In preparation for Election Day, you may want to know where your Senators and Representatives stand on animal law issues currently facing Congress. If so, take a look at the website for the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus.
The Caucus is co-chaired by Northern Virginia’s Representative Jim Moran and Simi Valley California’s Representative Elton Gallegly. Formerly known as the Friends of Animals Caucus, its goal is to raise animal welfare awareness in Congress. The Caucus is bi-partisan and has 84 members. The website is quite informative, with brief summaries of proposed and pending bills, along with the legislative text, sponsors, Congressional actions and more.
Current issues highlighted by the Caucus include:
- Amending the federal criminal code to outlaw animal crush videos. For more on crush videos and the First Amendment, see my prior post, Cleaning Up the Mess After United States v. Stevens: Amended H.R. 5566.
- Requiring species-specific labeling on any fur product regardless of price, as proposed by the Truth in Fur Labeling Act. Current law has a $150 exemption, not requiring labeling for garments with small amounts of fur, even if the fur is from companion animals such as dogs and cats.
- Granting greater protection of our wild horses and burrows roaming federally administered lands with the Restore Our American Mustangs Act.
- Toughening anti-cruelty laws for horses and farm animals through the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act and the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act.
- Prohibiting unfair hunting practices, including hunting via aircraft, computer assisted remote hunting (“internet hunting”), and use of body gripping traps.