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Mayor Walsh signs puppy mill bill

City is first in Massachusetts to ban sales of puppies, kittens and bunnies in stores.

Nelson the Shar Pei, who came to the state after being raised in a puppy mill, gaiMSPCA

Boston's City Council on Wednesday approved, and Mayor Marty Walsh signed, a city ordinance banning the sales of puppies, kittens and bunnies in stores.

The measure, sponsored by Councilor Matt O'Malley, has been dubbed the "puppy mill bill."

The ban isdesignedto fight back against breeders who raise animals in what O'Malley called "abhorrent conditions."

Boston is the first municipality in the state to adopt such a ban. More than 120 cities and towns nationwide have approved similar measures.

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The ordinance would also make it illegal to sell animals in public places like parks or on the sidewalk.

RELATED: Meet Nelson, the rescuedShar Pei puppy mill pug

The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals- Angell, based in Jamaica Plain, applauded the Wednesday vote.

"The MSPCA-Angell is incredibly pleased to see the ordinance pass because the measure will have an immediate and significant impact on our adoption center in Boston, which already has experienced a 50 percent rise in rabbit surrenders in the last year alone," MSPCAspokesman Rob Halpin said in a statement. "The MSPCA commends the City Council for its vote, which will not only reduce the number of pets who end up in animal shelters, but the number of sick pets as well."

Councilors carved out an exception to the ordinance until 2017for Allston's The Pet Store, which breeds rabbits, according to UniversalHub.

No other pet stores currently sell animals in the city.

The ban would give authorities the power to seize animals andissue fines of up to$300, UniversalHub reported.

 
 
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