The Senate has approved a bill that would ban the sale of animals along roadways and in public parks across the state.
If passed by the House and signed by the governor, the bill, S1125, would extend a law passed two years ago that banned the public sale of animals in Maricopa and Pima counties.
Sen. Al Melvin, a Tucson Republican who sponsored the bill, said it will protect both the public and animals from diseases.
“One mark of a third-world country is the mistreatment of animals. The more backward the country, the more mistreatment there seems to be,” Melvin said. “And this is in line with the proper treatment of animals.”
The prohibition does not apply to pet stores, animal rescue or humane society groups. Those establishments already are required by law to have all animals examined by a veterinarian before they are sold. They also must provide records of immunization, de-worming and other medical treatments to the buyers.
The prohibition also would not impact animal sales at rodeos, auction markets, county fairs, stock shows or other sanctioned livestock events.
Opponents of the bill said it adds unnecessary government regulation and promotes an anti-competitive spirit.
Sen. Sylvia Allen, a Republican from Snowflake, said the bill will not stop people from being cruel to animals.
“It is about stopping people from being able to sell animals by saying it is because that’s how we stop us from being cruel to animals,” she said.
The Senate approved the bill by a vote of 17 to 13 on Feb. 11. It has not been scheduled for a hearing in the House.