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Force puppy mills to clean up act

Outlawing cruel treatment of dogs hardly seems controversial. The N.C. House didn’t think so, passing a bill last year on an easy 101-14 vote.

Now the legislation sits stalled in the Senate, despite the wishes of the House, the governor, the First Lady, the Humane Society and all advocates for common sense. It’s not clear why, but neither of two stated reasons holds any water.

House Bill 930 is straightforward (read it yourself at www.ncleg.net; it’s only two pages long). All it does is require large-scale breeders (those with 10 or more reproducing dogs) to provide the most basic care to their dogs. Things like food and water. Keeping them in cages big enough where they can stand up. Not confining them with so much feces that they get sick. We’re not talking about the Waldorf-Astoria here.

Critics say they’re worried the bill could be a slippery slope toward putting burdensome regulations on the agricultural industry. That phantom fear is a reason to allow dog abuse? As First Lady Ann McCrory says, “Even our dog Moe knows the difference between a hog and a dog.”

So maybe it’s that senators are being petty. Sen. Tom Apodaca says the bill won’t move because bill supporters recorded Sen. Bill Rabon using off-color language, trashing the bill and the governor for supporting it. We think elected officials should stand by their words, not run from them, but either way that’s not a reason to take your anger out on an innocent dog.

These rules target only the worst breeders. Reputable ones have nothing to fear. Pass the bill.

Airport update! (Sort of.)

Here’s a breaking update on the fight over Charlotte’s airport: It’s still a mess.

For about a year now, the city has been fighting the state legislature’s effort to have an independent commission run Charlotte Douglas International Airport. For more than half that time, everyone involved has been waiting for the Federal Aviation Administration and a local judge to decide who gets to decide the issue.

Last week, the FAA punted the issue back to the judge, who had previously punted it to the FAA, which had previously ... well, you know.

All of which reinforces our hope that the city officials and state legislators can work this out. Former Mayor Patrick Cannon seemed optimistic about that possibility before he became former mayor. There’s seemingly been no movement since.

Our frustrated eyes continue to turn to Gov. Pat McCrory, who is best positioned to negotiate a compromise between his fellow Republicans and the city he calls home. That’s preferable to a judge or the FAA issuing a ruling. Not that either ever will.

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The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

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