The proposed legislation prohibiting pet stores in Maine from selling dogs and cats is a step in the right direction. But in light of the small animal-breeding industry’s rampant cruelty, a complete ban on sales of purposely bred animals in pet stores is called for.

Pet stores are notorious for acquiring hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, rabbits, reptiles, birds and other small animals from miserable mass-breeding mills. Animals in these warehouses are typically confined in filthy, crowded cages and often deprived of exercise, mental stimulation, adequate food and water, and veterinary care.

Pet stores can be highly profitable without selling animals, by focusing on sales of supplies and accessories. Live animal sales account for only a small fraction of pet stores’ profits: In 2018, Americans spent over $46 billion on companion animal food and supplies, and that number grows every year.

We urge Maine lawmakers to do the right thing for all animals by working to end the cruel practice of selling them as if they were merchandise. Visit www.PETA.org to learn more.

Teresa Chagrin
animal care and control issues manager
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

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