Animal Ownership
the first of three installments on this topic

  Periodically posts regarding various animal rights, welfare, etc. laws being proposed around the country appear on the message board.  Such proposals usually bring mixed attitudes to me personally.... probably more negative than positive.  I really find myself in a catch-22 scenario concerning this entire area.

    The terminology used is bothersome.  I never cared much for the expression “animal rights”  partly because of some of the radical groups associated with it.  Many are very devious in their approaches for support. Some of their proposals are absolutely ludicrous.  “Animal welfare” , another expression is, perhaps, a step in the right direction, but is still bothersome to me.   “Responsible pet/animal ownership” comes closest to that which I believe.   My interpretation of that includes responsibility to other people in regards to animals as well as to animals themselves.

    One issue to me is should the government regulate in this area?  In general I am opposed to government regulations. The exception, to me,  is if there are bad practices involving ownership and care of animals and IF we refuse to regulate ourselves, then government regulation is justified.

    The various proposals seem to fall into several categories in terms of the origin and whether or not they make sense.  Some originate from those who have directly observed a practice which they wish to make illegal.  Some have only heard of them.  Some of these practices may have been observed or heard of completely out of context.  Some proposals seek to rectify a bad situation but use a cannon rather than a bb gun which is complete overkill.   Such proposals make no sense.  Some proposals seem to be driven only by the desire for more government control and/or simply to create more required paperwork and bureaucracy.

    There are several groups, fortunately, working in our behalf, which seek to keep us informed as to what is happening and also applying pressure to try to rectify some of the absurd proposals.
The Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance (SAOVA) is a nationwide, nonpartisan group of volunteers seeking to elect politicians who will oppose the "Animal Rightist" (AR) threat to our rights as Americans.
The mission of The National Animal Interest Alliance NAIA is to promote the welfare of animals, to strengthen the human-animal bond and safeguard the rights of responsible animal owners.
The American Sporting Dog Alliance (ASDA) is unifying sporting dog owners, professionals, hunters and field trialers nationwide to combat threats by animal rights and anti-hunting groups. Political lobbying, public participation, infiltrating 'anti' groups, providing expert scientific and veterinary testimony, and using the courts to block bad laws, regulations and policies implement our no-compromise policy.

    In some cases we are our own worse enemy by engaging in practices that are taken out of context by the uninformed.  On rare occasions we may even engage in indefensible practices which can wreck havoc with public perception... especially if viewed by the uninformed.    There is some truth in the old saying “If one finds oneself in a hole or a ditch, the chances are that we dug ourselves in there.”

    What sorts of holes are we digging?  Several types seem to be in process.  They include, but are certainly not limited to,  those involving breeding practices, transportation, housing/kenneling, and treatment of dogs at field trials including scheduling of trials.

To be continued... the next segment will address breeding practices.

Frank Thompson
owner, breeder, hunter since 1951
and occasional field trialer