances are adopted, it is easy to revise them to severely restrict or even eliminate these narrow exemptions. Almost every fancier can recall a year when they were unable to show every intact animal they owned. These ordinances are burdensome to all who love purebred dogs, and are detrimental to responsible owners and breeders."
To be eligible for an unaltered dog license, a dog must meet the criteria for a competition dog." A "competition dog" must be registered with the AKC, UKC, ADBA or other valid registry approved by the Riverside County Department of Animal Services. Competition dogs must also meet one of a number of requirements including having competed in a show or sporting competition or the owner belonging to a pure breed dog club.
Breeders are required to notify the animal control department within thirty days of a litter being whelped and must provide the name, address and telephone number of the new owner. All puppies must be microchipped prior to sale.
Many critics of the plan say that the planned ordinances are ‘Big Brother’ tactics and are un-American in their scope and approach. The same view would be taken by any pet owners around the world, as the ordinances interfere with the personal liberty of responsible pet owners.
The American Kennel Club is fighting the ordinances head-on and is marshalling opposition to the plan from dog fanciers and owners in California, urging them to contact the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.