the upper class dog show ladies enrichment act

That's pretty much Randall Parker's take on California AB 1634 (California's mandatory spay and neuter act):

My late great Australian Shepherd Oakley never got registered (and when I say great I'm describing the consensus of a lot of people who were more objective about him than I was). Under Lloyd Levine's law Oakley, as a non-registered dog, would be barred from breeding in the state of California. Instead, show dogs would breed and anyone who wanted to buy a dog would be required to choose among dogs that upper class dog show ladies find suitable. I do not want to live in that sort of world.

Among the consequences of Levine's proposal: New breeds could not be created. Any mixed breed dog that was the first attempt at creating a new breed would get neutered. Also, any breeds that exist today without recognition by the AKC or similar breed association would become an evolutionary dead end that would go extinct after the current living generation.

Levine's proposal fits a larger pattern where the big organizations called governments force more behavior to take place within the context of controls and rules of other big organizations. Want to breed a dog? Gotta get that dog registered and you can only register dogs that fit the arbitrary breed guidelines of existing associations. So the proposal pushes us toward a more bureaucratic society and a more dysgenic one to boot. Tell your elected officials to find another way to reduce dog over-population.

Damn right. And well put.

Of course, this is even assuming that dog overpopulation is a problem.

Christie Keith, Contributing Editor for Universal Press Syndicate's Pet Connection and past director of the Pet Care Forum on America Online makes it quite clear that in San Francisco and elsewhere in California, there is is a dog underpopulation problem:

I love dogs and cats. And like all people who love animals, I hate to see even one pet put to sleep for lack of a home. So if I thought this bill would actually make that happen, I'd be in favor of it.

But it won't, because it's a huge, sweeping, one-size-fits-all solution to a problem that has many facets -- a problem that is not, in fact, one problem but many problems, all of which vary from place to place throughout the state.

In fact, in some parts of California, such as San Francisco, there actually is no problem. Not only are animals not being euthanized for lack of homes, there are more potential adopters than there are animals available for adoption. That's why San Francisco frequently brings pets in from other areas to be adopted locally. Areas that don't have a problem aren't in need of a solution, but they would be forced to implement -- and pay for -- the provisions of AB1634 anyway.

In other places where there is a problem with homeless animals, the situations are varied and not necessarily targeted by the proposed bill. For instance, many of the animals being euthanized are feral cats. Feral cats are not owned by anyone and will not be affected by this legislation.

No they won't, and as I argued in an earlier post, cats will not be treated the same way as dogs because the law is tied to licensing, and cats are not required to be licensed.

Needless to say, the irresponsible people who create most of the dog problems will never obey the law:

In some areas, the primary source of animals being euthanized is the deliberate or accidental breeding of dogs by people who don't care about the law, don't license their dogs and breed them for fighting or to sell to make a buck. They also don't go to the vet and don't give a damn. Mandatory spay/neuter won't do anything to solve that problem, either, because one thing I know for sure: People who are breeding dogs to fight them are not highly likely to comply with this law.
Another numbingly familiar attempt to criminalize law abiding middle class people.

It's hard to believe that Ms. Keith's piece actually appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, but there it is. Read it all.

HT to Justin for letting me know about both of these developments.

Anyone who wants to read more about AB 1634, my previous posts are here here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

And if you find such statist nonsense irritating, be sure to sign the PetPAC petition against it.

This website is a good place to keep up with developments.

MORE: Newsday's Animal House has a great column in opposition to AB 1634.

I've just been told that the vote is very close and is being delayed by the bill's sponsor Assemblyman Levine. I don't know what that means, but now is clearly the time to apply as much pressure as possible.

AND MORE: I think Dr. Helen's observations about the Nanny state apply in droves to AB 1634:

In so many ways, the state has become the babysitter and infantilizer of all of us, even adults and the most depressing part to me is that we are allowing it, bit by bit, every time we give the state more and more authority in the form of petty laws that control the lives of countless citizens in ways that take away personal autonomy while at the same time, doing little to prevent or severely punish those who are truly violent. Rebecca Hagelin, the vice president of the Heritage Foundation pointed out in 2003 that "America started out with three federal laws--treason, counterfeiting and piracy. In 1998, the American Bar Association counted more than 3,300 separate federal criminal offenses on the books--more than 40 percent of which had been enacted in just the past 30 years..."

It may be too much to expect that this book will turn things around, but Harsanyi does a good job of getting his readers to at least start thinking about the larger issues of state intrusion. So maybe the next time a politician wants to pass a new law requiring yet one more nanny state regulation, the voters will make it more expensive to politicians who seek to tyrannize us for "our own good."

That was in a review of David Harsanyi's "Nanny State", which is what we've become.

What will it take to wake people up?

Laws requiring the neutering of boys?

posted by Eric on 06.05.07 at 04:49 PM


If this passes could we create the American Mutt and Cur Association? Would a breed association that recognized non-pure bred animals meet the requirements of the law? The American Mutt has always been my favorite breed.

James   ·  June 6, 2007 6:03 PM

We are always reading about such and such development project being halted due to the endangered red spotted salamander, or some other such critter we never thought about before.
I wonder if acts of state government could be halted due to the same?
Wouldn't that be fun? Some breeds of dog would most likely become endangered. Federal law supercedes state.
Now we only need to create a lobby.

Papertiger   ·  June 6, 2007 6:08 PM

Jimmy ,
Aren't we as Americans all mutts? We almost made the proprietor of Heintz 57 our Kept Man in Chief.
The mutt should be our national mascot.

Papertiger   ·  June 6, 2007 7:10 PM

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