Guest Editorial: Rep. Smith’s Family Business =Cruelty to ‘Man’s Best Friend’

Rep. Jason Smith “Family business = cruelty to man’s best friend.”

By: Jo An Brown

A puppy mill, sometimes known as a puppy farm, is a commercial dog breeding facility that is operated with an emphasis upon profits. The Show Me State (MO) is the puppy mill capital of the U.S. – it is home to the most puppy mills of any state. Smith Kennels of Salem, Missouri was listed as one of the worst “puppy mills” in the state of Missouri. Mary Ann Smith’s son, Republican Representative Jason Smith, was once listed in state records as a co-owner of her kennel. ” Smith’s Kennel has a history of repeat USDA violations stretching back more than a decade, including citations for unsanitary conditions; dogs exposed to below-freezing temperatures or excessive heat without adequate shelter from the weather; dogs without enough cage space to turn and move around freely; pest and rodent infestations; injured and bleeding dogs, dogs with loose, bloody stools who had not been treated by a vet, and much more. The Smith’s Kennel was number 6 of the 12 worst kennels in the state of MO.

People in Missouri got outraged about all the puppy mills, the stories of abuse and the black eye it gave their state. So, in 2010 Proposition B the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act – aimed at holding breeders more responsible – was put on the ballot. Voters passed that measure…but it never became law. Would you like to know why? The House Majority Whip in Missouri at the time was none other than Jason Smith…the same guy in the running in the 8th congressional district. He campaigned and fought and dragged the whole agriculture industry into the debate to protect his family business. Smith made Proposition B the devil to the farm industry, even though it had nothing to do with cows, pigs, chickens or the food supply. He whipped up so many agriculture people that his family business was safe from further scrutiny. In the end, a very watered down version passed.

Free to continue his business as usual, a March, 2011 report from the Humane Society of the United States entitled, “Update Report: Missouri’s Dirty Dozen Most of the worst puppy mills in Missouri are still licensed”, lists Smith Kennels as one of the worst “puppy mills” in the state of Missouri.

Rep. Jason Smith has used this same tactic to secure and pass his signature legislation this session known as “Right To Farm Bill.” This bill like Prop B will be on the November 2014 ballot.

“Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to ensure:

• That the right of Missouri citizens to employ modern farming and ranching practices and equipment shall not be infringed.”

Rep. Jason Smith wants to be able to do whatever he wants to do and he has used legislation to protect himself. In 2007 he wrote legislation with “shall be immune” expressly placed. This bill HB 324 was a bill supported by the Missouri Association of Realtors that would allow immunity for a real estate salesperson who concealed the existence of a sex offender in the immediate area of a house they sell. To err is human but if this error does occur, real estate salespeople are immune.

This takes me to my final point. The “Right To Farm Bill” is not about protecting the small farmer. It represents a cover up for animal cruelty, creating an unstable food supply, GMO, and Monsanto Protection Act. It’s right there in the bill “modern farming and ranching practices and equipment shall not be infringed.” The National Animal Identification System (NAIS) require livestock owners to obtain veterinary inspection, register, and tag certain animals that will be shipped out of state. Animal Disease Traceability Rule – requires that we must have these burdensome requirements in place to control the outbreak of infectious diseases. But look at what Jason Smith had to say: “In 2008 we stood up to the federal government on the NAIS issue. The General Assembly was able to pass SB 931 to ensure the NAIS requirements would be voluntary rather than mandatory. The new animal disease traceability rule – it’s a policy I will continue to fight against because I believe it’s the wrong thing to do for Missouri’s most important industry and the many farm families who work so hard to make a living.” ~ Jason Smith

Right to Farm would ensure that any state laws impacting agriculture would originate in the General Assembly, where they would be vetted by the normal legislative process instead of being pushed on to the ballot with heavy financing from out-of-state special interests. Passage of HJR 11 & 7 will send a strong message to Humane Society of the United States and other radical animal rights groups that their radical agendas are not welcome in Missouri. Let’s give voters the opportunity to send a strong, clear message to these subversive special interests. They need to know we will not allow their unscrupulous methods to limit our freedoms or destroy the traditions that have been handed down from generation to generation for centuries.” – MO Representative Jason Smith

About aldermanlacy

I am just an average blue collar American who works hard and tries to be a good dad. I have a passion for history, music and freedom.

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