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Connecticut is torn over new animal importation law

A bill passed to prevent illegal trafficking of animals and puppy mills in Connecticut is being criticized by animal rescue organizations for making the adoption of a dog too expensive, Clinton Patch reports.

The bill states that animal importers must register with the Connecticut Department of Agriculture and local zoning officers about any sale, adoption or transfer of animals from one person to another, with a $100 registration fee. Violators of the law are subject to a $500 fine, according to the news source.

Connecticut Department of Agriculture Commissioner Steve Reviczky said in a public hearing testimony that his department constantly receives complaints about animals that come into the state with health issues such as respiratory problems and parasite infections. The new bill requires that a veterinarian examine a pet within 48 hours of the importation and within 15 days of the sale, adoption or transfer of the animal, according to the Housatonic Times.

However, animal rescue groups say that the regulations may dissuade adopters, citing a "prohibitive" cost. The Federation of Responsible Rescues told the news source that the law "effectively ends the ability of legitimate rescues to offer dogs for adoption."

Veterinarian Dr. Gail Block, president of the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association, says the bill will not affect people who do rescue "the proper way." 
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