Bill named after Iowa dog aims to improve animal welfare law

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Goldie, or # 142 Golden Retriever on the USDA Inspection Reports of Daniel Gingerich’s Southern Iowa Puppy Mill, was emaciated for months and was known to USDA APHIS inspectors. Gingerich racked up more than 120 animal welfare law violations in 2021, his violations for months before taking action. He ultimately turned over 514 dogs to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa after a deal was reached in federal court that he would never license the Animal Welfare Act again. Records show Goldie was emaciated from April to July 2021, but inspectors never removed her from the property. She was ultimately euthanized due to her condition. Democratic Representative Cindy Axne (IA-03) and five other bipartisan lawmakers hope Goldie and a bill named after her will strengthen animal welfare law. enforce proper inspections, appropriate penalties and take care of the animals that are supposed to be taken care of by these puppy mills, ”the representative Axne exclusively told KCCI during a Zoom call on Wednesday morning. The bill, tabled Wednesday afternoon, seeks to require USDA to have access to facilities at all reasonable times, perform inspections at least once a year and record all violations. In Gingerich’s case, the USDA visited his facility three times but never did an inspection in 2020. “Basically you can bypass those inspections, you just don’t answer the door, and then you just keep going. do not answer the door multiple times so that the inspection never takes place, “added Representative Axne. The bill also requires the USDA to confiscate animals in poor conditions and turn over a copy of all AWA violations to state and local authorities. Finally, it demands that the penalty for an AWA violation become $ 10,000 and requires ranchers to stop violating it with a hearing. “We need to make sure that any sanction reflects the kind of money they earn. “The Animal Rescue League of Iowa, which has facilitated the care of all 514 Gingerich dogs, supports the legislation. I would expect this to be not necessary, “said executive director Tom Colvin.” Ma is if they are, you make them and you improve it. The Iowa ARL in recovering Gingerich’s dogs also supports the bill. The ASPCA is suing the USDA for its alleged inaction in enforcing animal welfare law. The USDA has denied these allegations in a court file in this case. “Simply requiring the agency to do its duty, to do its job, to ensure the humane care and treatment of these animals should lead to improved animal welfare,” said Tamara Feliciano, ASPCA council member. Lawmakers and animal rights groups are hoping Goldie – and this bill – can strengthen animal welfare law – and save more dogs. KCCI has contacted the USDA for comment regarding the bill, it says it does not comment on legislation. Dogs collected by the Iowa ARL at the Gingerich facility are slowly being adopted by people across the state. The other five co-sponsors of Bill are Vern Buchanan (FL-16), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1), Mike Quigley (IL-5), Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) and Susan Wild (PA-07).

Goldie, or # 142 Golden Retriever on the USDA Inspection Reports of Daniel Gingerich’s Southern Iowa Puppy Mill, was emaciated for months and was known to USDA APHIS inspectors.

Gingerich racked up more than 120 animal welfare law violations in 2021. Records show the USDA was aware of his violations for months before taking action. He ultimately turned over 514 dogs to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa after a deal was reached in federal court that he would never license the Animal Welfare Act again.

USDA Registers

“Goldie” or Golden Retriever # 142 was originally hidden from inspectors, according to inspection reports.

Records show Goldie was emaciated from April to July 2021, but inspectors never removed her from the property. She was ultimately euthanized due to her condition.

Democratic Representative Cindy Axne (IA-03) and five other bipartisan lawmakers are hoping Goldie and a bill named after her will strengthen animal welfare law.

“The reason we are putting the Goldie Law in place is because we need the USDA to step up and enforce the proper inspections, the proper penalties and care for the animals that are supposed to be taken care of by these puppy mills. “said representative Axne. exclusively to KCCI during a Zoom call Wednesday morning.

The bill, tabled Wednesday afternoon, seeks to require the USDA to have access to facilities at all reasonable times, perform inspections at least once a year, and record all violations. In Gingerich’s case, the USDA visited his facility three times but never performed an inspection in 2020.

“Essentially you can avoid having these inspections, you just don’t answer the door and then keep not answering the door multiple times so the inspection never happens,” added representative Axne. .

The bill also requires the USDA to confiscate animals in poor condition and turn over a copy of all AWA violations to local and state authorities. Finally, it demands that the penalty for an AWA violation become $ 10,000 and requires ranchers to stop violating it with a hearing.

“These ranchers are making money by hand, tens of thousands of dollars every month,” added Axne. “We have to make sure that any penalties reflect the kind of money they are making.”

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa, which facilitated the care of all 514 Gingerich dogs, is backing the legislation.

“Those types of clarifications, you’d expect, wouldn’t be necessary,” said executive director Tom Colvin. “But if they are, you make them and you make it better. You just take all the guesswork out of it. Let’s get it through and make sure these situations don’t happen again.”

The ASPCA, which also helped the Iowa ARL retrieve Gingerich’s dogs, also supports the bill. The ASPCA is suing the USDA for its alleged inaction in enforcing animal welfare law. The USDA has denied these allegations in a court file in this case.

“Simply requiring the agency to do its duty, to do its job, to ensure the humane care and treatment of these animals should lead to improved animal welfare,” said said Tamara Feliciano, ASPCA Legislative Council.

Lawmakers and animal rights groups are hoping Goldie – and this bill – can strengthen animal welfare law – and save more dogs.

KCCI has contacted USDA for comment on the bill, it says it does not comment on pending legislation.

Dogs collected by the Iowa ARL at the Gingerich facility are slowly being adopted by people across the state.

The other five co-sponsors of Bill are Vern Buchanan (FL-16), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1), Mike Quigley (IL-5), Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) and Susan Wild (PA-07).

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