When it comes to dogs, the US is a ‘cow country’
The American government is considering an overhaul of how it handles its dogs after a surge in the number of reported deaths.
But a federal task force is urging the US to keep the practice of keeping pets in the country, even as some advocates say they are seeing a sharp uptick in deaths from the disease.
The task force, headed by retired judge and U.S. Representative David Cicilline, released its recommendations Thursday and said the country needs to improve how it treats dogs and consider a change to how the federal government spends money on pet care.
“The problem is that in the United States, we spend money on the animals, not the animals on the government,” Cicillines chief of staff, Chris Janssen, told reporters at a news conference.
Cicillines task force said the federal Animal Welfare Act requires that all pets that are cared for be put down, and it said it needs to change how the Department of Agriculture spends money.
It said it also wants to consider putting dogs in quarantine and placing restrictions on where dogs can be kept and where they can be confined.
Cecillines group has been pushing for changes for decades.
But it is a minority in Congress and has not taken a position on the new proposal.
It is the first time a group has put forth recommendations.
“I think it is very important that we look at what the experts have said and see how we can make this a more effective and cost-effective program,” Cicilines chief said.
In an email, Cicillinelli’s office said the proposal would address concerns of the task force and said it would include the possibility of putting restrictions on the placement of dogs in certain areas.
“We will continue to work closely with our colleagues to ensure that we can provide the best possible care for our animals and that our animals are well cared for,” the email said.
Janssen said he expected the committee to release its recommendations within the next couple of weeks.
He said he believes the task group’s recommendations would lead to changes to the way the government spends funds on animal care.
The committee, which has been asked to meet again next week to discuss the proposal, did not specify the specific areas it would address.