Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Trojan Horse that is Agenda 21

One of the most critical of America’s Founding principles is private property.  Without our right to private property in the United States, we have nothing. I believe our current administration and their socialistic views seek to destroy private property in America.  And like anyone seeking to destroy something precious, the attack will come in a disguise and chip away incrementally.  A steady push has already been underway to remove the free market system from America, which rewards success, and to move us toward Socialism, which punishes success, redistributes wealth, and encourages “collective ownership” while promoting the belief of  “global dominion.” 

The Obama administration will be implementing 68 new regulations per day during the first 90 days in 2013. Many of these onerous regulatory reforms will be directed at small business and agriculture.

How do you destroy agriculture, including the pet industry, in America? 
Answer: Regulate them out of business:
  •      Raise the cost of growing our food and breeding animals.
  •      Which reduces the total production and availability of food and animals.
  •      Thereby, weakening the economic structure of agribusiness and the pet industry.
And, while this sounds like fiction, it is very real and happening throughout America courtesy of the United Nations action plan called, Agenda 21. 

Agenda 21 was introduced at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro organized by the United Nations.  The Earth Summit brought together environmental activists from around the world to deal with the supposed threat from global warming.

UN Agenda 21 comes to us cloaked in the disguise behind the green movement and environmentalism seeking to promote “sustainable” development, which is publicized as conserving an ecological balance by avoiding the depletion of natural resources.  Sounds benign, doesn’t it?  But when you pull back the curtain, Agenda 21 is eating away at America’s sovereignty bit by bit, like a cancer. Ultimately destroying Americans’ right to private property and moving us toward global governance and a totalitarian state.

Here is just a short list of things that Agenda 21 considers unsustainable: Grazing livestock, meat consumption, plowing of soil, building fences, paved roads, logging and timber, dams and reservoirs. 

It is not a coincidence that the man who authored Agenda 21, Maurice Strong, sat on the board of the Humane Society of the United States until 2010. If you put some of the recent laws and regulatory reforms that have been placed on licensed dog breeders into the perspective of Agenda 21, one begins to see the alarming trend and connect the dots: Limitation of the number of animals you can own, mandatory spay and neuter, unfettered access to outdoors, temperature control, guardianship laws for pets.

Agenda 21 should be a bi-partisan concern. We’re all being called to duty to protect our nation’s sovereignty. If you’re opposed to being subjected to UN governance and International Law, first you must become more informed about Agenda 21.  I encourage you to go directly to the UN website to read the Agenda 21 action plan and learn more about it. UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Sustainable Development. Website address:

Secondly, become involved at the local level with your city and county councils and local/state school boards. This is where Agenda 21 is being implemented. UN Agenda 21 is already being pushed in our schools through social studies, and implemented through local jurisdiction in the form of city ordinances, changes in zoning under the terms sustainable development, smart growth, sustainable farming, multi-use trails, green building, open space, conservations easements, and more. Inform and educate yourself and your neighbors.

While we have big challenges ahead, and a very steep hill to climb, we must stay vigilant and keep up our fight for freedom. No one ever said living in a free republic would be easy, and this is a time that will test our mettle.
What Ronald Reagan said in 1964 applies today, “Are you willing to spend time studying the issues, making yourself aware, and then conveying that information to family and friends?”  And he added, “If some among you fear taking a stand because you are afraid of reprisals from customers, clients, or even government, recognize that you are just feeding the crocodile hoping he'll eat you last.”
Like those who have fought for freedom before us, it is now our time to protect the flame of liberty and not allow it to be extinguished.  The serpent of tyranny rises again, this time as Agenda 21 to threaten American freedom and sovereignty.  We must remain vigilant.

Mindy Patterson is president and co-founder of The Cavalry Group a member based company protecting and defending the Constitutional and private property rights of law abiding animal owners, animal-related businesses, sportsmen, hunters, and agriculture concerns nationwide.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Governor Nixon and Attorney General Koster sell out Missouri jobs to appease special interests.

The old adage of “its not what you say, but what you do that counts” has never been more poignant than in the last four years of Governor Nixon’s administration.  There have been many examples of Nixon selling out Missouri families and Missouri businesses in favor of powerful special interest groups, or trying to curry favor with President Obama.  Let’s not forget Governor Nixon trying last year to sneak in the Obamacare exchanges under the nose of Missourians.  However, none of the Governor’s actions have been more vicious and transparent as pretending to broker a compromise between radical animal rights groups and Missouri Dog Breeders and animal agriculture groups and then selling law abiding Missourians down the river.

After a bitter battle over the slimly won 2010 Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act Ballot Initiative where the Humane Society of the United States spent $4.8 million dollars on propaganda in Missouri to create a “crisis” where one didn’t exist, the Missouri Legislature courageously stepped in to protect law abiding Missouri businesses from an un-constitutional effort to destroy a viable industry.  Missouri already had extensive animal welfare laws in place, and this new Measure did nothing to deal with the small percentage breaking the law, nor the State’s failure to enforce the law.   However this battle was really about wiping out the already heavily regulated, successful, Missouri dog breeding industry.  An industry which has produced quality purebred dogs for families all over the United States and beyond.  Ironically, the Humane Society of Missouri will sell you a mutt with behavioral problems for $300 if you are interested.  The conflict of interest is obvious.

 As the Missouri legislature crafted a fix for this job killing Measure, Governor Nixon, stepped in to broker what is now known as the Missouri Solution.  He caps that by meeting with both sides and declaring victory.  The Governor’s failure to actually determine with empirical data that there is a problem is swept under the rug.  Instead the Governor falls in line with the massive propaganda campaign put forth by out of state special interests, specifically HSUS.   Nobody questions or takes into account the fact that HSUS has gone state by state claiming them as the ‘puppy mill capital of the US” and subsequently destroying their dog breeding industries.

According to Missouri Law what was supposed to happen next is that a 12 person committee made up of diverse agricultural interests works with the Department of Agriculture to write the rules and regulations so as to accurately and fairly implement the law.  Unfortunately, Governor Nixon had disbanded this committee in 2009. So who wrote the rules and regulations?  We have information that Director of Agriculture, Dr. Jon Hagler was involved, as was a gentleman named Bob Baker who is the director of the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation (MAAL), animal rights advocates masquerading as animal welfare proponents and a direct conduit to the radicals at HSUS.   Otherwise we are not sure who else was involved.  In that smoky back room, most of the unconstitutional aspects removed from the Measure made it back into the rules coupled with numerous onerous and business crushing new rules that had no foundation in the law itself.  These rules went into affect on July 11, 2011.

According to Matt Rold, Animal Care Facilities Act (ACFA) Coordinator for the Missouri Department of Agriculture, the result was that in the period from July 2011 to July 2012 approximately 50% of the 1,500 licensed Missouri dog breeders went out of business as they were financially incapable of complying with the new onerous rules requiring thousands of dollars of unneeded kennel modifications.  The impact to Missouri is tens of thousands of lost jobs and over $500 million plus in lost positive economic impact to Missouri.  So while the economy is struggling all over Missouri, Governor Nixon decides to crush thousands of Missouri families and their jobs to appease out of state radical animal rights activists.  Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster even decided that it would make a good campaign ad.

Taking a cue from President Obama, Nixon then doubled down on this strategy moving  $1.1 million dollars from other important Missouri programs to the Department of Agriculture’s 2011-2012 budgets to enforce these new rules and implement an aggressive new enforcement campaign rather than to go after the unlicensed law breakers that were the target of this Measure.  This effort ramped up this summer and the immediate results were hundreds of questionable violations against even Missouri’s top Blue Ribbon breeders.  New interpretations of the old rules and vigorous enforcement of new rules that were unsupported by the actual law put everyone in a state of confusion including the Department of Agriculture’s Inspectors who were told to call Dr. Hagler for interpretation of the new rules with Dr. Hagler acting as the Department of Agriculture’s judge, jury and executioner.  Worried that the Missouri Department of Agriculture could wipe out the Missouri dog breeding industry by the end of 2012, The Cavalry Group filed suit in early September 2012 challenging the constitutionality of many of the provisions in the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act including the “new” rules and regulations, and making a claim for a regulatory taking of private property.   The Cavalry Group is in the midst of this legal action and will pursue all remedies to protect Missouri jobs and ultimately Missouri families.  Hopefully we can help save a Missouri industry made up of real Missouri families with a great history and heritage.

 Missouri voters have a clear choice on November 6th.  Governor Nixon and Attorney General Koster have made that choice easier by attacking and destroying the livelihoods of those who they are supposed to protect: the law abiding citizens of Missouri.  When you vote on November 6th, I hope that you will remember those law abiding, hard working Missouri families that Governor Nixon and Attorney General Koster forgot.  Vote for Dave Spence for Missouri Governor, and Ed Martin for Missouri Attorney General.

Mark Patterson is CEO of The Cavalry Group, America’s advocate for animal owners, outdoor sportsmen, and animal related businesses -- defending them on legal, legislative, and cultural fronts.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Lawsuit Update: The Cavalry Group vs The State of Missouri

We were unsuccessful in getting the Cole County Circuit Judge to issue a Temporary Restraining Order associated with freezing the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act.

First of all, this action does not affect what we are doing with regards to the overall lawsuit. We are still in the discovery phase where the State has to respond to our request for documents, records, etc. We have our first formal court date on 11/30/12 at 9:00 a.m..

On a parallel path we are pursuing injunctive relief that would freeze everything.  

Last Thursday we argued for an immediate Temporary Restraining Order.  That type of hearing involves case law and legal arguments but no live witness testimony is presented. The threshold at this point in the proceedings is high and would have required the judge to put the inspection division of MDA on sabbatical if he issued the TRO.  The Court declined to do so at this point.

At the same time, the State asked the judge to dismiss the lawsuit.  The Court did not dismiss the case and called on the State to answer the complaint which keeps us in Court.  Again, the judge asked some very interesting questions that indicate that the Court is giving our case strong consideration.

We next ask for a hearing at which evidence and witnesses will be presented as we request a "preliminary injunction".  Basically, it is the same thing as a TRO but we get to present evidence in this action. If we get the preliminary injunction which usually lasts 90 days, we will pursue a "permanent injunction" that would freeze everything until the conclusion of the lawsuit.

To summarize, we didn't get immediate relief, but the court didn't throw out the case either, so we go forward on both paths.

Should you have any questions, feel free to email me at

Best regards,

Mark Patterson
The Cavalry Group

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Over-Regulation and HSUS Carlotta Cooper

In these days of government over-regulation it still might surprise you to learn that a government agency could determine the next puppy you get. But if the Obama Administration and Tom Vilsack at USDA have their way, that's exactly what will happen.

The USDA's APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) agency announced a proposed rule in May that would devastate small-scale purebred dog breeders who raise dogs in their homes. This includes most breeders of show dogs, people who breed K9 search and rescue dogs, police dogs, and protection dogs, many hunting dog breeders, and people who breed dogs for the disabled, as well as people who produce good pet dogs.

The rule proposed by APHIS would result in a serious change in direction to the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) which they administer. The Animal Welfare Act was originally passed in the 1960s to protect laboratory animals and it was later altered to allow USDA to oversee the care of breeding animals in large commercial facilities. For the past 15 years the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and other animal rights groups have been seeking to change the Animal Welfare Act so that it covers more than animals raised by wholesalers as it does currently. They have been trying to stretch the act to cover retailers, which would include breeders who raise a litter at home and sell directly to a buyer.

The Doris Day Animal League, which has since been subsumed by HSUS, sued USDA (DDAL vs Ann Veneman (Secretary of Agriculture) in 1997 in order to try to force USDA to apply wholesale breeding regulations to retailers, i.e., to treat home breeders the same way USDA treated large commercial breeders. DDAL initially won in court but the case was reversed on appeal by the Washington DC U.S. District Court of Appeals. One of the things that's so interesting about this case is that USDA opposed the animal rights position at this time. They claimed that the Animal Welfare Act should not be applied to retail breeders, who are typically small-scale breeders. According to USDA at this time, it would be a waste of the agency's inspectors and other resources to try to oversee these entities.

But things change and with the Obama victory in 2008, regulations were seen as the way to accomplish many things that could not be accomplished legislatively. Today USDA is supporting the animal rights position and trying to force small-scale breeders, as retailers, to live under commercial breeding or wholesaler regulations.

HSUS, which is NOT the same as your local humane society or animal shelter, has been trying each year to pass repressive legislation against pet breeders. So far they have failed, despite the fact that they have lured many first term congressmen to support the PUPS bill (Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety, Senate Bill 707 (S.707) and House Bill 835 (H.R. 835)  which would apply onerous restrictions to small-scale dog and cat breeders. Even some Republicans who should know better are supporting this bill which would do many of the same things that the proposed APHIS rule would do. It would label many small-scale breeders as commercial breeders and they would be forced to become USDA-licensed and inspected.

Just to make sure you get the picture, we are talking about your Aunt Susie who has a few Yorkies and raises some puppies. She would have to get a USDA license and have inspectors come to her home. But, it's not that simple. In order to become USDA-licensed, she would have to make her facilities (her home) USDA-compliant. That means having non-permeable surfaces that can be cleaned at temps of 180 degrees, proper ventilation in the areas where the dogs are kept, drainage for that cleaning water, insurance as a commercial business, possible approval by her homeowner's association, zoning approval, and a host of other requirements under AWA rules. She would go from being a hobbyist to a small business, whether she liked it or not. It's kind of hard to do these things if you're a small breeder living in the suburbs. And that's where many of our best home-raised puppies come from. When you want a good, home-raised puppy, you go to someone like Aunt Susie. But Tom Vilsack and the USDA would like to have small breeders put their dogs in kennels so they can make everyone be USDA/AWA compliant. Or, perhaps it's safer to say that USDA would like all of us small breeders to just disappear.

Are you wondering why the Humane Society of the United States would support the PUPS bill or the proposed APHIS rule when they would send our home-raised dogs out to the kennels? Aren't they the folks who are supposed to care so much for animals? Despite the ubiquitous ads with sad-faced kittens and puppies, HSUS does not support local shelters. The money they raise goes for lobbying on animal rights issues; lawsuits against agricultural interests; and their own salaries and pensions. Less than 1 percent of the money they raise goes to the animals. It would suit HSUS just fine to get rid of small hobby breeders who have been resisting them. The Humane Society of the United States opposes all animal breeding. It is easier for them to control breeders if they have breeders thoroughly regulated under the APHIS proposed rule and/or PUPS. They have won over USDA to a great extent now, at least under Tom Vilsack. HSUS, through it's lobbying arm the Humane Society Legislative Fund, is a contributor to the campaign of Vilsack's wife, Christie Vilsack, running for Congress in Iowa. And HSLF has contributed more than $100,000 to oppose Christie Vilsack's opponent, none other than Rep. Steve King, who has been a vocal opponent of HSUS-sponsored bills in Congress. Earlier this fall, eight Iowa TV stations refused to air Humane Society Legislative Fund ads against King because of their sensationalism and dishonesty. The ads had to be re-worked before stations would accept them. When's the last time you heard of TV stations refusing ads? Well, PETA comes to mind.

The upshot is, the Humane Society of the United States is no friend to animals, whether they are pets or in agriculture. Over-regulation and animal rights-supported bills are hurting all of us, even the people who raise pets. Don't be fooled when you hear that something is “good for the animals.” If it comes from HSUS or if it smacks of over-regulation, just say no.

Carlotta Cooper writes for The Cavalry Group. She's a contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine Dog News. She's been breeding and showing English Setters for 25 years.

Battleground North Dakota: No On HSUS' Measure 5

For Ellie Hayes to accuse North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring of “not being honest” in a recent article in the Grand Forks Herald is something I find not only hypocritical, but most amusing!

The truth is that the author, Ellie Hayes, is the one being dishonest as she speaks to North Dakotans as though she is a long time resident of North Dakota. In actuality, she is a resident of my state of Missouri.  Ellie Hayes (aka, Michelle Hayes)  worked on a ballot initiative campaign, “Your Vote Counts” in 2011 through March of 2012 in my state of Missouri, which was sponsored and funded by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

Since 1990 HSUS has passed ballot initiatives in 18 states attacking animal agriculture and hunting resulting in onerous new regulations destroying law abiding businesses and families.  

Most recently HSUS spent $4.85 million dollars promoting the 2010 Prop B, The Puppy Mill Cruelty Act, in Missouri only to narrowly win by 2%.  Much like Measure 5, The Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act did nothing to prevent cruelty to animals. Instead, the measure has over-regulated licensed, legitimate dog breeders out of business resulting in the near demise of their industry with an economic impact exceeding $500 Million in lost Missouri jobs and revenue in this year alone.

Measure 5 is an example of this with its promise to “Stop Animal Cruelty,” but unfortunately, when you actually read the details of Measure 5, there is nothing in the measure that actually does anything to stop animal cruelty. The proponents of Measure 5, especially its sponsor, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), is counting on you, the voter, to stay uniformed and “just take their word for it” and blindly support the lies of HSUS.   I mean, who in their right mind wouldn’t vote for a measure claiming to prevent animal cruelty? Interestingly though, under current North Dakota state law, animal cruelty and abuse are already illegal. Do you really believe increasing criminal charges is going to increase enforcement and prevention? So, what is really going on here?

The organization behind Measure 5, the true master of deception, also known as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).  HSUS pretends to be the savior of distressed animals, but in actuality spends less than one percent of its $140 Million intake of donations for the hands on care of dogs and cats nationwide. The rest of their massive budget goes toward lobbying, funding ballot measures state by state (over $4.5 million in my state of Missouri), pension plans, on staff attorneys, advertisements, celebrity endorsements,  and public stockholding in restaurants, grocery store chains, and pharmaceutical companies. 

With each ballot measure passed, HSUS further regulates farmers, livestock producers and domesticated animal breeders with their  so-called “anti cruelty” campaigns imposing unnecessary onerous, prohibitive and costly regulations.  Regulations at the expense of fewer farms, fewer farmers, higher food prices, and a growing concern of a domestic food shortage.  HSUS has banked on the American public to remain unaware of what is truly behind their proposed measures.

Measure 5 is not out to reduce animal cruelty but to set a precedent to come back and regulate North Dakotan animal owners and animal related businesses who obey the laws and employ thousands of your friends, relatives, and neighbors. 

Ellie Hayes, I suggest you pack your bags and leave North Dakota.  Let North Dakotans write their own laws.  Like Missourians, I am certain North Dakotans don’t like out of state special interest groups influencing their laws.   

Protect your state of North Dakota and Vote NO on Measure 5.

Mindy Patterson co-founder and president of The Cavalry Group, a company working to assist livestock producers, agricultural interests and animal owners nationwide in the fight against the radical animal rights movement. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Cavalry Group's Comments for Docket No. APHIS-2011-0003


August 14, 2012

Docket No. APHIS-2011-0003
Regulatory Analysis and Development
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Station 3A-03.8
4700 River Road
United 118
Riverdale, MD  20737-1238

Re: Docket No. APHIS-2011-000, Animal Welfare; Retail Pet Stores and Licensing 
      Exemptions, Proposed Rule, 77 Fed. Reg. 28,799 (May 16, 2012)

Dear Sir or Madam:

      These comments are submitted on behalf of The Cavalry Group, a private member-based company dedicated to advancing the constitutional rights of law-abiding animal owners, animal-related businesses, and agricultural concerns, with regard to the proposed rule referenced above.

The Cavalry Group has grave concerns that the proposed rule is arbitrary, capricious, and in excess of statutory authority.  Moreover, the Regulatory Impact Analysis & Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis grossly underestimates the number of dog and other breeders who are potentially affected small entities and will become subject to the jurisdiction of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The proposal should be withdrawn.

         I. The Removal of the Section 2.1(a)(3)(vii) Creates Uncertainty

Despite the agency’s assertion that this proposal concerns a redefinition of “retail pet stores,” it is, in fact, the unwarranted removal of another exemption from the licensure and other substantive AWA requirements that is the heart of this proposal.  The proposed rule removes the AWA license exemption that numerous breeders of animals have relied upon for more than two decades.  That exemption was for 

       Any person who breeds and raises domestic pet animals for direct retail sales to another person for the        buyer's own use and who buys no animals for resale and who sells no animals to a research facility, an exhibitor, a dealer, or a pet store (e.g., a purebred dog or cat fancier) and is not otherwise required to obtain a license . . . .

II.  9 C.F.R. § 2.1(a)(3)(vii) (subsection to be deleted under the proposed rule).  Without this exemption, any breeder of AWA-covered animals who engages in direct sales (regardless of the form of advertising such direct sales) would now be considered “dealers” under the Act unless they qualify for another exemption, such as the redefined “retail pet store” of section 2.1(a)(3)(i) and the “breeders” exemption of section 2.1(a)(3)(iii).   

One potential problem with the removal of the direct sales exemption of section 2.1(a)(3)(vii) is the lack of clarity of the remaining exemptions.  Under the “breeders” exemption, the total number of breeding females that would be allowed for an exempt entity is unclear. The proposed rule and preamble does not discuss whether any of the recited animals, dogs, cats and/or small exotic or wild mammals, such as hedgehogs, degus, spiny mice, prairie dogs, flying squirrels, and jerboas, are to be counted by species or collectively.  In other words, would two breeding age female dogs, two breeding age female cats, and one hedgehog transform an otherwise exempt breeder into a retail pet store?  If the proposal is not withdrawn, APHIS should clarify that species should be counted separately for purposes of determining exemption under section 2.1(a)(3)(iii).

       III.  The “Retail Pet Store” and “Breeders’” Exemptions Should Be Read Separately

     It is not clear on the face of the proposed rule, nor in any discussion in the preamble to the proposed rule, whether breeders that have four or fewer breeding females but that also engage in animal sales where the purchaser does not physically enter to personally observe the animal would or would not be exempt from AWA licensure, inspection, and recordkeeping.  In other words, the question is whether the “retail pet store” and the “breeders’” exemptions are separate types of exemption, of whether they must be read together.  Does an entity operating under the “breeders’” exemption also have to comply with the “retail pet store” exemption requirement for physical presence of the buyer?  Some interested organizations have already distributed materials indicating that the “retail pet store” exemption and the “breeders’” exemption should be separately read but this is not evident on the face of the proposed regulation.  If the proposal is not withdrawn, APHIS should clarify that the “retail pet store” exemption of section 2.1(a)(3)(i) and the “breeders” exemption of section 2.1(a)(3)(iii), as redefined, constitute separate exemptions and that compliance with both simultaneously is not required to be exempt from AWA licensure, inspection, and recordkeeping.

        IV.  The Removal of the “Small Sales” Restriction to Research Facilities, Exhibitors, Dealers, or 
               Pet Stores Should Be Retained or Clarified

Finally, the proposed rule slightly revises the regulatory definition of “dealer” to remove language that limits section 2.1(a)(3)(ii) exemption to those persons that engage in certain small sales to research facilities, exhibitors, dealers, or pet stores.  Under the revised definition, any entity that sold or negotiated the sale or purchase of any animal except a dog, cat, or wild or exotic animal would be considered exempt from the definition of “dealer” unless they derived $500 or more in gross income annually from such sales.  Under the proposed rule, then, if a seller had $500 or more gross income from sales to any person in any year, then they would have to be licensed, inspected, and retain records as a dealer.  The $500 figure is derived from the original 1966 text of the AWA, despite the fact that $500 in 1966 would be equivalent to more than $3,500 today.

As with the interplay between the “retail pet store” exemption of section 2.1(a)(3)(i) and the “breeders” exemption of section 2.1(a)(3)(iii), neither the proposed rule nor the preamble discusses whether the exemptions can be read separately or must be read together.  If the proposal is not withdrawn, APHIS should clarify that the “retail pet store” exemption of section 2.1(a)(3)(i) and the “small sales” exemption of section 2.1(a)(3)(ii), as redefined, constitute separate exemptions and that compliance with both simultaneously is not required to be exempt from AWA licensure, inspection, and recordkeeping.  APHIS should also seek statutory authorization to adjust the “small sales” exemption.

The public is generally aware that APHIS is working on a regulatory expansion of animals covered under the AWA to include birds.  The combination of the present proposed expansion of persons who fail to become exempt pursuant to section 2.1(a)(3)(ii) with the addition of birds will exponentially increase the number of persons who will be subject to AWA licensure, inspection, and recordkeeping. 

       V. The Regulatory Impact Analysis & Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Are Flawed 
            in Underestimating the Number of Potentially Affected Persons

The Regulatory Impact Analysis & Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (RIA) are flawed insofar as they fail to provide a well-founded basis for estimates of how many “retail breeders” will be subject to AWA license, inspection, and recordkeeping requirements.  Despite the RIA’s assertion that hobby breeders would be exempt from AWA requirements, the structure of the proposed rule is such that maintaining a sufficient number of breeding age animals, regardless of whether the offspring of one or all such animals are bred for sale, plus a direct sale of a single animal, would deprive the hobby breeder of exemption.  The RIA does not examine how many such persons would be affected.

Taken together, the removal of section 2.1(a)(3)(vii), the expansion of section 2.1(a)(3)(ii), and the requirement that purchaser physical presence is necessary to consummate an exempt retail sale render the proposal arbitrary, capricious, and in excess of statutory authority.   If the Department wishes to re-propose the regulation, the interaction of the various exemptions from AWA licensure, inspection, and recordkeeping should be clarified to ensure that those exemptions are read separately.
VI. Conclusion

The Calvary Group appreciates the opportunity to comment on the proposed rule.  It should, however, be withdrawn in its entirety.  This proposed rule is bad policy and unnecessary as there has been no public outcry from the American people demanding these changes, much less any empirical evidence of an actual problem requiring said proposed rule. We also challenge the Department's authority to propose a rule that affects commerce in this manner.   The only evidential reason that this proposed rule exists is that there has been significant pressure applied to APHIS/USDA from special interest groups, specifically by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).  

What we find especially troubling is that APHIS/USDA senior staff have been unable to actually describe what the rules are, much less the basis for them when challenged in person or on the stakeholders conference calls, drawing into question whether USDA staff actually generated the rules or whether they were submitted by HSUS, et al.  Perhaps USDA’s Secretary Tom Vilsack feels we need to pass the proposed rule to find out what’s in it.

Again, we respectfully encourage the Department to withdraw the proposed rule in its entirety.  It has become very clear that USDA and APHIS need to remind themselves that they serve at the pleasure of the American People and that they represent the interests of all Americans not just special interest groups such as HSUS.

Respectfully submitted,

Mark Patterson Mindy Patterson
CEO President
The Cavalry Group The Cavalry Group

Thursday, August 2, 2012

That Which We Call A "Puppy Mill" By Any Other Name?

"What’s in a name?  That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” This famous quote from Romeo and Juliet, the play written by William Shakespeare, encapsulates the tragedy that befalls dog breeders across America today which is, all in a name. 
All in a name, the term “puppy mill” was intentionally devised by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)  to empower their animal rights agenda and cause deliberate harm, and over time, dismantle the image and reputation of exceptional dog breeders while painting them with the broad brush of shame.
So, what exactly is a so-called, “puppy mill”?  
In 2010 as the campaign manager for The Alliance For Truth, a campaign to defeat HSUS’ “Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act” (Prop. B) in Missouri, I learned first hand that HSUS and their animal rights agenda promotes and capitalizes on the term “puppy mill” as a reference to ALL dog breeders. That’s right.  ALL dog breeders.  It was during the campaign to defeat Prop. B that I recall having to sit in a waiting area at a St. Louis TV station with our opposition's campaign manager, Barb Schmitz, before going on air.  When I asked her how she could possibly justify her claim that Missouri had 3,000 "puppy mills," she responded by telling me that all breeders are "puppy mills" and they must be closed down. 

So there in lies the deception to the American people.  HSUS is against breeding. Period. So any breeding facility, commercial or otherwise, is considered to be a “puppy mill” because of the emphasis on breeding and making a profit.  No matter how well the breeder cares for their dogs, HSUS doesn't want legitimate, lawful dog breeders making a living or any kind of a profit breeding dogs. So they vilify.
So while dog breeders jump through hoops to stay in business, it is impossible for them to keep up with all the onerous business killing regulations aggressively promoted by HSUS through lobbying, ballot initiatives, and infiltration into government agencies.  The fact of the matter is that the end goal is NOT about creating better welfare standards for breeding facilities -- it’s about eliminating the breeders. And that’s the animal rights agenda and goal: the elimination of animal ownership.
Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of HSUS illustrates this goal in his quote, “One generation and out. We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding.” Wayne Pacelle, Animal People, May, 1993.
Those two little words “puppy mill” pack a punch, and they continue to destroy exceptional kennels across America by chipping away at the public’s view of dog breeding because, in the eyes of HSUS and other animal rights groups, ALL dog breeders are considered to be a “puppy mill”.  
This serves as an important reminder as HSUS is turning citizens into bounty hunters by offering a cash reward of $5,000 to terrorize and destroy dog breeders by making false accusations against their neighbors.  While they use the term "puppy mill" to describe their targets, what they really mean is any and all dog breeders, hobby and commercial breeders alike. 
Calling every dog breeder a “puppy mill” is like labeling every football coach a pedophile because of what happened at Penn State. Sadly, those of us who are involved in animal agriculture are going to be in a public relations battle to defend animal husbandry for the rest of our lives, so we must start by no longer referring to a substandard breeder as a “puppy mill.”  If we continue to use that term, we are perpetuating the false HSUS propaganda, and helping Pacelle and his minons drive all of us off the not so symbolic cliff.  
Mindy Patterson is president and co-founder of The Cavalry Group, a member based company legally defending & protecting the Constitutional and private property rights of law abiding animal owners & animal-related businesses nation-wide.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A CALL TO ACTION by Frank Losey

For the last 8 years an ever growing "Reign of Terror" of the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) has adversely affected all  who have had anything to do with an animal that has two legs or four legs.  All of the affected individuals, victims, organizations and companies have been tarred by the HSUS Brush and the disparaging propaganda spewed from its "Deception Mills" that symbolize "Cancer Cells" that threaten the Culture and Values of the American Way of Life.  Also of grave concern is the fact that the HSUS has targeted children as young as Five-Years-Old, and encouraged them to Lobby in support of the Legislative Agenda of the HSUS, as evidenced by the contents in its "Humane Action Guide for Youth."    Has HSUS stepped over the line by targeting children as young as Five-Years-Old, and encouraged them to "Lobby?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?"
All Americans must revere the rights of any Individual or Organization to contact Members of Congress or  Members of the Executive Branch, and to "Lobby" them to adopt their parochial views.  In short, the HSUS and its Leadership have an absolute "Right" to "Lobby" those who serve in our Government.  However, with that Right goes the responsibility to comply with the "Laws of this Land."  One of those Laws is the "Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995," which requires any Organization that engages in Lobbying to Register as a "Lobbying Organization" with the Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate.  Prior to August of 2006, the HSUS was in compliance with the Lobbying Disclosure Act, and on its last Report, it specifically listed "Wayne Pacelle" as a "Lobbyist."  However, the HSUS ceased to be in compliance with the Lobbying Disclosure Act when it terminated its Registration in August of 2006, but  continued its aggressive "Lobbying Activities"  with ever increasing fervor and without regard to the fact that it is acting as if it is "ABOVE THE LAW."  Former President Nixon was forced to resign as President, and  his Attorney General of the U.S. went to jail because they had acted "ABOVE THE LAW."   In short, no matter how noble one professes to be, such an assertion does not give anyone or any organization a "Right of Passage" to ignore complying with the "Lobbying Disclosure Act."
The Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia has now received seven separate submissions, with more than 400 pages of incriminating documents, that substantiate that the HSUS has been in continuous violation of the Lobbying Disclosure Act since August of 2006 when it terminated its prior Registration as a "Lobbying Organization."  Now Utah Senator Hatch has stated in a letter to one of his constituents that he believes that "this law has been violated." 

FIRST,  send a short E-Mail to the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia that is addressed to:  Type or cut and paste the following message:
"Dear Mr. Machen:  
"When will your Office complete its investigation of the documented allegations that you have received from Mr. Losey who forwarded to you over 400 pages of incriminating documents that establish that the Humane Society of the United States has been in continuous violation of the Lobbying Disclosure Act since August of 2006?   Please consider Senator Hatch's June 20, 2012  Letter.
SECOND,  use the exact text, as set out below, and send E-Mails to your two Senators and Representative. (Yes, do it even if you believe they "support" the deceptive propaganda of the HSUS.) 
  1. To send an E-Mail to your U.S. Representative, Log onto
  2. Fill in your state and ZIP Code on the prompt that appears.
  3. Add your name, address and E-Mail address on E-Mail Form for your U.S. Representative; and on the Subject Line add: LOBBYING DISCLOSURE ACT OF 1995.  If that Subject Line will not allow you to use that Subject, use "OTHER."  Then  add the message set out below.
  4. To send an E-Mail to your Two Senators, Log onto:
  5. Click onto the E-Mail Address for each of your two U.S. Senators.
  6. Add your name, address and E-Mail address on E-Mail Form for your U.S. Representative; and on the Subject Line add:  LOBBYING DISCLOSURE ACT OF 1995. If that Subject Line will not allow you to use that Subject, use "OTHER."  Then add the message set out below.
  7. So that a running count of total E-Mails may be maintained, send a confirmation that the three E-Mails were sent from which State to Frank Losey: <> 
"I have asked Mr. Machen, the U.S. Attorney for the  District of Columbia, when his Office will complete its investigation of the alleged non-compliance of the Lobbying Disclosure Act by the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS).  HIs Office has now received from Mr. Losey over 400 pages of incriminating documents that substantiate that the HSUS has been in continuous violation of the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) since August of 2006, at which time it terminated its "Registration" as a "Lobbying Organization." Most significantly, the HSUS and its Senior Leadership have made thousands of direct lobbying contacts with "Covered Executive Branch  Officials" and "Covered Legislative Branch Officials" since August of 2006, and have conducted themselves as if they are "ABOVE THE LAW."
Would you ask Mr. Machen, on my behalf, when his Office will complete their investigation of the substantiated allegations that the HSUS has been in continuous violation of the LDA.  I recognize that the Justice Department may not discuss details of any on-going investigation.  All that I am asking is for confirmation that the Justice Department will conduct and complete a timely and thorough investigation of the 400+ pages of incriminating documents that substantiate a violation of the LDA has occurred.  For your information and consideration, I am including a quote from a Letter dated June 20th that a resident in Utah received from your Congressional Colleague, Senator Orrin Hatch:
"I am aware of allegations that the HSUS has not properly disclosed its lobbying activities as required under the Lobbying Disclosure Act.  In addition, I am aware of other, more general complaints surrounding the HSUS and its activities.  While I do not believe it is appropriate for a U.S. Senator to publicly comment on such allegations without more information, I share your belief that this law has been violated, the Justice Department should respond with appropriate action."