Kiska Vetoes Well-intentioned but Flawed Anti-Puppy Farming Bill

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President Andrej Kiska (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, March 2 (TASR) – President Andrej Kiska on Thursday vetoed a bill approved by Parliament with the aim of clamping down on puppy farms, proposing that the legislation should be rejected as a whole when it comes up for a vote again, TASR learnt on the same day.

The head of state commended the bill’s sponsors – Opposition Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party MPs – for their efforts to regulate large-scale dog breeding for profit. The puppy mills business has experienced somewhat of a boom, with many pups ending up abroad for hefty profits.

Kiska argued that the bill leaves much to be desired, however, and would misfire. It would adversely affect honest dog owners by making it incumbent on them to arrange for a sole trader’s licence if selling a single puppy.

The corollary to this would be that a large group of people, notably civil servants, soldiers and police officers, would be barred from selling puppies – because they aren’t allowed by law to operate a business.

The law would be inadequate in application, as puppy mills would be able to bypass it by claiming to give puppies away, in which case they wouldn’t be liable to the intended regulation.

Kiska also welcomed an initiative of the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry, which is planning to introduce a shake-up of the Veterinary Care Act by the end of this year. The bill will include measures aimed at cracking down on puppy mills.