Target: Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
Goal: Demand that the U.S. Department of Agriculture enforce an existing law that prohibits the inhumane import of young puppies to the United States
For years, the United States has allowed the cruel import of weeks-old puppies despite a federal law prohibiting it. Many puppies arrive sick, dying, or dead as a result of long journeys without food or water and other deplorable travel conditions. It is the responsibility of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to enforce the law that was created to protect these puppies and end inhumane imports.
Every year, thousands of puppies are shipped as cargo after being cruelly ripped from their mothers at a very young age. Puppies require extra care and need to be fed multiple times per day, but imported puppies are forced to endure long journeys without food, water or care. Many puppies are also exposed to extreme temperatures and cramped shipping conditions. Their immune systems are already fragile because of their age and they often don’t receive necessary vaccinations, making them especially prone to contracting diseases which are then brought into the country.
For all of these reasons, Congress added an amendment to the Animal Welfare Act in 2008 prohibiting the importation of puppies into the U.S. unless they are at least six months of age, in good health and fully vaccinated. However, in the six years following the passage of the amendment, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has continuously failed to enforce the law. Denounce the department’s complicity with illegal imports and demand that they begin enforcing the law immediately.
Dear Mr. Vilsack,
I was shocked to learn that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has continuously allowed the inhumane importation of weeks-old puppies despite a federal law prohibiting this practice. Countless puppies arrive in the U.S. sick, dying, or dead because of unacceptable travel conditions. It is the department’s responsibility to enforce the law Congress created to protect these puppies.
Imported puppies endure exposure to extreme temperatures, cramped shipping conditions and long periods of time without food, water, or care. They already have weak immune systems because of their age and many are not given proper vaccinations, making them especially prone to contracting diseases. These diseases are then brought into the U.S., risking the health of the people and other animals with whom the puppies come in contact.
A 2008 amendment to the Animal Welfare Act requires imported puppies be at least six months of age, in good health, and fully vaccinated, but in the six years since its passage the U.S. Department of Agriculture has failed to enforce the law. I am extremely disappointed in the department’s complicity with illegal and inhumane puppy imports and strongly urge you to immediately begin enforcement of the law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: copperfeesh via Flickr