Oppose & Boycott Illinois Task Force
May 13, 2009
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Legislation creating a task force designed specifically to compromise the rights of conscientious dog owners passed the Illinois State Senate handily last week and has been sent to the House.
In the strongest possible terms, the American Sporting Dog Alliance urges Illinois dog owners to oppose this devious plan to compromise our rights, ask the House to reject the task force resolution in its entirety, and to put pressure on some misled Illinois dog clubs to spurn seats on the task force and refuse to negotiate with animal rights fanatics whose sole purpose is to trample us.
The entire premise of this task force is invalid, and there is not a single shred of evidence to justify its existence. It is a political dirty trick to force dog owners into a lose-lose compromise position.
It’s not needed. Don’t support it. Don’t join it. Get rid of it.
Under no circumstances will the American Sporting Dog Alliance support any legislation that compromise away our rights as dog owners.
It is quite accurate to call this legislation a dirty trick, and it is the latest of several since repressive and irrational legislation was introduced this year to force dog breeders to quit breeding and make tail docking a felony animal cruelty offense. The sponsors of these two pieces of legislation clearly reflect a radical animal rights agenda, and want to use all of the force and power of government to trample the rights of innocent people who raise dogs.
Senate Joint Resolution 56 was introduced when the sponsors of the bad legislation failed to get enough votes to get the bills out of committee. Rather than concede the defeat of faulty legislation, the sponsors began a series of dirty tricks: Delayed hearings, inappropriate committee assignments, passing empty “shell bills” onto the floor, dishonest backroom negotiations that failed to provide representation for 99% of Illinois dog owners, and then creating a task force that is a stacked deck against dog owners and also is based on totally fraudulent premises.
Behind it all is Rep. John A. Fritchey, a Chicagoland Democrat, who is the darling of the ultra-radical Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in Illinois. The American Sporting Dog Alliance regards Fritchey as an inherently dishonest politician who continually supports authoritarian measures that show no respect for the Bill of Rights, and who has a long track record of cutting shady deals to advance his personal political agenda.
SJR 56 establishes a 15-member Task Force to recommend legislation to unfairly and illogically persecute people who raise dogs, and also to prohibit tail docking under most circumstances.
Dog owners cannot get a fair shake on the Task Force. It would consist of four members appointed by House and Senate leadership (two of those leaders have a track record of supporting radical animal rights legislation), a representative of the Department of Agriculture (which has a vested interest in increasing the size of its staff and budget with new laws), five members of national animal welfare organizations (most of these will be from animal rights groups or animal sheltering organizations – none of whom would be qualified to discuss the breeding of dogs, while also often holding anti-breeder viewpoints), and a representative of veterinarians (the only qualified and fair appointment of the group). There would be four more appointees that are supposed to represent dog breeders (one small breeder, one commercial breeder, one pet store representative and one for sporting dogs), but these four people would be hopelessly outnumbered on the Task Force.
It is a set-up to steal our rights.
Moreover, the entire list of premises behind SJR 56 is false and fraudulent:
* It says that dogs are not a commercial crop. However, all of the legislation was directed at small hobby breeders. Existing federal laws already cover commercial kennels and the pet trade, and existing state kennel and animal cruelty laws already fully protect all dogs owned by hobbyists and are among the toughest in the nation.
* It says that Illinois residents have the right to purchase quality purebred dogs. However, this implies that the dogs purchased now are of inferior quality, which simply is a lie. Illinois breeders produce some of the finest dogs in America.
* It says that “poorly or improperly run” breeding facilities endanger dogs. However, there is no evidence whatsoever that such kennels exist in Illinois. In fact, a review of all kennel law and animal cruelty law citations for the past three years shows that there were very few (about eight) bad situations. Moreover, in all eight cases, the dogs were rescued and the kennel owners were either successfully prosecuted under existing laws or the cases remain before the courts.
* It says that Illinois kennels are overcrowded, unsanitary and lack proper care, and fall below minimal humane standards. This is another bald-faced lie. There is no evidence that such conditions exist, except as a tiny minority, and no evidence that existing laws cannot completely deal with those few situations.
* It claims that those alleged conditions cause health hazards to humans and contaminate groundwater. This is another lie. No evidence exists to support these absurd and pandering accusations.
* It also claims that taxpayers are burdened by having to care for dogs produced by irresponsible breeders, which completely flies in the face of fact. Actual statistics show that only a tiny percentage of shelter dogs are truly purebreds, and most of these entered the shelter for the specific purpose of euthanasia because of severe illness or injury, or extreme old age. Nationwide, only 22% of the dogs owned by Americans come from breeders, pet industry research shows.
Every one of these alleged reasons for new and repressive legislation is a lie. It is a deliberate lie in order to pressure the Legislature to pass laws that are meant to drive out good breeders by creating unfair and unworkable requirements, along with frightening liabilities and penalties.
Here is a link to the actual legislation. Please read it yourself.
The American Sporting Dog Alliance is alarmed that some Illinois dog owners groups are seeking to be a part of this dangerous task force. At least four are represented by lobbyists, whose job is partly to negotiate and cut deals. Some of the groups say they want on the task force in order to stop bad legislation, but we can see no way that this can succeed because the committee is strongly stacked against dog owners.
We also offer this piece of advice: You can’t dance with the Devil without getting burned.
From the point of view of people who love dogs, Rep. Fritchey is the Devil.
If this resolution passes the House, it will become final. If this happens, the crooked and stacked task force will decide the fate of every dog in Illinois.
Please oppose SJR 56 vigorously. It will destroy your lifelong labor of love with your dogs.
Thus, we are asking all Illinois dog owners to immediately contact House leaders and ask them to assign this resolution to the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee. This committee is the only one that is qualified to understand the meaning of animal welfare and animal rights legislation.
Here is a listing of House leadership from both parties.
Also, please contact your own legislator and ask her or him to oppose SJR 56. Here is a list of each legislator, that also provides contact information for House leadership.
In addition, please contact members of the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee and ask them to request jurisdiction over SJR 56.
The American Sporting Dog Alliance represents owners, breeders and professionals who work with breeds of dogs that are used for hunting. We also welcome people who work with other breeds, as legislative issues affect all of us. We are a grassroots movement working to protect the rights of dog owners, and to assure that the traditional relationships between dogs and humans maintains its rightful place in American society and life. The American Sporting Dog Alliance also needs your help so that we can continue to work to protect the rights of dog owners. Your membership, participation and support are truly essential to the success of our mission. We are funded solely by your donations in order to maintain strict independence.
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