Better CARE for Animals Act introduced in the House and Senate

Better CARE for Animals Act introduced in the House and Senate

Legislation would better equip federal agencies to stop animal abuse

WASHINGTON (July 27, 2023)— Today, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and John Kennedy (R-La.), and U.S. Representatives Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.) and Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), introduced the Better Collaboration, Accountability and Regulatory Enforcement (CARE) for Animals Act, which aims to better protect all animals covered under the Animal Welfare Act. This includes animals at research facilities, commercial pet breeding operations and on exhibition at zoos and aquariums.

“The Animal Welfare Act was passed to protect animals, not protect the regulated industries that use them. Unfortunately, a commitment to enforcement has lagged to the point of endangering animals, including the ones bred and sold by dealers and shown by exhibitors. Congress must act by strengthening the enforcement tools under the AWA to protect animals from the worst abuses and the worst offenders,” said Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “I’m grateful to Senators Blumenthal and Kennedy, as well as Representatives Reschenthaler and Quigley for introducing the Better CARE for Animals Act, which strengthens the hand of DOJ to bring justice for animals who deserve greater protection under federal law.”

The Better CARE for Animals Act would enhance collaboration between the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, enabling the DOJ to enforce the AWA more effectively and step in quicker to end animal abuse and unnecessary suffering. Enactment of this legislation would provide more enforcement tools, including license revocations, civil penalties and a process for pursuing appropriate seizure cases in which animals are suffering as a result of AWA violations.

The AWA requires research facilities, exhibitors, breeders and dealers to meet basic standards of animal care. This law is crucial to protecting over a million animals from inhumane care and treatment, yet egregious abuses persist. Without strong enforcement, facilities have no meaningful deterrent to violating the law.

“Responsibility for promoting and protecting animal welfare rests with all of us, and that includes the federal government,” said Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. “As our shared values and welfare science concerning animals evolves, the law must keep pace. Senators Blumenthal and Kennedy, as well as Representatives Reschenthaler and Quigley have sponsored a bill that will do just that and more. The Better CARE for Animals Act makes it possible for the Department of Justice to expand its role and capabilities as a key federal agency committed to the prevention of cruelty—a truly 21st century approach to animal protection.”

Authorization of this legislation could lead to expedited animal rescue efforts, including those operated in coordination with the Humane Society of the United States. The Better CARE for Animals Act would encourage stronger collaboration between DOJ and USDA and could help to crack down on some of the worst AWA violators, including puppy mills with sick and injured animals and roadside zoos failing to provide veterinary care or proper housing.

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Media contact:   
Kate Sarna: 202-836-1265,


The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. Visit us on all our channels: on the web at, on our blog at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at

Founded in 1954, the Humane Society of the United States and its affiliates around the globe fight the big fights to end suffering for all animals. Together with millions of supporters, the HSUS takes on puppy mills, factory farms, trophy hunts, animal testing and other cruel industries, and together with its affiliates, rescues and provides direct care for over 100,000 animals every year. The HSUS works on reforming corporate policy, improving and enforcing laws and elevating public awareness on animal issues. More at

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