Humane Awards recognizes Capitol Hill’s top honorees for animals

Humane Awards recognizes Capitol Hill’s top honorees for animals

Highest award given to federal lawmakers who led broad opposition to the EATS Act 

WASHINGTON (March 7, 2024)—Last night, the Humane Society Legislative Fund hosted the Humane Awards, honoring the congressional lawmakers who made substantial contributions towards animal protection. Altogether, a bipartisan group of 255 federal legislators—55 Senators and 200 Representatives covering 42 states, the District of Columbia and the Northern Mariana Islands—were honored for their work in 2023.

The highest honors for Legislators of the Year went to Senators Alex Padilla, D-Calif. and Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Representatives Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., as well as posthumously to Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., for their work leading congressional letters voicing opposition to the “Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression” (EATS) Act (H.R. 4417 and S. 2019).

“Senators Feinstein (in memorium), Padilla, and Booker and Representatives Blumenauer and Fitzpatrick mobilized a powerful bipartisan outcry against efforts to wipe out crucial laws protecting animal welfare and public health. They deserve our top honors,” said Sara Amundson, president of Humane Society Legislative Fund. “Look, the writing is on the stall: Americans don’t want farm animals crammed into spaces so small they can’t even turn around or lie down for months on end. Congress must heed the appeals of these legislators, the will of voters, and the concerns of thousands of farmers who’ve invested in more humane systems to meet public demand. The EATS Act or any related attack on state and local agricultural laws will be a poison pill in the Farm Bill and must be rejected. It was such a pleasure last night to have the opportunity to celebrate all our Capitol Hill allies and demonstrate how animal protection continues to bring together legislators across the political spectrum.”

The 2023 Legislator of the Year awardees worked with HSLF to organize an effort involving more than 200 federal lawmakers spanning 35 states to publicly urge that neither the EATS Act nor any related legislation be included in the upcoming Farm Bill—a sweeping legislative package directing agricultural priorities for the next five years. The current Farm Bill expires at the end of September and Congress should pass a new bill to continue setting policies and direction for critical agriculture programs. Currently, more than 4,500 entities, including organizations, individuals, and more than 3,300 farms have voiced opposition to the EATS Act, which HSLF strongly opposes.

In addition to presenting the Legislator of the Year awards, HSLF presented the following awards last night:

  • Humane Champion Award: Presented to 16 Senators and 106 Representatives who led on animal welfare legislation or regulatory efforts or signed the letter advocated by HSLF to oppose the EATS Act and related legislation, and also received a perfect score on the 2023 Humane Scorecard.
  • Legislative Leader Award: This recognition was given to 26 Senators and 81 Representatives for their leadership sponsoring pro-animal legislation or an agency letter and/or signing the anti-EATS Act letter.
  • Humane Advocate Award: Given to 10 Senators and 11 Representatives who received a perfect score on the 2023 Humane Scorecard.

The full list of awardees can be found here.

HSLF has been hosting the Humane Awards since 2005. The annual reception is a fun opportunity to express our appreciation to the many legislators who advance animal protection in Congress.

Read more on our blog.

Download photos here.

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