USDA cracks down on imports from foreign puppy mills

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USDA Cracks Down On Imports From Foreign Puppy Mills

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has made a move to cut down on puppy mills - foreign ones anyway.

USDA cracks down on imports from foreign puppy mills

I wanna play ... this 8-week-young Beagle puppy said with a waggy tail.

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Four puppies in a row

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Two dogs (Siberian Husky and Pomeranian) cuddling.

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Howling Eurasier puppy

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The image is of a Boston Terrier puppy and a toddler boy approximately 2-5 years of age with blonde hair. The puppy and the boy are staring at each other. 

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Cute Puggle Looking at Camera.

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Close up of a cute golden retriever puppy

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Spaniel puppies in a basket.

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Beagle puppy lying in a tiny suitcase

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Golden Retriever puppies 

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Puppies on Park Bench

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Wheaten Terrier Puppies Playing 

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Beagle with ears spread wide 

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Dalmatian puppy standing in a field 

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Cute dachshund puppy 

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American Staffordshire puppy

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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy naps on her blanket.

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White Chihuahua puppy wearing heart shaped sunglasses.

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Chocolate Lab puppy looking out of a basket.

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Puppy taking a break (it is tough to be such a young model!)

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Sleeping Chihuahua puppy

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Basset Hound puppy with visor

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Mongrel Dog With a Toy Bone 

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Tiny boston terrier puppy chewing on toys

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A Beagle puppy of 12 weeks running on yellow sand with only 2 feet on the ground

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Seven week old Siberian Husky puppy sleeping.

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puppy, red and white, pitbull, amstaff, american staffordshire terrier, cute, inquisitive, poker face

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Boxer puppy with doghouse

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Basset Hound puppy

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Yorkshire Terrier puppy sits by owners feet, on green lawn.

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German shepherd puppy running through field

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American Staffordshire terrier puppy yawns sitting on wooden boards

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Golden Retreiver puppy girl running in the front yard through the spring green grass on location for adventure playtime and imagination with sunlight and green trees in the background

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Close-up Of Puppy

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A serious black puppy (Pit Bull mix) stares intently at the camera while light from the sun shines behind him.

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Ten week old female Golden retriever puppy lying on grass.

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Black and white pit bull puppy.

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Puggle puppy looking at the camera with adorable eyes.

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Shih Tzu puppy running on the sand.

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Akita sleeping on the floor

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French bulldog puppy sleeping with teddy bear

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Howling eurasier puppy

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Italia, Piedmont, Tortona, Portrait of puppy looking at camera

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Lazy Dog

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The new measures aim to ensure puppies imported to the U.S. come from humane breeders.

KUSI: "The new regulations say that all puppies for import into the U.S. must be at least six months old and up to date on their vaccinations."

Puppy mills are basically the dog equivalent of factory farms: where the focus is more on money and producing as many puppies as possible, regardless of the welfare of the animals. (Video via WXYZ)

The USDA's move was met with praise from the president of the Humane Society of the United States, Wayne Pacelle. "This is a major moment in our global effort to make trade more humane and to prevent a handful of nations from watering down animal welfare standards in the name of free trade"

An op-ed in the Los Angeles Times also approved, and asked that new rules apply to U.S. breeders as well. "[Puppy mills] are subject only to general animal welfare laws so minimal that even the USDA encourages breeders to exceed them, they can be clamped down on only by tightening rules."

That has been the sticking point for some on the government's approach to cracking down on puppy mills: critics say officials have taken too long.

In fact, in a report from 2010, the USDA itself admitted "the [Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service] was not aggressively pursuing enforcement actions against violators of [the Animal Welfare Act] and that it assessed minimal monetary penalties against them."

Puppy mill regulations are still largely determined on a state-by-state basis, and according to the ASPCA, 21 states still have no laws whatsoever regulating commercial dog breeders.

This video contains images from Getty Images

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