Humane Society Legislative Fund releases 2023 Illinois Scorecard, grading lawmakers’ efforts
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (August 29, 2023)—Today, the Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) released its 2023 Illinois Humane Scorecard that grades Illinois lawmakers on their efforts to promote animal welfare during the 2023 session, including four new animal protection bills set to become law.
“We are thrilled to announce the results of our 2023 scorecard. It was another banner year for animal protection in Illinois, with four bills passing into law,” said Marc Ayers, Illinois State Director for HSLF. “Our scorecard recognizes the hard work of Illinois legislators who support animal protection measures, while also holding those accountable who vote against them.”
The new slate of laws includes SB 1882, which sets the country-wide standard in banning the toxicity testing of dogs and cats—it is the first of its kind by not including an exemption for pharmaceutical companies.
The following bills supported by HSLF and scored on the 2023 Illinois Humane Scorecard are set to become law:
- Toxicity Testing Ban (SB 1882): Prohibits the barbaric and unnecessary practice of toxicity testing on dogs and cats, when not required by law. Sponsored by Sen. Linda Holmes (D) and Rep. Anna Moeller (D).
- Public Contact with Bears and Primates (SB 1883): Prohibits members of the public from coming into direct contact with bears or primates. It is not only cruel to subject these animals to public handling or contact—it is also highly dangerous, as these animals are unpredictable, and carry the risk of zoonautic disease. Sponsored by Sen. Linda Holmes (D) and Rep. Joyce Mason (D).
- Dog Breed Insurance Protection (HB 1049): Provides that no insurance agency shall refuse to issue, or shall impose increased premiums or rates on, a policy or contract, based solely on the insured party's ownership of a specific dog breed. Breed-based policies are based largely on misinformation, and often tear families and their pets apart. Sponsored by Rep. Rita Mayfield (D) and Sen. Linda Holmes (D).
- Pet Store Financing (HB 3236): Clarifies that the purchase of a dog or cat cannot be financed by a third party lender. This measure effectively ends the practice of predatory, exploitative lending and interest-rate-gauging in companion animal sales. Sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Carroll (D) and Sen. Linda Holmes (D).
Two additional bills included on the scorecard passed only one chamber, and did not become law, but HSLF will continue to advocate for these key measures. One was SB 1230, which strengthens the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s ability to revoke or suspend a puppy mill operator’s license when falsely operating as a “dog dealer.” The other was HB 1533, which bans the barbaric, non-therapeutic declawing of cats.
As the nation’s leading political advocacy organization for animal protection, HSLF has published a Congressional Humane Scorecard since 2006 to track the relevant votes, co-sponsorships, and other actions of federal lawmakers. Now, the organization is increasing its release of state-level scorecards, to build on the progress made in animal protection at the state level.
Media contact: KateSarna@hslf.org; 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 hslf.org, on our blog at hslf.org/blog, on Facebook at facebook.com/humanelegislation and on Twitter at twitter.com/HSLegFund.