California recently passed a law which allows pet shops to only sell cats, dogs and rabbits which come from shelters or rescue organizations, instead of breeders, according to a report from CNN.
The new law, known as The Pet Rescue and Adoption Act, was introduced by California State Assembly member Patrick O’Donnell and approved by California Governor Jerry Brown in October 2017, according to the CNN report. It went into effect on Jan. 1, the report says.
The act also mandates that all pet shop owners keep records showing where each animal was obtained from, according to CNN. Any vendor who fails to produce records for their animals will have to pay a $500 fine, CNN reported.
Pet shops will also have to allow animal control agencies and shelters access to their records, according to CNN.
Individuals will still be allowed to purchase from private breeders, according to CNN.
San Diego Humane Society Law Enforcement Chief Steve MacKinnon has praised the law. “It takes the emphasis off the profit of animals and puts the emphasis back on caring for and getting these cats and dogs a good home,” he said in a report from USA Today.
There has been some opposition to the law, however. In a statement from the American Kennel Club’s website, Senior Policy Analyst Phil Guidry said that the law would, “dramatically reduce every Californian’s access and ability to choose a pet with the predictable type, mandated care, and substantiated health backgrounds that come with purebred pets from regulated sources.”
California has become the first U.S. state to have such a law, according to USA Today. Before the act was passed, 36 California cities had already banned mass-breeding, USA Today reported. These policies will now be enforced state-wide.