Kansas lawmakers at odds over dog breeder inspections

This May 18, 2011 photo taken by U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal Control Inspector Cathy Niebruegge, shows puppies in kennels at the Glenn and Teresa Smith GT Farm facility, a USDA-licensed commercial dog breeder, during an inspection in Boswell, Okla. (AP Photo/USDA, Cathy Niebruegge)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Some Kansas lawmakers and animal welfare advocates are holding up a bill increasing fees on pet stores, breeders and kennels in hopes that they can also pass more stringent oversight of breeders.

House and Senate negotiators couldn’t agree last week on a bill increasing fees and oversight. They moved forward with only the fee increase. But House members rejected that Thursday and sent the bill back to the negotiating committee.

At issue is a measure to require surprise inspections of breeders, a move supporters say would help address problem breeders, or “puppy mills” that mistreat animals.

Those who oppose surprise inspections say alerting breeders about an inspection ensures someone will be at the facility when inspectors arrive, but doesn’t allow breeders time to hide wrongdoing.