Federal Legislation https://hslf.org/ en As Texas tiger arrives at Black Beauty Ranch, we’re focused on protecting other big cats https://hslf.org/blog/2021/05/texas-tiger-arrives-black-beauty-ranch-were-focused-protecting-other-big-cats <span>As Texas tiger arrives at Black Beauty Ranch, we’re focused on protecting other big cats</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/18" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Sara Amundson</span></span> <span>Mon, 05/17/2021 - 15:12</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>By Sara Amundson and Kitty Block</em></p> <p>If you’ve been online at all in the past week, chances are you’ve seen the footage of an alarmed off-duty police officer pointing a gun at an approaching tiger in a sleepy residential neighborhood in Houston. </p> <p>The tiger’s name is India and, after a mysterious disappearance and a week of dramatic plot twists, he is now safe and <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/news/missing-houston-tiger-has-been-found-and-will-be-transported-cleveland-amory-black-beauty?credit=blog_post_051721_id12272">settling in at his comfortable new home — the HSUS’s Black Beauty Ranch</a>, a sprawling sanctuary in Texas. </p> <p>Thankfully, no humans or animals were hurt in this incident, and this police officer fortunately exercised restraint and did not shoot the tiger. But the outcome could have been tragic for both the tiger and Houstonians. Just ask one of the many people who have been maimed after a run-in with someone’s “pet” lion or tiger; or ask one of the unfortunate people who has lost a loved one to a fatal mauling. Whenever you scratch the surface of the <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/news/which-cat-living-next-door?credit=blog_post_051721_id12272">tiger pet trade, you’ll find tremendous animal suffering</a>.</p> <p>All across the U.S., tigers, lions and other big cats languish in basements, garages and tiny outdoor cages, straddling the boundary between wild animal and family pet, their freedom squelched and their biological needs unmet. In unaccredited breeding facilities, poorly run roadside zoos, traveling zoos, <a href="https://viewfinder.expedia.com/how-to-spot-a-phony-wild-animal-sanctuary/">pseudo-sanctuaries</a> and private menageries, in conditions ranging from barely adequate to squalid, tigers produce babies for private sale, cub petting operations and other businesses that exploit them. Deluded buyers treat baby tigers like domestic cats, but once those tigers hit maturity, they become extremely dangerous — in short order, the cute, cuddly oversized kitten becomes a massive, unpredictable predator. And that’s when the fates of tigers like India typically take a dramatic turn for the worse. When their natural predatory instincts kick in, they lose their status as beloved family “pet” and are suddenly locked up and often kept in isolation in dramatically inadequate enclosures where they cannot exercise any natural behaviors. </p> <p>Fortunately, this will not be India’s fate. <a href="https://twitter.com/houstonpolice/status/1393749159673430017?s=20">Houston authorities</a> did a remarkable job in locating him and ensuring his safety, as well as that of the public. On Saturday, he was given over to authorities by the wife of the man seen whisking the tiger away from the police officer last week. India then spent a night at <a href="https://www.houstontx.gov/barc/">BARC</a> Animal Shelter in Houston, and yesterday the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/BlackBeautyRanch">Black Beauty Ranch</a> team transported him to the sanctuary in Murchison, Texas. </p> <p>There, India will enjoy a proper diet, enrichment and an expansive naturally wooded habitat where he can safely roam. The team at Black Beauty Ranch has gone to great lengths to create an environment that is as close as possible to what these animals would have in the wild. </p> <p>This is not the first time in Texas that Black Beauty Ranch has taken in a tiger who was a victim of the exotic pet trade. In February 2019, it took in a tiger named Loki, who had been left caged in an abandoned house. Just three months ago, the sanctuary took in <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/news/pet-tiger-found-san-antonio-during-texas-cold-snap-arrives-her-new-home-murchison?credit=blog_post_051721_id12272">Elsa</a>, who was discovered outside during Houston’s deadly snow storm and who, like India, is approximately 9 months old. </p> <p>It’s important to us that these three tigers get to live in our safe, caring place. But these are just the lucky animals out of so many unfortunate ones. Thousands of other tigers continue to suffer in dismal conditions. That’s why we at HSLF and our colleagues at the HSUS are working so hard to support the critical efforts led by key members of Congress to pass the <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2021/01/house-members-reintroduce-bill-ban-cub-petting-keeping-big-cats-pets">Big Cat Public Safety Act</a>. We’re also pushing hard to secure legislation in Texas, New York and other states whose laws on the keeping of private exotics are too lax, leading directly to the kind of situation that put India and Houston residents at serious risk.</p> <p>The federal bill would stop the terrible cycle of abuse caused by people who buy tigers from unscrupulous breeders but who can’t come close to meeting the needs of these complex and powerful animals. For the sake of the thousands of tigers like India, Elsa and Loki who have not yet been rescued and who languish in squalor, I hope you’ll <a href="https://hslf.org/action-center/protect-big-cats">contact your representatives in Congress and urge them to support this bill</a>.</p> <p><em>Kitty Block is President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/34" hreflang="en">Federal Legislation</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/32" hreflang="en">Pets &amp; Cruelty</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/30" hreflang="en">Wildlife</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/176" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> Mon, 17 May 2021 15:12:14 +0000 Sara Amundson 21688 at https://hslf.org How you can help puppy mill dogs right now https://hslf.org/blog/2021/05/how-you-can-help-puppy-mill-dogs-right-now <span>How you can help puppy mill dogs right now </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/18" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Sara Amundson</span></span> <span>Wed, 05/12/2021 - 18:52</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>By Sara Amundson and Kitty Block</em></p> <p>Earlier this week, we released our <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2021/05/our-horrible-hundred-report-exposes-100-puppy-mills-sell-pet-stores-and-online">Horrible Hundred report</a>, a roundup of 100 puppy mills that keep churning out dogs in dismal conditions to be sold through pet stores, flea markets and websites across the country. This report gained headlines in top local media outlets, including <a href="https://www.kmbc.com/article/humane-society-missouri-ranks-no-1-on-its-horrible-hundred-list-of-puppy-mills/36389446">ABC</a>, <a href="https://www.axios.com/iowa-puppy-mills-humane-society-animal-abuse-8fe5906a-5a71-4bde-9760-43ecafd514da.html">Axios</a>, the <a href="https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/agriculture/2021/05/10/humane-society-horrible-hundred-dog-breeders-iowa-puppy-mills-report-2021/5020519001/">Des Moines Register</a> and the <a href="https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2021/05/11/humane-society-horrible-hundred-list-ohio-kentucky-indiana-breeders-puppies/5021350001/">Cincinnati Inquirer</a>. </p> <p>We release this report every year because it and the resulting coverage have the power to raise awareness about the injustices and cruelties of the puppy mill industry and to motivate people to help improve the lives of animals who may be suffering in back lots and hidden sheds within their own communities. </p> <p>Fortunately, there are actions you can take right now to support legislation that would be a gamechanger for the puppy mill pipeline. Bills in Illinois, New York and Texas seek to end the retail sale of commercially raised dogs and cats; if they become law, more than 150 pet stores would no longer be able to sell puppies and kittens sourced from mills. </p> <p>Lawmakers in these states have been overwhelmed with support from their constituents for ending the retail sale of puppies and kittens. And some of the most vocal advocates for these laws are people who have bought a pet from a pet store in the past, only to painfully learn what’s wrong with this system. Some were misled about the quality of the breeder. Some were pushed into financing agreements to purchase the pet with interest payments they could not afford. In the saddest scenarios, sick puppy mill dogs are bought and taken home — only to die a few days later. </p> <p>Because of the harms to both consumers and animals this system can cause, one might expect these three bills to move quickly through their second chambers. The Illinois and Texas bills both passed their respective House of Representatives with strong, bipartisan support and are now being considered in the state Senates. The New York bill passed the Senate with only six dissenting votes and is now being considered in the state Assembly. But the pet stores and their teams of lobbyists are pushing back. <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/petland">Petland</a>, a chain with 18 impacted stores across Illinois, New York and Texas, is fighting especially hard to maintain its business model, despite the suffering it causes animals and the people who care about them. </p> <p>Luckily, the facts are on the side of the citizens and organizations pushing for passage of these bills, as our annual Horrible Hundred report once again reveals. Even though these puppy mills perpetuate egregious animal welfare practices, pet stores across the nation continue to source puppies from mills in this year’s report, including at least 21 Petland stores. </p> <p>But our fight to cut off puppy mill supply chains has already made immense progress. To date, four states — California, Maryland, Maine and Washington — and over 380 localities have stopped the sale of puppy mill puppies in pet stores. Just yesterday, Boise became the first city in Idaho to enact this policy.</p> <p>The day when puppy mills have nowhere left to sell is on the horizon. While we continue to urge lawmakers in Illinois, New York and Texas to pass this legislation, you can help:</p> <ul> <li>If you live in Illinois, <a href="https://secure.humanesociety.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&amp;page=UserAction&amp;id=7794">ask your state senator to support HB 1711</a>. </li> <li>If you live in New York, <a href="https://secure.humanesociety.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&amp;page=UserAction&amp;id=7672">ask your state assembly member to support A. 4283</a>. </li> <li>If you live in Texas, <a href="https://secure.humanesociety.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&amp;page=UserAction&amp;id=7730">ask your state senator to support HB 1818</a>.</li> <li>No matter where you live in the U.S., you can encourage your lawmakers to <a href="https://hslf.org/action-center/protect-dogs-cruel-puppy-mills">support the Puppy Protection Act</a>, a federal bill that would improve life for dogs in puppy mills.  </li> </ul> <p><em>Kitty Block is President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/34" hreflang="en">Federal Legislation</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/29" hreflang="en">In the News</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/32" hreflang="en">Pets &amp; Cruelty</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/36" hreflang="en">State Legislation</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/176" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> Wed, 12 May 2021 18:52:46 +0000 Sara Amundson 21686 at https://hslf.org Shark and marine mammal bills pass key Senate committee https://hslf.org/blog/2021/05/shark-and-marine-mammal-bills-pass-key-senate-committee <span>Shark and marine mammal bills pass key Senate committee</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/18" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Sara Amundson</span></span> <span>Wed, 05/12/2021 - 16:07</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Today, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee approved two important pieces of marine wildlife legislation, paving the way for full Senate action on them. The committee unanimously passed the Marine Mammal Research and Response Act, S. 1289, and passed the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act as part of a larger legislative package.</p> <p>The Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act would prohibit the commercial trade of shark fins and products containing shark fins. The legislation was introduced to the Senate last month as S. 1106 by Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. Today, the committee voted 22 to 6 to add the bill language to the Endless Frontier Act, S. 1260, through an amendment filed by Sens. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and Capito. In so doing, the committee rejected, by a separate vote of 22 to 6, an amendment filed by Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., that would have substantially weakened the shark fin legislation. A large legislative package with good prospects for advancement in the Senate, the Endless Frontier Act ultimately passed the committee by a vote of 24 to 4.</p> <p>The companion House bill, H.R. 2811, was introduced last month by Reps. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, D-Northern Mariana Islands, and Michael McCaul, R-Texas, and has 122 total cosponsors so far. In the last Congress, the House overwhelmingly passed the legislation by a vote of 310 to 107. Although the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee passed the legislation in the last Congress also, the full Senate did not act on it before the session ended.</p> <p>The Marine Mammal Research and Response Act, led by Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, reauthorizes the John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant Program, which provides grants for members of the country's marine mammal stranding response network, and is the network’s sole source of federal funding. From its inception in 2000 through 2017, the Prescott Grant Program provided 739 grants to regional networks that collectively responded to an average of 5,167 sick and injured marine mammals each year.</p> <p>HSLF thanks Sens. Booker, Capito, Schatz, Cantwell, and Murkowski for their leadership on these measures. We urge Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to quickly schedule a vote by the full Senate.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/34" hreflang="en">Federal Legislation</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/29" hreflang="en">In the News</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/30" hreflang="en">Wildlife</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/176" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> Wed, 12 May 2021 16:07:42 +0000 Sara Amundson 21685 at https://hslf.org South Africa to clamp down on exploitative captive lion industry https://hslf.org/blog/2021/05/south-africa-clamp-down-exploitative-captive-lion-industry <span>South Africa to clamp down on exploitative captive lion industry</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/18" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Sara Amundson</span></span> <span>Mon, 05/03/2021 - 18:16</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>By Sara Amundson and Kitty Block</em></p> <p>A key panel appointed by the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment in South Africa recommends banning <a href="https://www.hsi.org/news-media/south-africas-latest-wildlife-management-plan-is-positive-progress-for-lions-and-welfare-says-hsi/">captive lion breeding</a> and the commercial trade of lion parts such as lion skeletons. Humane Society International/Africa has been a key player in the campaign to phase out these exploitative practices. Such a move couldn’t come soon enough for thousands of captive-bred lions who are treated as nothing more than money-making objects, from birth until death.</p> <p>The captive lion breeding industry in South Africa feeds three intertwined businesses: <a href="https://www.hsi.org/news-media/thusi_against_cub_petting_081018/">cub petting</a>, <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2020/06/putting-end-lion-trophy-hunting-memory-cecil">canned hunting</a> and the trade in lion bones. Cub petting draws tourists by promising a chance to touch and hold lion cubs while getting their photos taken (social media is littered with the evidence of how popular this attraction is). When captive-bred lion cubs grow too big for petting, they are often corralled into confined spaces so that trophy hunters can more easily shoot and kill them. Bones from the carcasses of these once-majestic creatures are often then sold into the <a href="https://blog.humanesociety.org/2017/01/south-africas-lion-hunting-industry-wants-start-global-trade-lion-bones.html">lion bone trade</a>.</p> <p>It’s a twisted cycle of misery for these intelligent, social big cats. Ending these practices where they begin—by stopping captive lion breeding—is the right and decent thing to do to.</p> <p>The panel also recognized animal welfare as a central pillar of wildlife management policy, another key proposal made by HSI/Africa.</p> <p>But not everything that came out of the convening panel was good news.</p> <p>The panel had the chance to lay the groundwork for dismantling the destructive trophy hunting industry in South Africa—this it tragically failed to do. Instead, it appears, South Africa will opt to risk one of the country’s greatest treasures—its wildlife—by authorizing an expansion of trophy hunting of its iconic species. As an economic strategy, the ministry will seek to expand trophy hunting of rhinos, elephants, leopards and wild lions and to promote trophy hunting in general.</p> <p>In many respects, this was a missed opportunity to reform a broken system. Ecotourism already attracts millions of visitors each year to observe rather than shoot and kill South Africa’s majestic wild animals. Instead of pivoting to grow its tourism asset and invest in other non-consumptive industries, the panel recommendations suggest that South Africa will opt to expand trophy hunting interests. For our part, we’ve long argued that this short-sighted industry is not just bad for African wildlife but bad for the citizens of the range states in which threatened and endangered animals are found.</p> <p>The U.S. is on the hook here, too, as U.S. hunters drive trophy hunting in South Africa. Of all the countries in the world, the U.S. is the largest importer of trophy parts from endangered and threatened African wildlife. We need to put our own house in order through regulatory and legislative restrictions on trophy hunting and trophy imports once and for all.</p> <p>Here at home, you can help big cats by supporting the <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2021/01/house-members-reintroduce-bill-ban-cub-petting-keeping-big-cats-pets">Big Cat Public Safety Act</a>, which seeks to end the cub petting industry and the keeping of big cats as pets in the U.S. You can also help save imperiled animals from trophy hunters by supporting the <a href="https://hslf.org/action-center/help-end-trophy-hunting">Prohibiting Threatened and Endangered Creature Trophies Act</a> (ProTECT Act), soon to be reintroduced in the U.S. Congress, which will help prevent the hunting of any species listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. </p> <p><em>Kitty Block is President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/34" hreflang="en">Federal Legislation</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/30" hreflang="en">Wildlife</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/176" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> Mon, 03 May 2021 18:16:16 +0000 Sara Amundson 21674 at https://hslf.org Puppy Protection Act would end some of the worst puppy mill cruelties https://hslf.org/blog/2021/04/puppy-protection-act-would-end-some-worst-puppy-mill-cruelties <span>Puppy Protection Act would end some of the worst puppy mill cruelties</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kblocher@hslf.org</span></span> <span>Tue, 04/27/2021 - 19:24</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>By Sara Amundson and Kitty Block</em></p> <p>We all know what dogs love: a comfortable napping spot, a romp in the grass, a kind touch and the safety and security of a caring environment. But thousands of dogs in commercial breeding operations licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to sell to pet stores and online have none of these comforts.</p> <p>Dogs are stacked in cramped wire cages with no room to run or play. Mother dogs are bred over and over for years to the point of exhaustion. Yet many <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2021/04/slow-pace-state-and-federal-inspections-during-pandemic-makes-things-worse-dogs-puppy">puppy mills that continue these practices</a> are still licensed by the USDA and in “good” standing, because this is currently legal under the federal Animal Welfare Act. The Puppy Protection Act (H.R. 2840/S. 1385)—a bill introduced this week by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., Charlie Crist, D-Fla., Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pa. and Jim McGovern, D-Mass.—promises to improve how these dogs are treated.</p> <p>The Puppy Protection Act would amend the Animal Welfare Act to require significant improvements to the standards of care required for licensed dog breeders. Large-scale commercial dog breeders who sell to pet stores, brokers or online sight-unseen are required to obtain a USDA license, undergo regular inspections and comply with standards of care defined in the Animal Welfare Act—but under the minimal standards now in place, breeders can keep dogs in cramped cages without protection from bitter cold or scorching hot weather. They can breed female dogs again and again until their bodies give out, even if the dogs have congenital defects that they could pass on to their puppies, generation after generation; once they are worn out, these mother dogs can be killed or sold at auction.</p> <p>The Puppy Protection Act would require more spacious dog runs, solid floors instead of wire that hurts dogs’ paws, and feedings at least twice per day. Puppy millers would also have to make a reasonable effort to find retired breeding dogs a home or a rescue placement instead of just killing them.</p> <p>There is a strong public health component to this legislation, too. Right now, the USDA allows commercial breeders to avoid taking injured or sick dogs to a veterinarian for hands-on diagnosis and care. This can lead to illnesses going unnoticed or incorrectly diagnosed and sick dogs treated for symptoms only—which could lead to deadly outbreaks of zoonotic disease. Some of these diseases—such as brucellosis, giardiasis and campylobacteriosis—are not only dangerous for animals but harmful if transmitted to humans. Dozens of people have landed in the hospital after contracting a multi-drug resistant Campylobacter “superbug” from pet store dogs, according to the <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2019/12/breaking-news-cdc-ties-petland-outbreaks-superbug-illnesses-13-states">Centers for Disease Control</a>, which studied two different outbreaks of the disease.</p> <p>As long as dogs continue to be bred in commercial breeding operations, improving their quality of life is the right thing to do. The Puppy Protection Act would provide a stronger standard of care and treatment for commercial dog breeding operations throughout the country and ensure that dogs raised in these operations are healthier and better socialized. Setting the animal welfare bar higher in this area should not be controversial, and we’re confident that we’ll succeed in gaining substantial bipartisan support for it in both the Senate and the House. You can help ensure that happens by <a href="https://hslf.org/action-center/protect-dogs-cruel-puppy-mills">asking your legislators to cosponsor the bill</a> and help save thousands of dogs from suffering as a result of the inhumane conditions at these facilities. </p> <p><em>Kitty Block is President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/34" hreflang="en">Federal Legislation</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/32" hreflang="en">Pets &amp; Cruelty</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/176" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> Tue, 27 Apr 2021 19:24:09 +0000 kblocher@hslf.org 21663 at https://hslf.org House revives bill to end shark fin trade that passed during last session https://hslf.org/blog/2021/04/house-revives-bill-end-shark-fin-trade-passed-during-last-session <span>House revives bill to end shark fin trade that passed during last session</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kblocher@hslf.org</span></span> <span>Thu, 04/22/2021 - 16:51</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>By Sara Amundson and Kitty Block</em></p> <p>A bill to end all commercial trade in the United States of shark fins and shark fin products was reintroduced in the U.S. House today.</p> <p>The Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act, H.R. 2811, already enjoys great support in Congress and a previous version passed the House during the last session by an overwhelming vote of 310 to 107. The bill also passed a key Senate committee but failed to see action from the full Senate before the session ended.</p> <p>We are hopeful of success this time round. There is no time to lose with <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0308597X13000055">sharks being killed 30% faster than they can reproduce</a>. A <a href="https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__track.bgov.jmsend.com_z.z-3Fl-3DaHR0cHM6Ly93d3cubmF0dXJlLmNvbS9hcnRpY2xlcy9zNDE1ODYtMDIwLTAzMTczLTkuZXBkZg-253d-253d-26j-3D340483568-26e-3D341-26p-3D1-26t-3Dh-26E4C2FE2A889648F0BA03A8F01F9AD2F0-26h-3D2bd0cfe50d42def8b26fee3c5202992f&amp;d=DwMBaQ&amp;c=L93KkjKsAC98uTvC4KvQDdTDRzAeWDDRmG6S3YXllH0&amp;r=qSdc79Q_M-loresgKmVKLJgfAyFkdQNtU4wWCbQ_rWQ&amp;m=B5f-heS4MEOYO1SrdioSxJzYibmBx2y6r4vVdAdYoZM&amp;s=e5nfp15ZAuMz2rLw_zAF3qFgQ-Bjplz05CUcoGq_sr8&amp;e=">recent study</a> found that shark and ray populations in the world’s open oceans have plummeted by 71% over the last 50 years. <a href="https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__track.bgov.jmsend.com_z.z-3Fl-3DaHR0cHM6Ly93d3cubmF0dXJlLmNvbS9hcnRpY2xlcy9zNDE1ODYtMDIwLTI1MTkteQ-253d-253d-26j-3D340483568-26e-3D341-26p-3D1-26t-3Dh-26E4C2FE2A889648F0BA03A8F01F9AD2F0-26h-3D83bfa5e6954267b82bbbcae910575490&amp;d=DwMBaQ&amp;c=L93KkjKsAC98uTvC4KvQDdTDRzAeWDDRmG6S3YXllH0&amp;r=qSdc79Q_M-loresgKmVKLJgfAyFkdQNtU4wWCbQ_rWQ&amp;m=B5f-heS4MEOYO1SrdioSxJzYibmBx2y6r4vVdAdYoZM&amp;s=i2jCAx4jBhEzs1Y864DfOmGzzKt40g8OybVxHg_37HY&amp;e=">Another study</a> of reefs in 58 countries found no sharks in nearly 20% of the reefs: a shocking development as reefs are usually bustling with shark activity and their presence is vital for these marine ecosystems.</p> <p>The global trade in shark fins is responsible, in large part, for this decline. It is estimated that fins from a whopping 73 million sharks are traded globally each year, mainly for shark fin soup.</p> <p>Americans <a href="https://oceana.org/press-center/press-releases/8-10-americans-support-nationwide-shark-fin-ban">overwhelmingly oppose</a> this trade, in which fishermen typically slice the fins off a shark, then discard the mutilated animal back in the water to drown, bleed to death, or be eaten alive by other fish. Unfortunately, our nation is a big importer of shark fins, most of which come from countries with poor or nonexistent shark fishing regulations where finning almost certainly occurs.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/unintentional-partner-shark-fin-market-report_0.pdf">United States is also a major transportation hub</a> for shark fin shipments—a fact highlighted last year by the confiscation of <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/endangered-species-1400-pounds-shark-fins-1m-seized-miami/">1,400 pounds of shark fins</a> in Miami. Valued at nearly $1 million, the shipment originated in South America and was likely headed to Asia—a typical route for U.S. shark fin transshipments.</p> <p>U.S. law already prevents shark finning, but because of the complex international network of the shark fin trade and the difficulty of regulating activities that take place at sea the law cannot be truly effective unless we also ban all trade in shark fins.</p> <p>We have been working with states to pass laws ending commercial trade in fins and to date 17 states and three U.S. territories have already passed bans or limited the sale of shark fins. But in order to strike a body blow to this problem we need a federal law ending commercial trade in fins once and for all in the United States. Such a ban would also help reassert U.S. standing as a global leader on the important issue of shark conservation and would likely encourage other countries follow in our footsteps.</p> <p>We applaud Reps. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, D-Northern Mariana Islands, and Michael McCaul, R-Texas, for their persistence and leadership on this issue and for reintroducing the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act. Sharks are apex predators who play a critical role in our marine ecosystems, and without them our planet would be in crisis: a chance we simply cannot take. Please <a href="https://hslf.org/action-center/say-no-shark-fin-trade">urge your U.S. Representative to support this important bill</a> and swiftly pass it into law.</p> <blockquote><p><strong><a href="https://hslf.org/action-center/say-no-shark-fin-trade">Act now and ask your U.S. Representative to support the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act &gt;&gt;</a></strong></p> </blockquote> <p><em>Kitty Block is President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/34" hreflang="en">Federal Legislation</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/30" hreflang="en">Wildlife</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/176" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> Thu, 22 Apr 2021 16:51:37 +0000 kblocher@hslf.org 21659 at https://hslf.org Bill to end keeping big cats as pets, 'cub petting' reintroduced in U.S. Senate https://hslf.org/blog/2021/04/bill-end-keeping-big-cats-pets-cub-petting-reintroduced-us-senate <span>Bill to end keeping big cats as pets, &#039;cub petting&#039; reintroduced in U.S. Senate</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kblocher@hslf.org</span></span> <span>Mon, 04/19/2021 - 18:16</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>By Sara Amundson and Kitty Block</em></p> <p>A bill that would prohibit public contact with big cats like tigers, lions and leopards and ban keeping these animals as pets has been reintroduced in the U.S. Senate.</p> <p>The Big Cat Public Safety Act, S. 1210, would end the suffering of <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2021/02/pet-tiger-rescued-freezing-san-antonio-gets-forever-home-black-beauty-ranch">animals like Elsa</a>, a tiger cub kept as a “pet” and found abandoned outdoors during Texas’s historic winter storms earlier this year. It would also put a stop to the horrors big cat cubs, especially tiger cubs, endure at the hands of exhibitors and roadside zoo owners like <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2020/04/newly-released-footage-confirms-joe-exotic-we-know">Joe Exotic</a> and <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2020/08/usda-suspends-license-roadside-zoo-where-joe-exotic-abused-tigers">Jeff Lowe</a>,  seen on Netflix’s “Tiger King.” These facilities offer the cubs to paying members of the public to pet, feed and pose for photos with—a practice called “cub petting.”</p> <p>Stopping these practices is one of our top legislative priorities. The Big Cat Public Safety Act <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2020/12/us-house-passes-bill-prohibit-keeping-big-cats-pets-and-public-contact">passed the House</a> in the last Congress with nearly two-thirds of members supporting it. Unfortunately, the session ended before it could be taken up by the Senate.</p> <p>The Senate version of the bill introduced today reflects the growing support this bill enjoys in Congress: it is sponsored by the bill’s longtime champion Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and, for the first time, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, has signed on as the co-lead sponsor. They are joined by Sens. Tom Carper, D-Del., and Richard Burr, R-N.C.</p> <p>The <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2021/01/house-members-reintroduce-bill-ban-cub-petting-keeping-big-cats-pets">House version of the bill</a> was reintroduced in January as H.R. 263 by Reps. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Penn.</p> <p>More than 70 animal welfare organizations, professionally operated zoos and animal sanctuaries, and law enforcement organizations and officials have also endorsed the bill. Most states have passed laws banning keeping dangerous animals as pets and one more state, Nevada, is in the process of passing a similar law.</p> <p>Most Americans support such a law as well. Our <a href="https://blog.humanesociety.org/2012/05/gw-exotic-investigation.html">undercover investigations</a> have laid bare the cruelty people like Joe Exotic commit against the animals; he is now serving 20 years in prison for, among other crimes, killing five tigers in his care. In the Netflix series, he is seen snatching tiger cubs away from their mothers moments after birth. As our own investigation of Joe Exotic’s roadside zoo and similar operations have revealed, to prepare the animals for public contact they are fed irregularly, constantly woken from their sleep, and physically abused when they resist.</p> <p>At three to four months of age, when they are too big to be used for public contact, they are sent to substandard facilities or into the pet trade. More tiger cubs are bred to replace them, continuing this cruel cycle. Conservationists have long feared that tigers discarded from the cub-petting industry may also feed the illegal market for animal parts used in some forms of traditional medicine, and the poaching of big cats in the wild.</p> <p>The pandemic has provided another good reason to ban cub petting. The coronavirus has been found in tigers, lions, cougars and snow leopards in captivity, leading the U.S. Department of Agriculture to <a href="https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/downloads/draft-advisory-note-for-felids-oa.pdf">issue a rare advisory</a> to big cat exhibitors to discontinue hands-on encounters with wild cats in the interests of public safety and animal welfare. (In <a href="https://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/animal_welfare/fsc-covid-animals.pdf">guidance released last Thursday</a>, the USDA also advises against public contact with nonhuman primates and animals in the Mustelidae family, which includes mink, ferrets and otters.)</p> <p>Clearly, we need the Big Cat Public Safety Act now more than ever. This is common sense legislation and there should be no debate over ending the suffering of big cats at the hands of those who mistreat them. <a href="https://hslf.org/action-center/protect-big-cats">Please join us in urging your U.S. Senators and Representative to cosponsor and push for passage of this bill without delay</a>.</p> <blockquote><p><strong><a href="https://hslf.org/action-center/protect-big-cats">Act now and tell your legislators to support the Big Cat Public Safety Act &gt;&gt;</a></strong></p> </blockquote> <p><em>Kitty Block is President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/28" hreflang="en">Action Alerts</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/34" hreflang="en">Federal Legislation</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/30" hreflang="en">Wildlife</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/176" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> Mon, 19 Apr 2021 18:16:09 +0000 kblocher@hslf.org 21656 at https://hslf.org Slow pace of state and federal inspections during pandemic makes things worse for dogs in puppy mills https://hslf.org/blog/2021/04/slow-pace-state-and-federal-inspections-during-pandemic-makes-things-worse-dogs-puppy <span>Slow pace of state and federal inspections during pandemic makes things worse for dogs in puppy mills</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kblocher@hslf.org</span></span> <span>Mon, 04/12/2021 - 16:48</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>By Sara Amundson and Kitty Block</em></p> <p>State and federal inspections of puppy mills have been scaled back or, in some cases, have ground to a halt during the pandemic. As a result, dogs in these operations have been left without the most basic protections under the law.</p> <p>This is even more disturbing because dog sales in pet stores have been booming since lockdowns began last year. That could result in even more suffering for breeding animals at puppy mills who are already treated like puppy-production machines.</p> <p>According to our research, some states that require inspections of large-scale dog breeders, including Wisconsin and Texas, appear to have paused their routine inspection programs almost entirely. Others, like Kansas and Missouri, have decreased the number of inspection visits. Many states do not require inspections at all.</p> <p>On the federal level, the USDA, which is in charge of inspecting breeders and dealers that sell puppies and kittens to pet stores or online, has <a href="https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/newsroom/stakeholder-info/stakeholder-messages/animal-care-news/ac-inspections-during-covid">cut back its already weak inspection program</a> significantly. In a March 2020 notice to licensees, the USDA said it was “limiting routine inspections based on our assessment of the risk to the inspectors and facility personnel.”</p> <p>The letter described a process where breeders were given significant control over determining how and when, and if, they could be inspected. “In the event that we do request an inspection, we understand that you may have exposure concerns or be dealing with very limited staff. Our inspectors will work with you to address the specific concern, use video or photos, or simply come back another time. This will not be considered a refusal to allow inspection,” it said.</p> <p>While we understand that some measures are necessary to protect inspectors from COVID-19 risks, routine inspections are necessary to ensure the safety of dogs—and more than a year after that notice went out, <a href="https://aphis-efile.force.com/PublicSearchTool/s/inspection-reports">online records</a> show that many large-scale breeders have not been inspected since 2019. To complicate matters further, the USDA has noted <a href="https://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/animal_welfare/sop-for-remote-routine-inspections.pdf">they are not indicating</a> on their inspection reports if an inspection was virtual, meaning it was <a href="https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/newsroom/stakeholder-info/stakeholder-messages/animal-care-news/status-of-ac-inspections-during-covid">conducted by phone or email</a> rather than a standard in-person visit. This is confusing for people who buy dogs from pet stores and are told that the breeder of the puppy they are buying has “passed” a USDA inspection.</p> <p>The Humane Society of the United States last year sent <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2020/11/hsus-undercover-investigation-shows-dogs-dismal-conditions-puppy-mills-while-usda">undercover investigators</a> to visit and photograph dozens of puppy mills that the USDA has not recently inspected or has listed as compliant with Animal Welfare Act regulations. We found that at puppy mills the USDA did not cite for violations, dogs were living in puppy mill-like conditions, confined to small, stacked wire cages and with scant shelter from the elements. Some of these breeders <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/sites/default/files/docs/REPORT_Midwest-Puppy-Mills-and-Pet-Store-Connections 11-20.pdf">have sold puppies</a> to dozens of pet stores across the country, including Petland, the largest national pet store chain that sells puppies.</p> <p>The cessation of court proceedings as a result of the pandemic have also created problems. This meant many animal shelters found themselves needing to hold large numbers of dogs seized from puppy mills for much longer than expected, as trials and hearings were repeatedly delayed. For instance, an animal shelter in Breckinridge County, Kentucky, run by one of our Stop Puppy Mills Hero award winners, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/HSUSPuppyMills/photos/3892247274128870">Kala Hardin</a>, has been holding 42 dogs from a puppy mill case for more than a year due to court delays.</p> <p>We have been focusing attention on these ongoing problems and attending virtual meetings with enforcement agencies and policymakers to find solutions. We also continue to conduct law enforcement trainings to help localities recognize puppy mills and understand the laws they can use to shut them down. And more than <a href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ST__hm2bc5_CRCcOgNxjHuPs7dHoBRbPBIiSfc3y4pw/edit#gid=0">380 localities</a> and three states have ended the sale of commercially raised puppies in pet stores; seven such local laws passed in the first quarter of 2021 alone, and more are pending on both the state and local level.</p> <p>We will be pushing for resuming more in-person inspections of puppy mills as states reopen, and we will keep up the pressure on the USDA to better enforce the Animal Welfare Act against commercial breeders who hurt the animals in their care. We will also be working with members of Congress to reintroduce the <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2019/05/bill-congress-would-require-better-veterinary-care-other-reforms-dogs-puppy-mills">Puppy Protection Act</a>, which will strengthen protections for dogs in federally licensed facilities.</p> <p>You are our most important ally in the fight against puppy mills: If you or someone you know purchased a sick puppy, <a href="http://www.humanesociety.org/puppycomplaint">please tell us your story</a>. And if you are in the market for a puppy, please don’t buy one from a pet store or Internet site, which often source dogs from puppy mills. The best option is to adopt from an animal shelter or rescue group. You can also check out our <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/sites/default/files/docs/find-responsible-dog-breeder.pdf">responsible breeder checklist</a> for characteristics to look for in a small home breeder. Together, we can end the scourge of puppy mills in the United States.</p> <p><em>Kitty Block is President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/34" hreflang="en">Federal Legislation</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/32" hreflang="en">Pets &amp; Cruelty</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/176" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> Mon, 12 Apr 2021 16:48:13 +0000 kblocher@hslf.org 21647 at https://hslf.org Bill in Congress would reverse dangerous increases to slaughterhouse line speeds https://hslf.org/blog/2021/03/bill-congress-would-reverse-dangerous-increases-slaughterhouse-line-speeds <span>Bill in Congress would reverse dangerous increases to slaughterhouse line speeds</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kblocher@hslf.org</span></span> <span>Thu, 03/11/2021 - 20:55</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>By Sara Amundson and Kitty Block</em></p> <p>Slaughterhouses are hotspots for the coronavirus, with tens of thousands of infections reported among American workers since the onset of the pandemic last year. Yet, appallingly, at the height of the crisis last spring, the Trump administration ordered that these facilities should remain open. To make matters worse, the administration granted a record number of waivers to 16 chicken slaughter plants, allowing them to dial up the speeds at which they operate from a breakneck pace of 140 birds per minute to a mindboggling 175 birds per minute.</p> <p>This reckless decision didn’t just increase health and safety risks for workers, who already struggle to keep up with fast line speeds at slaughterhouses; it created an even bigger animal welfare nightmare and it undermined the safety of the food Americans put on their tables. <em><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-chicken-covid-coronavirus-biden/2021/01/03/ea8902b0-3a39-11eb-98c4-25dc9f4987e8_story.html">The Washington Post</a></em> reported that chicken slaughter facilities with line speed waivers are 10 times as likely to have coronavirus cases compared to chicken plants without such waivers.</p> <p>Today, in an effort to reverse these terrible changes and related actions, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Reps. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., reintroduced the <a href="https://www.booker.senate.gov/news/press/booker-delauro-thompson-re-introduce-bill-to-protect-meatpacking-workers-from-covid-19">Safe Line Speeds During COVID-19 Act (S. 713/H.R. 1815)</a> in the U.S. Senate and House. The bill, which has a strong set of at least 33 additional original cosponsors, would slow line speeds at these 16 slaughterhouses and other meat and poultry slaughter plants for the duration of the current health crisis.</p> <p>The bill would suspend a draconian 2019 rule that <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2019/09/breaking-news-usda-eliminates-speed-limits-killing-pigs-slaughterhouses">eliminated speed limits altogether for killing pigs</a> and shifted responsibility for initial sorting of the live animals from federal inspectors to plant workers—a decision that increased the risk of improper treatment of pigs, particularly those too sick, injured or exhausted to stand or walk. It would also prevent any new rule from being developed or implemented to increase line speeds.</p> <p>Slaughterhouses are already full of abject cruelty. For instance, workers at chicken slaughterhouses, working in cold, slippery conditions and with dangerous equipment, struggle to keep up with the rapidly moving slaughter lines. They grab the chickens and slam them into shackles, injuring the animals’ fragile legs. Some birds miss the throat-cutting blade and enter the scalder—a tank of extremely hot water—alive and fully conscious, resulting in a terrible death.</p> <p>Slaughterhouse workers experienced injury rates nearly 2.5 times higher and illness rates almost 17 times higher than the average for all industries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Forcing workers to process the animals faster also increases the risk of contaminated meat being introduced into the U.S. food supply.</p> <p>The last administration was also working on a new rule that would have allowed all qualifying chicken plants to operate at the higher speed without even applying for a waiver. Fortunately, the Biden administration, in one of its first actions, <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2021/01/biden-administration-withdraws-trump-era-plan-higher-line-speeds-chicken">withdrew that pending rule</a>. We will continue to maintain pressure on the Biden administration to ensure that it does not issue any similar rules increasing speeds for chicken plants, and that it takes steps to slow down line speeds across the industry by unwinding the waivers already granted to chicken slaughterhouses and by withdrawing the harmful 2019 rule that eliminated maximum line speeds for pig slaughter.</p> <p>Congress is focusing its attention on this issue right now and last week, Rep. DeLauro chaired an appropriations subcommittee<a href="https://appropriations.house.gov/events/hearings/health-and-safety-protections-for-meatpacking-poultry-and-agricultural-workers"> hearing</a> on Health and Safety Protections for Meatpacking, Poultry, and Agricultural Workers, with Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J., and Katherine Clark, D-Mass., joining her in shining a spotlight on line speeds. We commend them and all the sponsors and cosponsors of today’s bill for taking a stand, along with then-Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, who first introduced this legislation last July and has just been confirmed as the secretary of Housing and Urban Development.</p> <p>We will be pushing for swift passage of the Safe Line Speed During COVID-19 Act, and <a href="https://hslf.org/action-center/tell-congress-reject-faster-line-speeds-slaughterhouses">we urge you to call your U.S. Senators and Representative</a> and urge them to support it as well. The only entities lobbying for increased line speeds are slaughterhouse owners seeking to make bigger profits. American workers, consumers and animals stand to gain nothing from these changes, but they do have a lot to lose.</p> <p><em>Kitty Block is President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/34" hreflang="en">Federal Legislation</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/35" hreflang="en">Farm Animals</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/176" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> Thu, 11 Mar 2021 20:55:03 +0000 kblocher@hslf.org 21625 at https://hslf.org Breaking news: Congress just passed the COVID relief package with funding for activities that would improve animal welfare https://hslf.org/blog/2021/03/breaking-news-congress-just-passed-covid-relief-package-funding-activities-would <span>Breaking news: Congress just passed the COVID relief package with funding for activities that would improve animal welfare</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kblocher@hslf.org</span></span> <span>Wed, 03/10/2021 - 19:28</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>By Sara Amundson and Kitty Block</em></p> <p>The COVID relief package Congress just passed includes a number of provisions that will improve surveillance and inspection of trades where animals often endure acute suffering and that also tend to be hotbeds for disease spread.</p> <p>The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 is primarily designed to provide relief to the American people, protect them from further risks of infection, and prevent additional suffering, death and economic losses stemming from the pandemic. We are excited that members of Congress, at our urging, also acknowledged the close link between public health and animal welfare by allocating millions of dollars to properly regulate or restrict businesses and trades that exploit animals most susceptible to contracting and spreading diseases. This includes the wildlife trade, in which millions of wild animals, including endangered and at-risk species, suffer every year, and mink fur farms. Since the onset of the pandemic last year, nearly 20 million mink have been gassed to death globally on infected fur farms.</p> <p>Here are some of the significant funding reforms included in the bill:</p> <ul> <li>$300 million for U.S. Department of Agriculture monitoring and surveillance of animals susceptible to the virus. We are pushing for a portion of these funds to be allocated for data collection and monitoring at fur (and especially mink) farms, and for that data to be made public. Four U.S. states and 10 nations, in addition to the United States, have reported infected mink on fur farms, leaving no doubt that these facilities, where these wild animals spend their entire lives in tiny cages before being killed cruelly, are dangerous reservoirs for zoonotic diseases and mutations.</li> <li>$95 million for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for activities to proactively prevent pandemic spread by wildlife and crack down on wildlife trafficking, including endangered and at-risk species. This funding was included thanks to the leadership of Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., the chair of the House Natural Resources Committee. <ul> <li>Of this, $20 million would go toward wildlife inspections, interdictions and investigations, as well as related activities to address wildlife trafficking;</li> <li>$30 million would be allocated for the care of captive species listed under the Endangered Species Act, rescued and confiscated wildlife, and federal trust species living in facilities that have lost revenue due to the pandemic;</li> <li>$45 million would go toward strengthening early detection, rapid response, and science-based management for wildlife disease outbreaks before they become pandemics, and expand capacity for early detection of zoonotic diseases that might jump the species barrier in the United States.</li> </ul> </li> <li>$10 billion for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for certain COVID-19 prevention, preparation and response activities, including vaccinations, economic and food security stabilization, and disaster relief. These activities can also include zoonotic disease monitoring and surveillance. Congress is now considering the Preventing Future Pandemics Act (H.R. 151/ S. 37) (H.R. 151/ S. 37), which would bolster similar USAID and State Department programs to address the threats and causes of zoonotic disease outbreaks. With the COVID relief package assigning significant funding to conduct these activities, we urge Congress to quickly pass the Preventing Future Pandemics Act so these agencies can get to work.</li> <li>$10 million for the USFWS to continue listing certain species as injurious under the Lacey Act, which would prohibit their import and restrict the movement or acquisition of these species. Species listed as injurious are deemed to be harmful to the interests of human beings, agriculture, horticulture, forestry, wildlife or wildlife resources in the United States.</li> </ul> <p>The bill is now headed to President Biden, who is expected to sign it. We are grateful to members of Congress who worked with us to include these reforms, and we look forward to their continued support. Last year, the Humane Society family released an 11-point policy plan targeted at reducing animal suffering and helping prevent future national and global pandemics. We are proud of the progress we have made so far, including with this relief package, and we will continue our work with lawmakers and business leaders globally to ensure we continue to move forward on a path of meaningful reform that will benefit public health and animal welfare.</p> <p><em>Kitty Block is President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/34" hreflang="en">Federal Legislation</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/30" hreflang="en">Wildlife</a> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/176" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> Wed, 10 Mar 2021 19:28:03 +0000 kblocher@hslf.org 21624 at https://hslf.org