A federal judge has struck down as unconstitutional a 2012 Iowa law that banned undercover recording at agricultural production facilities in the state, saying the law’s primary aim is curbing speech critical of practices at those facilities. IowaWatch was part of a friend of the court filing in this case.
Scientific and anecdotal evidence suggests that a person who abuses animals also has a higher likelihood of hurting other people. And that insight has begun fueling a push, at the state and federal levels, to slap a no-gun penalty on anyone convicted of animal cruelty, this Fairwarning.org report tells us.
Iowa declined this year to give its Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship authority to inspect for animal health conditions large dog breeding facilities, particularly those suspected of having substandard conditions for animals at the facilities. Plus, link to new Horrible Hundred dog breeders.
A series of IowaWatch stories in late 2014 and early 2015 dug into concerns about how dog breeding facilities are inspected in Iowa. Animal rights advocates say not enough is being done to protect animals while breeders who talked with IowaWatch said inspections sometimes are unfair and aimed at the wrong people. Our quiz provides some updates.
Federal inspectors say they have increased their dog breeding facility inspections after a critical 2010 review that said the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service was not doing enough. But the inspection service had only 120 inspectors to check some 10,000 licensed dog breeding facilities in the United States.
IowaWatch summer 2014 intern Jacob Luplow and executive director-editor Lyle Muller were the guests on the Tuesday, Oct. 21, “Your Town” show on KXIC radio, AM 800, in Iowa City. Host Jay Capron talked with Luplow, a student at Cornell College, about an IowaWatch story he did about troublesome dog breeders who repeatedly violate Animal Welfare Act regulations designed to protect animal health, but who get to keep animals while being cited for those repeat violations. He talked with Muller about other work being done at IowaWatch. You may listen to Capron’s conversation with IowaWatch by skipping to the 20-minute mark of this one-hour podcast.
Dog breeders in Iowa who repeatedly do not comply with the Animal Welfare Act are allowed to continue raising and breeding dogs – sometimes in horrible conditions – while federal inspectors give the cited breeders time to correct violations.
Hamilton County Sheriff Dennis Hagerson has been aware of Julies Jules, a dog breeding facility that Julie and Carolyn Arends have owned for 30 years, since joining federal inspectors at their place while a deputy a few years back. “It was just a poor operation,” Hagerson said. “It was like a puppy mill.”