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Why should you be concerned about animal mills?

New legislation in New York has finally clamped down on the selling of domestic pets such as dogs and cats. It’s hoped that this well help eradicate animal mills, where pets are bred with little regard for their wellbeing.

Last December, the state of New York passed a law in which the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits is to be prohibited.

The law, set to take effect in 2024, has been celebrated by animal welfare advocates. The states of California, Illinois, and, Maryland have also implemented similar laws on animal sales.

What exactly are ‘animal sales?’ This is simply the purchasing of animals, usually for livestock or for domestic purposes from a seller. For domestic pets, there are ‘mills’ designated for their breeding.

These can be ‘puppy mills’, ‘kitten mills’, or ‘rabbit mills.’ Animals are selectively bred in order for their offspring to be born with appealing traits.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are approximately 10 000 active puppy mills in the US alone from which at least 2.6 million puppies are bred from.

In 2016, a man in Australia was apprehended for running a kitten mill in which at least 23% of the Bengals cats bred had to be euthanised due to the poor conditions they were raised in.

The statistics on the number of animal mills worldwide are almost non-existent due to the lack of attention that animal welfare issues attain. This only makes the prevention of animal abuse through breeders harder to tackle on all fronts.

Animals that are bred in mills live in unhygienic conditions and have little to no freedom. They’re forced into cages and are separated from their mothers almost immediately after birth. These mills are also prone to overcrowding, increasing the spread of disease and potentially shortening their life span.

As of 2022, the global pet industry was worth $222.93 billion and that value is expected to only increase in the future.

So why exactly do some humans put animals through these treacherous conditions? The unsurprising answer is profit. In a world where our basic survival is dependent on our accessibility to money, these breeders would do anything to generate cash, even if it means sacrifice animal welfare.

Scientific studies have shown that animals suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, similar to humans, and will likely be severely distressed if raised in a mill.

Fortunately, for those who are genuinely interested in making these animals a part of their family, there are always methods of fostering and adopting.

Fostering refers to a short-term commitment wherein one cares for the animal until a family that’s willing to adopt it is found. Adoption, on the other hand, is a long-term commitment and includes being responsible for the animal throughout its lifespan.

Both methods allow shelters to welcome more animals into their protection. This is especially important as the industry is currently tackling a growing animal overpopulation problem, largely caused by overbreeding and an abandonment of unwanted pets.

In the United States, approximately 3.9 million dogs are left in shelters every year. Taken into a global scale, that value would increase exponentially!

Some shelters end up euthanising animals in order to make space for more.

Fostering or adopting an animal into your home and family allows for other displaced animals to be safely brought into shelters. Compared to shopping for animals at pet shops, it is much cheaper to adopt them as adoption fees include vaccinations, spaying/neutering, and health tests. On top of all these, you’d be fighting against animal mills and animal cruelty as a whole.

It’s only a matter of time until the rest of the world has to resolve the inhumane treatment of animals. Hopefully we will see more legislation passed that is comparable to New York. To learn more about animal welfare and how you can take action refer to the sources below.


Humane Society International

Four Paws

International Animal Rescue

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

International Fund for Animal Welfare


Until animal mills are firmly eradicated for good, continued legal action is paramount and necessary. Remember – always adopt.