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San Francisco Considers Ban On All Pet Sales 733

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-kitty-for-you dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The LA Times reports that the Humane Pet Acquisition Proposal is on its way to the Board of Supervisors of San Francisco. It would ban the sale of any animal that walks, flies, swims, crawls or slithers — unless you plan to eat it. Representatives of the $45-billion to $50-billion-a-year pet industry call the San Francisco proposal 'by far the most radical ban we've seen' nationwide and argue that it would force small operators to close. Animal activists say it will save small but important lives, along with taxpayer money, and end needless suffering. 'From Descartes on up, in the Western mindset, fish and other nonhuman animals don't have feelings, they don't have emotions, we can do whatever we want to them,' says Philip Gerrie, coauthor of the proposal. 'If we considered them living beings, we would deal with them differently.'"
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San Francisco Considers Ban On All Pet Sales

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  • by jonamous++ (1687704) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @12:46PM (#36599212)
    What lives will it save? Without the pet industry, these animals would never be born.
  • by i kan reed (749298) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @12:50PM (#36599294) Homepage Journal

    More importantly, if prohibition and the war on drugs are any sign, this will create a high value pet black market, which makes for-profit breeding operations more, not less, likely to be abusive. Law of unintended consequeneces.

  • Just odd. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @12:52PM (#36599334) Homepage Journal

    A guppy has feelings but a fetus doesn't? And I am not for making abortion illegal but I am a fan of truth and logic. What about sea monkeys? Will people with fish now still have the option to buy live life food for them like brine shrimp?

  • by jonamous++ (1687704) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @12:52PM (#36599340)
    What does biology have to do with this? Many pets are specifically bred to be sold. If there are no buyers, people are not going to breed these animals (they don't want to be stuck with four macaws, or six puppies). The ones that do breed will turn in to strays. Sounds a lot better.
  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @12:53PM (#36599364)

    Fuck off.

    Sincerely,

    Animal Lovers.

    Seriously, I get really tired of these dumbshit activists that think that pets somehow have a horrible life and if all animals just roamed free they would be so much better off. I think the problem is they watch Disney movies and believe that is how the wild actually is: Animals living together in harmony and having the best of time. I think these people need to take a trip to Africa and see nature in all its brutal Darwinian glory. Nothing dies of old age there, they just get older and slower until something eats them.

    Sorry, but I think my house cat has a much better life. He gets to lay around all day, safe from weather and predators, he eats when he wants, gets attention lavished on him, and has access to medical care to handle his problems (asthma in his case).

    Pets bring a lot of joy to humans, and it isn't bad for the pets. They have their needs met in a way they'd never get in the wild.

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @01:00PM (#36599528)
    Well unlike the drug industry, pets will be legally sold elsewhere. Yes there will be the rise of some black market shops inside the city but all this does is move the legal shops just outside city jurisdiction taking their businesses and tax dollars with them. It just makes it inconvenient for everyone but really won't stop anything.
  • by SteelAngel (139767) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @01:01PM (#36599556)

    In San Francisco, and other so called 'liberal' bastions, laws are not created to give people the freedoms to live the life that they choose, they are created to radically socially engineer a population according to specific mores that the 'elites' prefer. So if the elites are tree-hugging PETA members, then they want to fashion society in that image, regardless of the hypocracy and stupidity it causes. One could say that all social engineering is applying a first order linear model to a chaotic system and then crying about how the results don't work.

    How this is different than theocracy, I don't know.

  • by pla (258480) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @01:03PM (#36599596) Journal
    Many pets are specifically bred to be sold. If there are no buyers, people are not going to breed these animals

    Ferrets make a particularly good example - As induced ovulators, the females will remain in estrus until they mate or die. For that reason, you almost never see non-fixed ferrets for sale. Though considering the city involved here, they probably already ban ferrets outright. Horrid, vicious things, with their cute burbling and playful nipping - Can't have that, why, someone might leave a newvborn alone with one after starving it for a month!


    However, I found one particular quote from the article especially revealing about the mindset involved here...

    "Why fish? Why not fish?" said Philip Gerrie, a member of the city's Commission of Animal Control and Welfare and a coauthor of the proposal.

    Why not fish? Because, Mr. Gerrie, believe it or not, you don't need to regulate every last detail of the domain arguably under your control. Until something becomes a clear problem, just leave it the hell alone. "Not fish", because NO ONE ABUSES FISH. Because you don't see stray fish picking through garbage outside restaurants. Because you don't hear about feral fish attacks when a child wanders down the wrong alley. Because fish lead to as close to zero potential for abuse as you could hope from any possible pet-animal.

  • So if you (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dunbal (464142) * on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @01:07PM (#36599706)

    OK, I plan on eating my dog. Sell me a dog. What, are they going to make an additional law saying that you must eat your pets if you say you will? How about a law saying that pets must be stamped with a "best before" date? Or here's one, make it so you have to eat your pet in public or better yet, slaughter the animal when the credit card is swiped.

    These legislators are stupid. Their state is completely broke, yet they have time to dream up bullshit like this. Congratulations on putting pet stores out of business (although surprisingly I'm sure that big-box pet food/supply retailers will be just fine) and causing people to travel out of state to buy their animals. Here's a tip. If puppy mills are a problem (and they can be), then GO AFTER THE DAMNED PUPPY MILLS.

    I bought my dog at a pet store because no breeder currently had her breed. Yes, perhaps she came from a puppy mill. But she's the happiest dog in the world now (despite my sig) and I certainly wouldn't exchange her for any other dog now that we've gotten to know each other.

  • by argStyopa (232550) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @01:11PM (#36599834) Journal

    I read this aloud to my wife, and our 10lb yorkie-poo dog just walked over to me and said "If those goddamn animal activist hippies think they're going to make me live outdoors, they're fucking crazy."

    Then he took his surgically-fixed knee, went back to his comfortable place on his knitted afghan in our predator free air-conditioned home, stopping by for a bite of nutritionally-balanced dog food and a sip of parasite-free drinking water, and proceeded to fall back asleep for his 20-hours-out-of-every-24 rest pattern.

  • by jonamous++ (1687704) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @01:12PM (#36599864)
    Did you read the article? Because if you did, instead of rushing to bash my post, you'd see that it mentions things like Goldfish. It also specifically refutes the point your posts makes in the second paragraph. So your point is that keeping goldfish in a tank for the first year of their life is so inhumane and instead, I should buy goldfish from my neighbor and put them in a tank instead? You are thinking of this from the perspective of a poor little puppy from a puppy mill stuck in a shop window. I agree, that's a terrible thing, and that's what the original (which was still absurd) was meant to prevent. However, this law has been expanded to include pretty much all animals. It's so absurd and so ridiculous that I can't believe people (you?) would take this seriously. What it boils down to is we have people who are butt-hurt that the majority of Americans don't care about the feelings of a fish or the feelings of the rat they are going to feed to their python. So these people are trying to push their worldview on everyone else - regardless of the fact that "treating animals like commodities" is something that humans have been doing since the first creature was domesticated. So yeah, I do get your point, I did read the article, and I think you are dead wrong. These people are off-their-rocker PETA wackos that don't want anyone to own any pets, ever. In fact, other sources go on to say that "eventually, there would likely be no more tropical fish or other exotic pets in San Francisco (except those imported illegally). Purebred dogs and cats might become a thing of the past as well."
  • Western mindset? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by interkin3tic (1469267) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @01:15PM (#36599940)

    From Descartes on up, in the Western mindset, fish and other nonhuman animals don't have feelings, they don't have emotions, we can do whatever we want to them,' says Philip Gerrie, coauthor of the proposal.

    Hey, uh, Mr. Gerrie... that is the western mindset, yes, but, uh... look where you are buddy.

    Multiple choice: In terms of which hemisphere it is, what the mindset is there, where it is in the US, and which coast it is on, where is San Francisco?
    A. North B. South C.East D. West

    Is this guy so loony that to him "Western mindset" is an indictment of some thought in and of itself? "Oh that's how we think in the UNITED STATES, so obviously that's the dumbest possible mindset." Is that what's going on here? "If we considered them living beings, we would deal with them differently." Yeah, but we don't, so why are you acting like we do or should?

  • by Nutria (679911) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @01:15PM (#36599954)

    Because, Mr. Gerrie, believe it or not, you don't need to regulate every last detail of the domain arguably under your control.

    Sure he does. It's a biological need to meddle in other people's lives that's just as great as that of the conservative who makes buggery illegal.

  • by Ephemeriis (315124) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @01:25PM (#36600222)

    In San Francisco, and other so called 'liberal' bastions, laws are not created to give people the freedoms to live the life that they choose, they are created to radically socially engineer a population according to specific mores that the 'elites' prefer. So if the elites are tree-hugging PETA members, then they want to fashion society in that image, regardless of the hypocracy and stupidity it causes. One could say that all social engineering is applying a first order linear model to a chaotic system and then crying about how the results don't work.

    How this is different than theocracy, I don't know.

    Liberal bastions, eh? And how is this any different from those 'conservative' bastions that try to - for example - outlaw abortion?

  • by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @01:50PM (#36600744) Journal

    The problem is that dog "breeds" are so inbred that they often have serious medical conditions. Besides things like epilepsy and hip dysplasia, there are pugs and other short snout breeds often have breathing problems. Bull dogs are often delivered via cesarean because their heads are too big. Shar peis often have skin problems. Great Danes and other large breads die young because of heart problems. Most herding breeds develop neurological problems when not allowed to follow the instincts for which they have been bred.
     
    Mutts are often much healthier and smarter than pure breads.

  • *Cough* Bullshit (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bogie (31020) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @01:55PM (#36600858) Journal

    "Pretty much Everywhere, laws are not created to give people the freedoms to live the life that they choose, they are created to radically socially engineer a population according to specific mores that the 'elites' prefer"

    There, fixed that for you.

    Save the liberal rhetoric for the Rush Limbaugh call-ins.

  • Re:Just odd. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sectoid_Dev (232963) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @02:11PM (#36601148)

    A fetus is a person and has a soul.

    Animals have souls because I say they do. You can't refute this because I give you no facts to refute. My argument is just as valid as the one you made, so nana-nana-boo-boo.

    An animal's life has no inherent value to it.

    You say this because an animal slaughter house is effectively a death camp, but your love of steak makes you feel uncomfortable about this, therefore it must be OK to kill animals, ergo animals have no inherent value. I'm a meat eater and will be all my life, but I have no illusions about what that means. "No inherent value" my ass you tard.

    Trivialization of human life is what leads to the incessant atrocities of our mordern times.

    Agreed that is it a necessary component in order to get ordinary people to carry out genocidal orders that achieve their master's political & economic goals. But it has always galled me anti-abortion people seem to think everyone will just follow the bandwagon and abort babies right and left leading to a general disregard for human life. Abortion has been legal a long time and personally I see the opposite, especially among young people. Some of us can make our own decisions and don't need to be saved from automatically chosing the worst path available to us

  • by Xest (935314) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @02:11PM (#36601152)

    I think the point of this law has been entirely missed by the kneejerk croud here on Slashdot.

    It's a law that wouldn't effect me because I live in the UK but I could quite appreciate perhaps not such a drastic measure but something along those lines here in the UK.

    Pet breeders all too often treat animals as little more than stock that makes money, they keep them in shitty conditions that whilst may not make the animal look scruffy will cause it distress and can lead to behaviour problems. They don't care about that because once they've sold the animal they deem it not their problem any more. Further, there's no real checks on breeders here, they can sell to whoever they want, and that can mean selling to people who will let their 3 year old kid throw their hamster or whatever around like a toy, or accidently stand on it, somewhat brutally crushing it to death- these sorts of things happen all the time.

    Meanwhile we have rehoming centres absolutely full to the brim of animals that have been abandoned, or previously mistreated, whose behaviour issues have been noted, or corrected. They're full of animals of all shapes and sizes just begging for a home, and these rehoming centres do home visits to check suitability of a household for a pet before they allow someone to adopt. Further, they even have clauses that allow them to reclaim pets that are found to be mistreated so that they can seize them from incompetent or outright malicious owners. They will also neuter pets such that they do not go on to add to the problem of growing numbers of strays.

    Really, in the UK at minimum there needs to be stricter licensing on breeding. Such measures might not put an end to the problems entirely, and black markets might exist- just as they do for banned dangerous dog breeds, but it would at least stop parents going out and buying a hampster for little timmy just because timmy cried about wanting one and they didn't have the balls to tell him he's not responsible enough to look after him, a pet that might then die in any number of horrid ways in which kids manage to kill their pets through not knowing better.

    It's about stopping the market of pets as "accessories" and improving welfare for many animals as a result. It's about maximising adoption of rescued animals by more responsible and trustworthy pet owners, rather than going to their local shop out of convenience and leaving the stray problem a problem because so many strays go unadopted.

    Personally I've always had rescued dogs through my entire life, and wouldn't dream of getting one from a shop, ignoring the countless genetic defects, and behaviour issues that arise from inbreeding and mistreatment amongst such breeders, rescued dogs just come in shapes and sizes you'd never expect (I had a jack russel / doberman cross once- no I don't know which was the mother and which was the father), and for me, have always been full of character and extremely loyal.

    The point is there's not even a need for a pet industry when it's proven itself often untrustworthy and sometimes contributory to the stray problem (which your tax dollars have to deal with) when excess / imperfect animals are chucked out on the streets. When there's already a problem of too many pets needing homes out there in the first place such that a lack of pet shops would decrease the stray problem (hence saving your tax dollars) then it's ludicrous to go on allowing such an irresponsible industry to at least carry on without regulation.

    I suspect this will be an unpopular view with Slashdot's liberal idealists where any mention of government is seen as a bad thing but oh well, it's just my personal opinion, this is at least one area where some kind of regulation can actually improve things for tax payers, animal charities, and animals alike, at the cost only of the detriment to an industry that more often causes detriment to those 3 sections of society.

  • by Moryath (553296) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @03:50PM (#36603056)

    Things you miss:

    #1 - the San Francisco law as written would outlaw animal shelters (what you call "rehoming centres") from collecting an adoption fee to rehome animals. That would put all the shelters into a drastic kill-down mode, or else cause a need to raise taxes by crazy amounts in order to handle all the animals needing to be kept in the shelters.

    #2 - Outlawing the selling of aquarium fish? Lizards? Please.

    #3 - PETA needs to get over themselves and learn to breed humans with humans rather than abusing the animals "their way."

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