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Maryland puppy mill law undermined by USDA removes animal welfare data

Maryland puppy mill law undermined by USDA removes animal welfare data

The effectiveness of a new Maryland law banning pet shops from selling dogs raised in "puppy mills" is in question after the U.S. Department of Agriculture removed an online database of animal welfare reports from its website.

The move by the federal agency threatens to undermine the compromise measure, which sailed through the General Assembly last year with the backing of animal welfare advocates and the pet industry. State law only permits sales of dogs from breeders with a good track record of USDA inspections.

The law was underpinned by what looked like a robust transparency measure: Pet-buyers, advocates and law enforcement could check an online database of...

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