This story is part of our series on new California laws that take effect on Jan. 1, 2016.
California will soon begin regulating the sale of puppies, kittens and other animals at informal sales venues like flea markets and swap meets.
California requires pet stores to protect the health and safety of animals.
“But these standards don’t apply to flea markets and to swap meets,” says Kate Dylewsky with Born Free USA, an animal welfare group based in Washington, DC.
The new law bans the sale of animals at swap meets and flea markets unless the local jurisdiction adopts minimum care standards.
Dylewsky says swap meets and flea markets sell a wide variety of animals.
"Puppies, kittens, reptiles, birds, other exotic animals, and without any regulations there's really no oversight over how these animals are bred, transported, how they're kept at these venues," says Dylewsky.
She says right now animals are frequently kept in unsanitary pens or cages without food or water. Dylewsky says the animals are also handled by shoppers which affects public safety.
“We see, with the mixing of species, with the unregulated breeding, that there are a lot of unsanitary practices. And a lot of these animals can have diseases," says Dylewsky.
The new law also requires vendors to display a current business license. Governor Jerry Brown approved the new law in 2013. But it doesn't become operative until Jan. 1, 2016.
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