Archive for Saturday, August 4, 2007
In examining the economic impact of laws, one should identify both the primary and secondary persons affected by the legislation. One should also include the proponents of the legislation, as well as the opponents. It is assumed that whichever side is negatively affected the least will lose the battle to pass such a law. This is based on an assumption that laws should be passed to hurt the fewest people and, conversely, do the most good for the most people. This assumption is based on a rule that whenever one side “wins” the other side “loses” and is impaired in some negative manner.
Let us then take a look at AB1634 in the light of who would be impacted most, regarding the subject dogs.
Who has dogs?
There are about 73 million dogs owned by about 43.4 million households in the United States. This represents 39 percent of all American households.
We can pretty confidently say that close to 40% of all households contain dogs. Therefore that many households would be affected by legislation controlling dogs. It is not disputed that California conforms to the national survey.
So far we have just determined that a lot of families, 39% of the households comprising California’s 33 million people, have dogs. That computes to 12,870,000 people in California having some claim to a dog. It may be an adult single person household, or there may one child or many, along with their parent(s) owning and enjoying a dog or dogs. Lots of people have dogs as pets now.
But, as National Geographic just stated in a recent special on television, dogs have been closely associated with people for about 15,000 years. Man saw an opportunity to employ dogs in special capacities possessed by the dogs, and likewise, dogs saw in man an opportunity to exist in a better state of being. Man has employed dogs for; 1.Hunting, 2. War,3.Personal protection,4.Herding farm flocks,5.Guarding farm flocks,6.Police work, 7.search and rescue,8.tracking,,9.companionship, 10.drug detection,11. Bomb detection, 12. Cancer detection, 13.Draft, 14.Water rescue, 15.Guiding blind people and the list goes on and on. Dogs are being employed to benefit humans in all these occupations and more today. It should not be surprising then, that many human occupations are based around improving the lot of the dog and their owners, no matter what purpose the dog is serving.
The providers to the pet supply market in the United States of America have long concentrated on providing for the dogs in American families. Every need of the dog has been addressed. There are multiple dog food manufacturing companies which make several general diets and many specialty diets. They cater to general maintenance need as well as puppy growth diets, elder (geriatric) dog diets and some medically specific diets. Whatever phase of life your dog is in; there is a diet for it. And whatever your dog’s condition, there is a formulated diet to extend your dog’s life, as well as its quality of life. Whatever job the dog does, it nutritional needs are met by one or several companies working strictly for the needs of that group of dogs.
The major dog food brands of Breeders Choice, Nutro, Nature’s Recipe and Natural Balance as well as several more specialized labels of dog food have their foundation in California. Having a major customer base nearby is very important to manufacturers, to be able to keep market prices competitive and quality high.
What percentage of California’s present day dogs would cease to exist if all of California’s dog were spayed or neutered? That is the goal of the sponsors of AB1634, even though opposition has forced several amendments that provide expensive exceptions for those who can afford them. Loss of major customer base could actually drive some dog food companies out of business or out of California. This result would terribly hurt those dogs that might be left over and end up in the shelters. Of course, it would hurt cats too, as the dog food companies are also the manufacturers of feline diets.
More economic analysis next-until the subject is exhausted. It will be a long subject.
 American Pet Products Manufacturers Association Pet Owners Survey 2005-2006 Table 3, pg4.
 APPMA Pet Owners Survey Table 2.