The NCDA&CS is responsible for ensuring that animal shelters, kennels, pet shops and public animal auctions are complying with the North Carolina Animal Welfare Act. I take this responsibility seriously. I will ensure that domesticated animals are treated humanely and that the animal welfare laws in North Carolina are enforced.
Puppy mills are still a problem in North Carolina. These are commercial breeders who put greed over animal welfare. Dogs in many of these puppy mills live in their own waste and are isolated and confined for their while life. Most are discarded or killed when they can no longer produce offspring. There are currently no laws in North Carolina that regulate commercial breeders that sell directly to individuals. The federal government just passed federal animal cruelty legislation, but it does not address puppy mills. I will strongly push for passage of a common sense bill to put an end to puppy mills in North Carolina.
Farm animal welfare is not directly administered by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; however I will be an advocate for the humane treatment of farm animals from the farm to the slaughterhouse. Most of the farmers in North Carolina treat their farm animals humanely, but there is always room for improvement. We must encourage more research on livestock well-being so that we can develop scientific methods to measure stress on animals. Once we better understand what causes stress, then we can find methods for treating our animals better. I can assure you that as commissioner I will not tolerate animal cruelty.