State Legislation https://hslf.org/ en California Senate committee advances bill to prohibit certain toxicity tests on dogs. HSUS poll shows most residents support outlawing such tests https://hslf.org/blog/2021/04/california-senate-committee-advances-bill-prohibit-certain-toxicity-tests-dogs-hsus <span>California Senate committee advances bill to prohibit certain toxicity tests on dogs. HSUS poll shows most residents support outlawing such tests</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kblocher@hslf.org</span></span> <span>Wed, 04/07/2021 - 16:13</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>As a bill to outlaw chemical tests on dogs that are not required by law advances in California, we are releasing a new poll today that shows overwhelming support among the state’s residents for ending such procedures.</p> <p>The poll, commissioned by the Humane Society of the United States and conducted by Remington Research group, showed that 75% of poll respondents, cutting across age, gender, political affiliations and geographic regions, said they oppose the use of dogs to test the toxicity of products intended for human use, such as drugs, pesticides, and food additives.</p> <p>A further 63% said they would support a law in California to prohibit such testing on dogs. The poll was conducted in late March among 1,470 likely voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7%.</p> <p>Toxicity testing on dogs leads to unnecessary animal suffering and produces dubious scientific results. Dogs who undergo toxicity testing suffer terribly. They may be force-fed drugs, pesticides or other substances and are observed for harmful effects such as heart failure, signs of cancer or even death. Some tests involve administering chemicals at extremely high doses to dogs over a prolonged period, causing slow deaths. Dogs are often killed after the studies so that their tissues and organs can be examined.</p> <p>An expanding body of analysis demonstrates that tests on dogs are extremely unreliable at predicting human reactions to toxic substances—a coin toss, at best. Non-animal testing methods are more affordable, more predictive of impacts on humans and clearly less harmful to animals.</p> <p>The poll also showed strong support for several related efforts to replace the use of all animals in research and testing with more humane and predictive alternatives.</p> <ul> <li>67% of those polled said they would support legislation to require laboratories in California to disclose the number of animals used in research and testing, the purpose of those experiments, and whether the animals experienced pain and distress.</li> <li>74% said they believe the government should invest in developing new, non-animal alternatives for biomedical research and product testing.</li> </ul> <p>These poll results come even as the California Senate Committee on Judiciary voted this week to advance SB 252, which was introduced by State Sen. Scott Wiener. The bill would make it unlawful to conduct toxicity testing on dogs or cats not required by federal law or specifically exempted under measures in the bill. In our <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2021/03/new-report-us-spends-millions-taxpayer-dollars-fund-experiments-dogs">recent report that scrutinized the government’s role</a> in funding, requiring or compelling experiments on dogs, we included the enactment of state legislation similar to SB 252 in California and other states.</p> <p>California has long been a trailblazer for animal protection, and twenty years ago, the state was the first to pass legislation that mandated the use of non-animal test methods validated by the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM), a committee under the National Institutes of Health that seeks to advance the acceptance of alternative test methods. In 2018, the state was the <a href="https://blog.humanesociety.org/2018/09/victory-california-becomes-first-state-to-reject-animal-testing-for-cosmetics.html">first to pass a ban on the sale of cosmetics</a> that are newly tested on animals; <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2021/03/breaking-news-virginia-governor-signs-bill-ending-new-cosmetics-animal-testing">three other states</a> have followed in its footsteps since and more are considering similar measures. By passing SB 252, the state would build upon this long-standing humane legacy and drive further innovation in humane and human-relevant testing methods.</p> <p>People are shocked when they see images of dogs suffering in experiments, such as those captured in an <a href="https://blog.humanesociety.org/2019/03/hsus-undercover-investigation-shows-beagles-being-poisoned-with-pesticides-and-drugs-killed-at-animal-testing-lab.html">HSUS undercover investigation</a> released in 2019, and find it hard to believe these practices are still legal. It is estimated that there are more than 58,000 dogs being used in U.S. public, private and federal research and testing facilities each year, and the U.S. government is spending millions of taxpayer dollars each year to fund this research. Most Americans would not approve of this, and our recent polling makes it clear that the California public is ready for a change. We applaud the Senate Judiciary Committee for voting to advance this legislation and we will keep up the fight for ending toxicity testing on dogs until California—and other states—pass laws to end it. </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/31" hreflang="en">Animals in Research</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, 07 Apr 2021 16:13:06 +0000 kblocher@hslf.org 21640 at https://hslf.org Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey among states moving rapidly to end cosmetics testing https://hslf.org/blog/2021/02/virginia-maryland-and-new-jersey-among-states-moving-rapidly-end-cosmetics-testing <span>Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey among states moving rapidly to end cosmetics testing</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kblocher@hslf.org</span></span> <span>Mon, 02/22/2021 - 19:20</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>Cosmetics animal testing is on its way out the world over and U.S. states are rapidly moving in the direction of that trend. Just this month lawmakers in three states—Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey—have moved decisively to end the sales of cosmetics tested on animals and/or prohibit cosmetics animal testing.</p> <p>Virginia lawmakers last week voted to pass legislation to ban cosmetics animal testing and sales of animal-tested cosmetics. The bill now heads to Gov. Ralph Northam for his signature.</p> <p>On Friday, the New Jersey state Senate voted unanimously to pass the Humane Cosmetics Act, a bill that would prohibit the sale of animal-tested cosmetics. The state assembly will consider the bill next.</p> <p>Earlier this month, the Maryland Senate voted to prohibit production and sales of animal-tested cosmetics and the House of Delegates will soon vote on this bill.</p> <p>Bills addressing the unnecessary cruelty of cosmetics animal testing are also under consideration in Rhode Island, Hawaii and New York.</p> <p>States that successfully pass a ban would join three U.S. states that already have laws banning animal testing on their books. <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2020/01/lets-make-year-we-end-cosmetics-testing-all-united-states">In 2018 California became the first state to prohibit the sale of animal-tested cosmetics followed by Nevada and Illinois in 2019</a>.</p> <p>The momentum for <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/all-our-fights/ending-cosmetics-animal-testing">ending cosmetics animal testing</a> and the sales of products tested on animals has been driven by growing awareness about the cruelty of traditional animal tests, where animals like rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and rats have substances forced down their throats, dripped into their eyes, or smeared onto their skin before they are killed. Consumers are increasingly scanning labels on shampoos, lipsticks, mascara and thousands of products to ensure they are cruelty-free.</p> <p>Cosmetics companies themselves are increasingly changing their practices. Companies like LUSH and MOM’s Organic Market, which sell cosmetic products in some of the states where bills ending cosmetics animal testing are under consideration, have shown that providing humane products is good for business. The Personal Care Products Council, which is the leading national trade association representing approximately 600 personal care products companies, partnered with us to lead the federal <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/2019/11/bill-end-animal-testing-cosmetics-introduced-congress-support-industry-leaders">Humane Cosmetics Act</a>, a bill addressing cosmetics animal testing and imports, when it was introduced in the last Congress. We anticipate the bill will soon be reintroduced.</p> <p>Globally, efforts made by <a href="https://www.hsi.org/issues/be-cruelty-free/">Humane Society International</a>, its partners and others have resulted in 40 countries, including member states of the European Union, Australia, Guatemala, Iceland, India, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan and Turkey passing laws prohibiting or limiting cosmetics testing on animals.</p> <p>A ban on cosmetics animal testing and sales of animal-tested cosmetics should be a no-brainer. Animal-welfare-minded consumers want to be sure the products they buy are cruelty-free. And cosmetics companies have nothing to lose because U.S law does not require that cosmetics be animal tested to ensure they are safe. There are thousands of ingredients already available for companies to create great products without any new testing, animal or otherwise.</p> <p>In case of new ingredients many non-animal test methods have been, and continue to be, developed that are as effective—or even more effective than —animal tests have been. These new methods can combine human-cell-based tests and sophisticated computer models to deliver results that are better able to predict human responses.</p> <p>Ending cosmetics animal testing is a battle our <a href="https://www.hsi.org/issues/be-cruelty-free/">Be Cruelty-Free campaign</a> has been engaged in for a long time, and it is heartening to see so many states moving to end a practice that should have no place in a humane world. We will keep you posted on the progress of these bills in weeks to come. If you live in <a href="https://secure.humanesociety.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&amp;page=UserAction&amp;id=7683">Maryland</a> or <a href="https://secure.humanesociety.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&amp;page=UserAction&amp;id=7726">New Jersey</a>, you can help by calling your lawmakers and asking them to support the bills in your state. And if you live in <a href="https://secure.humanesociety.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&amp;id=7753">Virginia</a>, please ask Gov. Northam to sign the bill there into law without delay.</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/31" hreflang="en">Animals in Research</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> Mon, 22 Feb 2021 19:20:38 +0000 kblocher@hslf.org 21607 at https://hslf.org Miami seizure highlights need to pass federal ban on shark fin trade https://hslf.org/blog/2020/02/miami-seizure-highlights-need-pass-federal-ban-shark-fin-trade <span>Miami seizure highlights need to pass federal ban on shark fin trade</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/18" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Sara Amundson</span></span> <span>Thu, 02/06/2020 - 00:00</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/endangered-species-1400-pounds-shark-fins-1m-seized-miami/">news</a> out of Florida was shocking: earlier this week, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials confiscated 1400 pounds of detached shark fins valued at nearly $1 million at PortMiami. Investigators found severed fins stashed out of sight in 18 boxes in a ship docked at the port.</p> <p>The shipment violated the Lacey Act, which prohibits trade in fish, wildlife and plants in violation of U.S. and foreign law. Some of the fins seized also came from species protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.  </p> <p><a class="asset-img-link" href="https://blog.hslf.org/.a/6a00e54fa1b0a188340240a4bb84cf200c-pi" style="float: right;"><img alt="GREAT-WHITE-SHARK-ISTOCK_56157656_344675_467604 (1)" class="asset asset-image at-xid-6a00e54fa1b0a188340240a4bb84cf200c img-responsive" src="/themes/hslf19/old_blog_img/6a00e54fa1b0a188340240a4bb84cf200c-250wi.jpg" style="width: 250px; margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;" title="GREAT-WHITE-SHARK-ISTOCK_56157656_344675_467604 (1)" /></a>This episode underscores the urgency for passage of the <a href="https://secure.humanesociety.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&amp;page=UserAction&amp;id=7574">Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act</a>, S. 877, which would end all commercial trade in the United States of shark fins and products containing shark fins. There is already clear momentum behind the bill, with the U.S. House counterpart <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/201911/breaking-news-house-votes-to-end-shark-fin-sales-in-the-us">passing overwhelmingly</a> by a vote of 310 to 107 in November. The PortMiami seizure is also Exhibit A for passage of H 401/S 680, a state bill to prohibit the shark fin trade in Florida, which has cleared one committee in the Florida Senate, and two in the state House. </p> <p>The shipment, which originated in South America and was likely headed to Asia, also validates the findings of a new <a href="https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/unintentional-partner-shark-fin-market-report_0.pdf">report</a> published by NRDC, which casts the United States as an important transit hub for shark fin shipments between these two continents. There are nations in Central America that ship as much as one-third to one-half of all their shark fins through U.S. ports.  Many of these shipments may be in violation of U.S. law, international agreements or both, creating an urgent need for increased monitoring of in-transit shark fin shipments. Despite both U.S. and international laws that regulate the shark fin trade, shark fin shipments passing through this country are only rarely inspected to ensure that these transshipments comply with international regulations.</p> <p>By allowing these fins—including the fins of protected shark species—to transit its borders, the United States is facilitating unrestricted trade in shark fins from Latin America, which is one of the world’s most significant shark killing zones.</p> <p>Americans <a href="https://oceana.org/press-center/press-releases/8-10-americans-support-nationwide-shark-fin-ban">overwhelmingly oppose this brutal trade</a>, in which fins from as many as 73 million sharks are traded globally each year. Worse, the <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/animals/sharks?credit=blog_post_112619_id11000">trade</a>—driven by market demand for shark fin soup—is pushing many shark species toward extinction.</p> <p>There is certainly no case to be made for the shark fin trade as necessary and lucrative. An Oceana <a href="https://oceana.org/press-center/press-releases/new-report-finds-shark-related-diving-generated-over-221-million-florida">report</a>, for example, highlights how shark-related diving and tourism activities generated 200 times more revenue in Florida than the fin trade in the entire U.S. In 2016, shark-related diving in Florida produced over $221 million in revenues and more than 3,700 jobs.</p> <p>State level bans are critical, and in January, New Jersey became the most recent of 14 states to pass legislation to limit or ban the sale of shark fins.  Acting under one of these statutes, authorities in Texas filed <a href="https://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/releases/?req=20200205a">charges </a>for the illegal selling of shark fins and shark fin products at various restaurants and markets. </p> <p>The shark fin trade represents a classic battle for organizations like ours, which were founded precisely to bring the fight to large-scale cruelties, wherever they occur, however they occur, and whoever may be responsible for them. We’re involved in worldwide efforts to save sharks, with all of the tools we have and with all of the resources we can muster.  It’s especially important that we secure the most strenuous protection possible and rein in trade in shark fins from endangered and threatened species within our borders.</p> <p>Please take a moment to contact your two U.S. Senators and ask them to <a href="https://secure.humanesociety.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&amp;page=UserAction&amp;id=7574">cosponsor the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act</a> if they haven’t yet, and do all they can to get it passed!</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/30" hreflang="en">Wildlife</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/34" hreflang="en">Federal Legislation</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> Thu, 06 Feb 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Sara Amundson 20515 at https://hslf.org Let’s make this the year we end cosmetics testing in all of the United States https://hslf.org/blog/2020/01/lets-make-year-we-end-cosmetics-testing-all-united-states <span>Let’s make this the year we end cosmetics testing in all of the United States</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/18" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Sara Amundson</span></span> <span>Thu, 01/02/2020 - 00:00</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>Residents of three U.S. states can now buy cosmetics in stores without having to worry whether they may have been tested on animals. On New Year’s Day yesterday, a ban on the sales of cosmetics newly tested on animals went into effect in California, Illinois and Nevada. This signals the dawn of a new era when it comes to this practice that results in great suffering for tens of thousands of animals worldwide.</p> <div class="archive-caption photo-xid-6a00e54fa1b0a188340240a4fdf54c200b" id="photo-xid-6a00e54fa1b0a188340240a4fdf54c200b" style="float: left; margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px; width: 250px;"><a class="asset-img-link" href="https://blog.hslf.org/.a/6a00e54fa1b0a188340240a4fdf54c200b-pi"><img alt="1-BL-0071_491549" class="asset asset-image at-xid-6a00e54fa1b0a188340240a4fdf54c200b img-responsive" src="/themes/hslf19/old_blog_img/6a00e54fa1b0a188340240a4fdf54c200b-250wi.jpg" style="width: 250px;" title="1-BL-0071_491549" /></a> <div class="photo-caption caption-xid-6a00e54fa1b0a188340240a4fdf54c200b" id="caption-xid-6a00e54fa1b0a188340240a4fdf54c200b" style="text-align: left;">Paul Morigi/AP Images for HSLF</div> </div> <p>The Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Legislative Fund supported efforts to pass the laws—in California in 2018 and in Illinois and Nevada in 2019—and we are happy that these three states have stepped up. But even as we celebrate, it is important to remember that we still lack a nationwide ban on cosmetics animal testing and the sale of cosmetic products tested on animals.</p> <p>Fortunately, there is now a bill in Congress, the <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/201911/bill-to-end-animal-testing-for-cosmetics-introduced-in-congress-with-support-from-industry-leaders">Humane Cosmetics Act,</a> to do just that, and we need to do our best to make 2020 the year it becomes law.</p> <p>The HCA would, with certain exceptions, end all animal testing for cosmetic products and ingredients in the United States and prohibit the import of cosmetics that have been tested on animals anywhere else in the world. The bill prohibits companies from labeling their products as cruelty-free if they are selling their products in China where animal testing is still required.</p> <p>This bill would put our country on par with nearly 40 nations, including the member states of the European Union, Australia, Guatemala, India, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan and Turkey, all of which have passed laws prohibiting or limiting cosmetic animal testing.</p> <p>With <a href="https://www.hsi.org/news-media/about_cosmetics_animal_testing/">Humane Society International</a>, we’ve driven this global momentum to end cosmetics testing in which substances are forced down the throats of animals, dripped into their eyes, or smeared onto their skin. The animals are left to suffer for days or weeks without pain relief. Most people do not want their beauty products to come at such great cost to innocent animals, and this has led to more and more consumers scanning labels on products to ensure they are cruelty-free.</p> <p>With thousands of ingredients having a history of safe use and an increasing number of non-animal test methods available to provide data more relevant to humans, often in less time and at a lower cost, companies can still create new and innovative cosmetics without any additional animal testing. Many cosmetics producers, in fact, have been happy to comply with consumer demand for cruelty-free products, and already more than 1,000 brands in North America have committed to producing cosmetics that are free of new animal testing. Even global beauty giants <a data-auth="NotApplicable" data-stamped="true" href="https://www.humanesociety.org/news/unilever-backs-global-becrueltyfree-effort-ban-animal-testing-cosmetics?credit=blog_post_111819_id10976">Unilever</a>,<a data-auth="NotApplicable" data-stamped="true" href="https://www.humanesociety.org/news/procter-gamble-supports-worldwide-ban-cosmetic-animal-testing-joins-humane-society-0?credit=blog_post_111819_id10976"> Procter &amp; Gamble</a>, <a data-auth="NotApplicable" href="https://www.hsi.org/news-media/avon-joins-be-cruelty-free/">Avon</a> and <a data-auth="NotApplicable" data-stamped="true" href="https://www.humanesociety.org/news/estee-lauder-companies-join-humane-society-internationals-global-campaign-end-cosmetics-animal?credit=blog_post_111819_id10976">the Estée Lauder Companies</a> have joined with HSI and our <a data-auth="NotApplicable" href="http://www.hsi.org/becrueltyfree">#BeCrueltyFree campaign</a> to ban animal testing for cosmetics in all major global beauty markets by 2023.</p> <p>The Humane Cosmetics Act has the endorsement of <a data-auth="NotApplicable" href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1A1cPic3SRFgpAEvoTpijN9VktvPuAIMX/view?usp=sharing">close to 300 stakeholders</a>, including the Personal Care Products Council, the trade group representing the cosmetics industry in the United States.</p> <p>There is no need for Congress to drag its feet on ending cosmetics testing nationwide. California, Illinois and Nevada have already set an example by showing us that so many Americans prefer the humane path forward on this issue. The Humane Cosmetics Act also has bipartisan support—it was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and in the House by Reps. Don Beyer, D-Va., Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., Tony Cárdenas, D-Calif., Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., and Ken Calvert, R-Calif.—showing that this is an issue that cuts across party lines and political beliefs.</p> <p>We now need your help to get more lawmakers to sign on to this important bill. Please <a data-auth="NotApplicable" data-stamped="true" href="https://secure.humanesociety.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&amp;page=UserAction&amp;id=7654">call your Representative and Senators in Congress</a> and urge them to cosponsor the Humane Cosmetics Act if they haven’t already, and do all they can to get it enacted quickly. With the cosmetics industry, consumers and states increasingly turning away from cosmetics testing, there has never been a better time to set our nation on a decisive path away from the cruelty.</p> <div class="entry-content"> <div class="entry-body"> <p><em>Kitty Block is President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.</em></p> </div> </div> <div class="entry-footer"> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/36" hreflang="en">State Legislation</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/31" hreflang="en">Animals in Research</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/34" hreflang="en">Federal 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> Thu, 02 Jan 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Sara Amundson 20527 at https://hslf.org Breaking news: California leads the nation by banning fur sales, bobcat trophy hunting https://hslf.org/blog/2019/10/breaking-news-california-leads-nation-banning-fur-sales-bobcat-trophy-hunting <span>Breaking news: California leads the nation by banning fur sales, bobcat trophy hunting</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/18" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Sara Amundson</span></span> <span>Sat, 10/12/2019 - 00:00</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 style="text-align: justify;">Moments ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom made history by signing into law <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/201909/breaking-news-california-lawmakers-ban-fur-sales-bobcat-trophy-hunting" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">two landmark bills</a>: one banning the sale and production of all new fur products in California, and another prohibiting the trophy hunting of bobcats in his state.</p> <p class="archive-caption"><img alt="Hslf-bobcat-300x200" class="asset asset-image at-xid-6a00e54fa1b0a188340240a4ab5470200d img-responsive" src="/themes/hslf19/old_blog_img/6a00e54fa1b0a188340240a4ab5470200d-250wi.jpg" style="width: 250px;" title="Hslf-bobcat-300x200" /><br /><span style="font-size: 0.8em;"><em>Photo by Megan Lorenz/iStock.com</em><br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">California, a trendsetter in animal welfare and in fashion, is the first state in the nation to pass a ban on the sales of fur, and we applaud Gov. Newsom and the state’s lawmakers for recognizing that California citizens do not want their state’s markets to contribute to the demand for fur products. The fur industry causes the suffering and death of more than 100 million animals worldwide each year, and animals on fur factory farms are forced to live in cramped, wire-bottom cages, deprived of the ability to engage in natural behaviors, before being cruelly killed by gassing or electrocution.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The law, which will go into effect in January 2023, is a monumental victory in the Humane Society of the United States' <a href="https://blog.humanesociety.org/2019/05/breaking-news-prada-group-goes-fur-free" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">decades-long campaign</a> to end this cruel and unnecessary trade. Hawaii and New York have introduced similar measures, and we’ll continue working hard with other cities and states to convince them to follow California’s lead.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The other bill Gov. Newsom signed today makes it unlawful to trophy hunt bobcats in the state, although the measure allows the lethal removal of any individual animal posing a danger to humans, endangered and threatened species, or livestock. Other states have passed temporary bans on trophy hunting bobcats after their numbers dropped too low because of hunting, trapping and habitat loss, but the California law goes above and beyond by taking a proactive step to end needless and cruel trophy hunting before the animals are pushed to the verge of extinction.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The law puts <a href="https://www.humanesociety.org/animals/bobcats" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">bobcats</a> on a small list of protected species in the Golden State, alongside California’s other wildcat, the mountain lion. Bobcats at present face numerous other threats to their survival, like the recent deadly wildfires and urban sprawl. And each year, hundreds of these animals are killed by trophy hunters in California. In fact, over the past decade, trophy hunters have killed more than 10,000 bobcats in the state.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We are thankful to Gov. Newsom for signing these bills and to all the lawmakers who voted for them. Our special thanks to Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager-Dove, who authored the legislation on bobcats, as well as the bill’s co-authors, Assemblymembers Richard Bloom, Laura Friedman and Tasha Boerner Horvath, and Senators Ben Allen, Cathleen Galgiani and Anthony Portantino. We are also grateful to Assemblymember Laura Friedman, who introduced the bill on fur sales last December. It had many notable supporters among politicians and the fashion industry, including the California Democratic Party, Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti, the San Diego County Democratic Central Committee, the City of West Hollywood, InStyle magazine, Stella McCartney, DVF-Diane von Furstenberg, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Hugo Boss, Patagonia, H&amp;M, GAP, J.Crew, Madewell, Des Kohan, Hiraeth and Inditex/Zara. Animal protection groups and citizens across the state mobilized in favor of the legislation.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Year after year, California has been the hands-down pace-setter among American states on a number of key animal-related matters, including passing the world’s strongest farm animal protection law, prohibiting the sale of puppy mill dogs in pet stores, banning foie gras, and ending the sales of animal tested cosmetics. For nine consecutive years, it has topped our <a href="https://blog.humanesociety.org/2018/12/california-which-passed-worlds-strongest-farm-animal-protection-law-and-the-nations-first-cosmetics-testing-ban-tops-humane-state-rankings-again" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Humane State report card</a>, which ranks states based on a wide set of animal welfare policies. Today, by speaking out against fur and for bobcats, the Golden State has once again proven why it continues to be our nation’s undisputed leader on animal protection issues.</p> <p>P.S.: As we celebrate these victories, our thoughts are with the people—and animals—of California who are affected by the wildfires. The HSUS's Animal Rescue Team is keeping an eye on the situation and will be standing by to assist as needed.</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/30" hreflang="en">Wildlife</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/29" hreflang="en">In the News</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> Sat, 12 Oct 2019 00:00:00 +0000 Sara Amundson 20553 at https://hslf.org Breaking news: California lawmakers ban fur sales, bobcat trophy hunting https://hslf.org/blog/2019/09/breaking-news-california-lawmakers-ban-fur-sales-bobcat-trophy-hunting <span>Breaking news: California lawmakers ban fur sales, bobcat trophy hunting</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/18" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Sara Amundson</span></span> <span>Tue, 09/10/2019 - 00:00</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><em>Update: The bill to ban fur sales has also passed the concurrence committee and will now head to the governor’s desk for his signature.</em></p> <p>In two historic votes for animals, California lawmakers have voted overwhelmingly to ban fur sales and to stop the trophy hunting of bobcats, who are often targeted for their distinctive look and coloration.</p> <p class="archive-caption"><img alt="Hslf-bobcat-300x200" class="asset asset-image at-xid-6a00e54fa1b0a188340240a4ab5470200d img-responsive" src="/themes/hslf19/old_blog_img/6a00e54fa1b0a188340240a4ab5470200d-250wi.jpg" style="width: 250px;" title="Hslf-bobcat-300x200" /><br /><span style="font-size: 0.8em;"><em>Photo by Megan Lorenz/iStock.com</em><br /></span></p> <p>State senators this afternoon passed a ban on the sales of all new fur products. Last night the Senate passed the bobcat bill 31 to 8 (with one Senator not voting) and just this afternoon the Assembly concurred.</p> <p>The fur sales bill now heads back to the Assembly for a concurrence vote, and, if all goes well, it will soon join the bobcat bill on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk for his signature.</p> <p>Californians have repeatedly shown a deep concern for the well-being of animals killed for their fur and for trophies. Nearly 71 percent of them support banning fur sales statewide, and some of the largest cities in the state, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, West Hollywood, and Berkeley, have already banned fur sales.</p> <p>The impact of a fur ban in California would be immense. The state is often listed right behind New York as one of the most fashionable in the country. A fur sales ban in California would further reinforce to fashion followers and to the fashion industry globally—which is already moving away from fur—that most consumers no longer want coats, stoles, and other accessories that involve raising and killing animals cruelly.</p> <p>More than 100 million animals, like foxes, minks, and raccoon dogs are now killed each year for their fur. These animals live in cramped, wire-bottom cages on fur factory farms, deprived of the ability to engage in natural behaviors, and are cruelly killed by gassing or electrocution.</p> <p>Some animals in the wild, like bobcats and coyotes, who are targeted for their fur, are trapped using archaic leghold traps. The animals suffer in these cruel traps for days, without food or water, and these indiscriminate traps also often kill or maim non-target animals, including endangered species and pets.</p> <p>Over the past few years, the California legislature and the state’s Fish and Game Commission have taken steps to protect bobcats from such cruel practices, including a ban on trapping, a ban on the use of hounds to chase down bobcats, and a ban on the sale of bobcat fur originating from the state. Despite these protections, hundreds of bobcats continue to be killed in California every year, usually for nothing more than a trophy and bragging rights. </p> <p>Californians feel strongly about protecting bobcats: nearly 70% are opposed to trophy hunting these beautiful native carnivores. The bobcat bill that passed through the legislature will put a moratorium on trophy hunting bobcats, protecting this species and allowing the Department of Fish and Wildlife to gather much-needed scientific data on their population. Even without trophy hunting, bobcats still face serious threats to their survival in the state, like loss of habitat each year from human development, droughts stemming from the climate crisis that threaten bobcats’ prey base, and dangerous wildfires that continuously threaten their ecosystems.</p> <p>We applaud Assemblymember Laura Friedman, who introduced the bill banning fur, and Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager-Dove, who put forth the bill banning bobcat hunting. Let’s take a moment today to celebrate these momentous victories for animals, and keep up the fight to get them across the finish line in coming days.</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/36" hreflang="en">State 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> Tue, 10 Sep 2019 00:00:00 +0000 Sara Amundson 20566 at https://hslf.org Cruel cosmetics banned in Illinois; third U.S. state to do so after California, Nevada https://hslf.org/blog/2019/08/cruel-cosmetics-banned-illinois-third-us-state-do-so-after-california-nevada <span>Cruel cosmetics banned in Illinois; third U.S. state to do so after California, Nevada</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/18" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Sara Amundson</span></span> <span>Tue, 08/13/2019 - 00:00</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 United States has moved one step closer to ending unnecessary cosmetics testing on animals, as Illinois becomes the third U.S. state to enact a marketing ban preventing companies from selling cosmetics that have newly been tested on animals. On August 9, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law a bill that prohibits the sale of cosmetics like shampoos, lipsticks and deodorants in Illinois, unless they are cruelty free.</p> <p class="archive-caption"><img alt="Bunny_istock_270x240" class="asset asset-image at-xid-6a00e54fa1b0a1883401b7c86268db970b img-responsive" src="http://blog.hslf.org/.a/6a00e54fa1b0a1883401b7c86268db970b-250wi.jpg" style="width: 250px;" title="Bunny_istock_270x240" /><br /><span style="font-size: 0.8em;"><em>Photo courtesy of iStock Photo</em><br /></span></p> <p>Illinois joins <a href="https://blog.humanesociety.org/2018/09/victory-california-becomes-first-state-to-reject-animal-testing-for-cosmetics" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">California</a> and Nevada, which have passed similar laws. Starting January 1, 2020, all cosmetics products on store shelves in these three states will be free of new animal testing. We applaud the work of Sen. Linda Holmes, Rep. Jonathan Carroll, and the Animal Welfare Institute in helping to secure the passage of the Illinois bill.</p> <p>As we continue to expand our global #BeCrueltyFree campaign, we are thrilled to see the momentum building in the United States. This is one of the world’s largest cosmetics markets and reforms here have the potential to spare the lives of tens of thousands of animals used in these tests worldwide each year, including mice, rabbits, rats and guinea pigs. In traditional tests, substances are forced down the animals’ throats, dripped into their eyes, or smeared onto their skin, and they are left to suffer for days or weeks without pain relief. There is no need for this.</p> <p>Consumer demand for cruelty-free products has led to more than 1,000 cosmetic brands in North America committing to develop and offer products based on the thousands of safe ingredients already available, or by using non-animal test methods that are often more reliable predictors of human safety at a great savings in time and cost when compared to animal tests.</p> <p>For these and other reasons, we need Congress to step up now and pass legislation to end cosmetics testing on animals in our country altogether. There is strong support for such a law: in the last Congress, the Humane Cosmetics Act received the support of more than 180 cosponsors. This legislation was also <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzB1xR2TKNMlV0NnTXZOOEN4S2s/view" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">endorsed by nearly 300 companies</a> in the cosmetics industry. We expect the bill to be reintroduced when Congress reconvenes in September.</p> <p>Worldwide, nearly 40 countries, including the member countries of the European Union, Australia, Guatemala, India, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan and Turkey, have already banned or limited the use of animals for cosmetics testing through the efforts of Humane Society International and others. HSI and its partners are on the front lines in countries including Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the ASEAN region of south-east Asia, working hard to help pass additional legislation on these lines.</p> <p>HSI’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign also has the support of global beauty giants like <a href="https://www.hsi.org/news-media/unilever-backs-bcf-canada-100918/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Unilever</a>, <a href="https://hslf.org/blog/201902/procter-gamble-maker-of-pantene-and-herbal-essences-joins-fight-to-end-animal-testing-for-cosmetics" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Procter &amp; Gamble</a>, <a href="https://www.hsi.org/news-media/avon-joins-be-cruelty-free/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Avon</a> and <a href="https://www.hsi.org/news-media/estee-lauder-companies-join-be-cruelty-free/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">the Estée Lauder Companies</a>, in addition to our longstanding partners at Lush and H&amp;M.</p> <p>There is a beauty revolution underway, and it is one that rejects outmoded cruelty and embraces compassion and modern scientific alternatives to animal testing. There is no excuse for our country to remain on the sidelines even as the rest of the world commits to this new, forward-thinking protocol. With the momentum for ending cosmetics testing building up day by day, now is the perfect time to recommit to ending these tests here in the United States. Please call your members of Congress (<a href="http://action.humanesociety.org/site/PageServer?pagename=HSLF_elected_officials_federal" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">you can find their contact information here</a>) and let them know you support reintroduction of the Humane Cosmetics Act. With a few more victories, we can push cosmetics testing with animals off the map for good.</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/31" hreflang="en">Animals in Research</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> Tue, 13 Aug 2019 00:00:00 +0000 Sara Amundson 20574 at https://hslf.org Upgrading anti-cruelty laws across the country in 2017 https://hslf.org/blog/2017/10/upgrading-anti-cruelty-laws-across-country-2017 <span>Upgrading anti-cruelty laws across the country in 2017</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/18" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Sara Amundson</span></span> <span>Tue, 10/31/2017 - 00:00</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Our movement has made so much progress over the last three decades in closing the gaps in the legal framework for animal cruelty. In the mid-1980’s, only four states had felony penalties for malicious cruelty to animals, only a dozen had felony dogfighting, and several states still allowed legal cockfighting. Today, malicious cruelty and dogfighting allow for felony-level penalties in all 50 states, cockfighting is banned nationwide with felony penalties in 43 states, and the federal animal fighting statute has tough penalties, including for training and possession of fighting animals, spectators, and bringing children to animal fights.</p> <p class="archive-caption"><img alt="Dog_chain_240x270_Larry_French" class="asset asset-image at-xid-6a00e54fa1b0a1883401b7c80431d6970b img-responsive" src="http://blog.hslf.org/.a/6a00e54fa1b0a1883401b7c80431d6970b-250wi.jpg" style="width: 240px;" title="Dog_chain_240x270_Larry_French" /><br /><span style="font-size: 0.8em;"><em>Larry French/AP Images for The HSUS</em></span></p> <p>We continue to march state by state to further upgrade and fortify the anti-cruelty statutes, improve enforcement, and close remaining gaps in the law where they exist. In 2017, it has been a particularly exciting year in state legislatures when it came to strengthening laws for abused and neglected animals. These laws range from outlawing animal sexual abuse, to prohibiting the chronic, cruel chaining of dogs outdoors, to increasing penalties for dogfighting and cockfighting. </p> <p>This year, The HSUS, HSLF, and our partners worked to make great strides on these fronts. Lawmakers outlawed bestiality in <a href="https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/NELIS/REL/79th2017/Bill/5439/Text" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Nevada</a>, <a href="https://custom.statenet.com/public/resources.cgi?id=ID:bill:TX2017000S1232&amp;cuiq=473aab3a-044f-57fb-8c5d-a0252273fcd6&amp;client_md=6da3c88557f1b4c9786bae4c6ed951fc&amp;mode=current_text" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Texas</a> (as a felony), and <a href="http://legislature.vermont.gov/assets/Documents/2018/Docs/ACTS/ACT062/ACT062%20As%20Enacted.pdf" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Vermont</a>. When we renewed our campaign efforts on this issue just a few years ago, bestiality was legal in eleven states—now that number is down to five remaining. Laws to help dogs outdoors were strengthened in <a href="http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2017RS/Chapters_noln/CH_187_sb0790t.pdf" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Maryland</a> with more clearly defined standards of care; in <a href="https://legiscan.com/NJ/text/S1640/id/1647527" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">New jersey</a> with shelter and standards of care requirements, and significant tethering restrictions; in <a href="http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText17/HouseText17/H5326.pdf" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Rhode Island</a> with upgrades to shelter and nourishment requirements; in <a href="https://custom.statenet.com/public/resources.cgi?id=ID:bill:VT2017000H218&amp;cuiq=473aab3a-044f-57fb-8c5d-a0252273fcd6&amp;client_md=cf76bc16b331091ee20b02c0c6e0fe44&amp;mode=current_text" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Vermont</a> with expanded standards of care and humane standards for tethering; and in <a href="http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2017-18/Pdf/Bills/Senate%20Passed%20Legislature/5356-S.PL.pdf#page=1" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Washington</a> with an impressive, comprehensive dogs who live outdoors/tethering law.  </p> <p><a href="https://custom.statenet.com/public/resources.cgi?id=ID:bill:KS2017000S112&amp;cuiq=473aab3a-044f-57fb-8c5d-a0252273fcd6&amp;client_md=73babc0db31ca8a559879fcbe9706f85&amp;mode=current_text" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Kansas</a> and <a href="https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB3283/Enrolled" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Oregon</a> upgraded their cost of care statutes, putting the burden on animal abusers—rather than nonprofit organizations and taxpayer-funded agencies—to pay the financial cost of caring for animals seized from cruelty cases. Cost of care law was amended in <a href="https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB3177" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Oregon</a> to include hens and chicks in cockfighting cases. <a href="https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/79th2017/Bills/SB/SB371_EN.pdf" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Nevada</a> made some progress on this issue, ultimately giving counties the ability to recover costs of care if an “authorized person” is unavailable to care for the animal. <a href="https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB2625" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Oregon</a> expanded agencies’ ability to petition for custody of seized animals, and <a href="https://legiscan.com/HI/text/HB1516/id/1604395" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Hawaii</a> humane societies may now petition the court for custody of seized animals prior to filing criminal charges against the owner.</p> <p><a href="https://hslf.org/blog/201706/libres-paw-on-libres-law-time-for-congress-to-make-a-pact" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Pennsylvania</a> passed a comprehensive upgrade of its anti-cruelty statute this year, including making malicious cruelty a felony on the first offense, rather than just for repeat offenders (leaving Iowa and Mississippi as the only two states left without first offense felony penalties). <a href="http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2017/2017R/Acts/Act714.pdf" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Arkansas</a>, <a href="http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/85R/billtext/pdf/SB00762F.pdf#navpanes=0" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Texas</a>, and <a href="https://legiscan.com/WY/text/SF0115/id/1541820/Wyoming-2017-SF0115-Enrolled.pdf" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Wyoming</a> increased penalties for certain cruelty offenses, and <a href="https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB3283/Enrolled" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Oregon</a> increased prohibition for animal abusers on future ownership to 15 years. <a href="https://custom.statenet.com/public/resources.cgi?id=ID:bill:NY2017000A2806&amp;cuiq=473aab3a-044f-57fb-8c5d-a0252273fcd6&amp;client_md=db7bfde2c21aeef9d994cd3a988bebbe&amp;mode=current_text" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">New York</a> bolstered its animal fighting law by making animal fighting a designated offense for an eavesdropping or video surveillance warrant. And <a href="https://custom.statenet.com/public/resources.cgi?id=ID:bill:RI2017000H5882&amp;cuiq=473aab3a-044f-57fb-8c5d-a0252273fcd6&amp;client_md=e8965c207ca6fb3e30a32519f73eb42c&amp;mode=current_text" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Rhode Island</a> made animal hoarding a cruelty offense, making it the first state in the country to outlaw hoarding. <a href="http://www.legis.nd.gov/assembly/65-2017/documents/17-0895-02000.pdf" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">North Dakota</a> was the one state that took a step backwards, with an added requirement for a veterinary recommendation before an agency may seize an animal.</p> <p>There is a rising tide of consciousness across the country—in red, blue, and purple states—that animals should be protected from cruelty, and that we must have strong laws on the books to prevent abuse and crack down on the outliers. The HSUS, HSLF, and our partners are proud to have had a hand in many of these successes, and are grateful to the lawmakers who took on these big fights. We look forward to continuing this important work to drive transformational change for animals in 2018 and beyond.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/36" hreflang="en">State Legislation</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/29" hreflang="en">In the News</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, 31 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Sara Amundson 20643 at https://hslf.org Libre’s paw on Libre’s Law, Time for Congress to make a PACT https://hslf.org/blog/2017/06/libres-paw-libres-law-time-congress-make-pact <span>Libre’s paw on Libre’s Law, Time for Congress to make a PACT</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/18" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Sara Amundson</span></span> <span>Fri, 06/30/2017 - 00:00</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>This week Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, surrounded by a swarm of animal advocates and lawmakers, <a href="http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/governor-signs-libre-s-law-here-s-what-the-new/article_9fe0f7d4-5c0e-11e7-b014-ebfc0d03542a" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">eagerly signed</a> a comprehensive overhaul of the Keystone State’s anti-cruelty statutes into law. The governor wasn’t the only one to sign the bill, however: Libre, a Boston terrier who recovered from a shocking case of mistreatment that rallied the legislature to take action, dipped his paw print in paint and stamped it on the bill, too.</p> <p class="archive-caption"><img alt="Libres_Law" class="asset asset-image at-xid-6a00e54fa1b0a1883401bb09aaa2fb970d img-responsive" src="http://blog.hslf.org/.a/6a00e54fa1b0a1883401bb09aaa2fb970d-250wi.jpg" style="width: 250px;" title="Libres_Law" /><br /><span style="font-size: 0.8em;"><em>Photo courtesy of <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/governortomwolf/35208299490/in/album-72157683276487741/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Governor Wolf</a></em><br /></span><span style="font-size: 0.8em;">Libre signing his bill into law with the<br />governor and his mom!</span></p> <p>A Good Samaritan got a glimpse of a severely neglected Libre and had the resolve to convince the owner to turn over the failing dog to her. From that point forward, two epic journeys followed: 1) Libre’s slow but steady convalescence, and 2) the inexorable advance of an anti-cruelty bill that had new vigor because of the dog’s painful circumstance. Libre’s plight touched the hearts of many Pennsylvanians who then called on the General Assembly to strengthen animal cruelty and neglect laws, so cases like Libre’s don’t go unpunished. </p> <p>At that time, the state’s laws did not carry penalties with suitable punishments for abuse, cruelty, and neglect committed against animals. Especially concerning to advocates of this bill was the link between animal abuse and interpersonal violence. Numerous studies have shown a substantial correlation between animal abuse and family violence. Animal abuse may present a risk of child abuse and be predictive of future violence or threats against other human victims.   </p> <p>Pennsylvania had previously been one of only three states in the nation (with Iowa and Mississippi) that did not punish extreme and malicious acts of animal cruelty as a felony on the first offense—only for repeat offenders. The new legislation, known as Libre’s Law, closes that loophole, and also updates and clarifies the existing animal abuse statute. Penalties will be more clearly delineated among summary offenses, misdemeanors, and felony charges based on the seriousness of the abuse involved. Also, this bill provides escalated penalties for repeat offenders. This is a major victory and the most comprehensive animal protection package in state history, and should move Pennsylvania up from its current #18 spot in our annual <a href="http://blog.humanesociety.org/wayne/2016/12/hsus-2016-humane-state-rankings" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Humane State Ranking</a>.</p> <p>While the states have continuously fortified their anti-cruelty laws over the years—with all 50 now having some felony-level penalties for cruelty, compared to only four in the mid-1980s—there is still no general federal anti-cruelty statute. We are working to change that, with the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act—<a href="https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/654" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">S. 654</a> by Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and <a href="https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1494" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">H.R. 1494</a> by Reps. Lamar Smith, R-Tex., Ted Deutch, D-Fla.—which now has 16 bipartisan cosponsors in the Senate and more than 200 in the House.</p> <p>There is already a federal ban on the trade in obscene video depictions of live animals being crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or subjected to other forms of heinous cruelty in perverse “snuff” films. But while the trade in videos depicting images of cruelty is illegal under federal law, the underlying conduct of the cruelty itself is not.</p> <p>The PACT Act would close this gap in the law, and also provide prosecutors with a valuable additional tool when animal cruelty is occurring in a federal facility or in interstate commerce. For example, federal prosecutors would be empowered to take legal action in regard to malicious cruelty to animals on federal property or in a federal building, or if they found it in the course of investigating another interstate crime (say, in pursuing a drug smuggling or human trafficking ring). </p> <p> As we’ve seen with animal fighting, the state and federal laws are complementary and provide the widest set of tools to crack down on that barbaric bloodsport and its associated criminal activities. Some animal fighting raids are multi-state and multi-jurisdictional, and sometimes the perpetrators are charged under state law, or federal law, or both. </p> <p> With animal cruelty, too, most cases can be handled under the existing state statutes. The federal law wouldn’t interfere with those of the states but would provide an additional overlay when necessary. The bill has been endorsed by more than 200 sheriffs and police departments in 36 states and national groups including the National Sheriffs’ Association, Fraternal Order of Police, and Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.</p> <p>It’s long past time that Congress empowers the FBI and U.S. Attorneys to deal with malicious and deviant cruelty on federal property or that crosses state lines. We know there is a well-documented link between animal abuse and other forms of violent behavior, and this legislation is a tool to combat this violence when we get a first look at it. We shouldn’t need some awful, personalized case of cruelty, and the naming of the bill after a battered animal, to stir us to do the right thing. <a href="https://secure.humanesociety.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&amp;page=UserAction&amp;id=7351" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Please contact your members of Congress today and ask them to pass the PACT Act.</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/36" hreflang="en">State Legislation</a> <a href="/taxonomy/term/29" hreflang="en">In the News</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> Fri, 30 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Sara Amundson 20647 at https://hslf.org Political shenanigans with greyhound racing https://hslf.org/blog/2017/05/political-shenanigans-greyhound-racing <span>Political shenanigans with greyhound racing</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/18" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Sara Amundson</span></span> <span>Fri, 05/05/2017 - 00:00</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Greyhound racing is withering, with more than two dozen tracks closing since 2001 and only 19 dog tracks remaining in just six states. In the last 15 years, the total amount gambled on greyhound racing nationwide has declined by 70 percent.</p> <p class="archive-caption"><a href="http://hslf.typepad.com/.a/6a00e54fa1b0a188340120a7ce7fc8970b-pi" style="display: inline;"></a><img alt="Greyhound" class="asset asset-image at-xid-6a00e54fa1b0a188340120a7ce7fc8970b " src="https://hslf.typepad.com/.a/6a00e54fa1b0a188340120a7ce7fc8970b-250wi.jpg" style="width: 250px;" title="Greyhound" /><br /><span style="font-size: 0.7em;">Denise McFadden/GREY2K USA</span></p> <p>Despite these obvious trends, some politicians are clinging to their greyhounds and gambling cheat sheets. They are working hard to keep this cruel sport on life support, even when consumers and taxpayers are saying they’ve had enough.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.wvgazettemail.com/news-politics/20170401/house-passes-bill-eliminating-state-funding-for-greyhound-racing" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">West Virginia legislature</a> passed a bill this year to eliminate state funding to subsidize dog racing in the state, but Gov. Jim Justice <a href="http://wvmetronews.com/2017/04/08/governor-justice-vetoes-greyhounds-bill/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">vetoed</a> the measure as a give-away to the greyhound breeding industry. <a href="http://blog.humanesociety.org/wayne/2016/02/florida-greyhound-racing-decoupling-bill" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Florida</a>, home to about two-thirds of the nation’s dog tracks, still forces casinos to have live dog races, and legislation to remove this government mandate <a href="http://www.news-journalonline.com/news/20170503/dog-racing-to-continue-after-gambling-deal-dies" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">failed again</a> this year, because of the dizzying complexity of Florida gambling politics.</p> <p>And now Kansas has taken a step backwards and made a bad bet to bring back greyhound racing, eight years after the last tracks closed in the state. Although <a href="http://blog.humanesociety.org/wayne/2016/03/kansas-bill-would-bring-back-greyhound-racing" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">legislation</a> to prop up dog racing through a slot subsidy scheme was seemingly dead for the year, a conference committee yesterday resuscitated it by gutting and stuffing it into an unrelated bill. This type of sneaky, backdoor maneuvering, where the public isn’t allowed to weigh in on the issue, is a way for politicians to circumvent the normal checks and balances in the legislative process.</p> <p>Racing proved to be a bad experiment for Kansas, and in 2008, with no public support and a 95 percent decline in gambling, the facilities shut down. Why would Kansas lawmakers spend their political capital trying to bring back an activity that consumers and the free market don’t want? Kansas currently operates no race tracks, and Kansans do not support dog racing. This bill caters to the gambling industry with no regard for animal welfare.</p> <p>This unsporting activity leads to cruelty and neglect of greyhounds. These dogs endure lives of confinement, kept in small cages barely large enough for them to stand up or turn around for long hours each day. Public and private agencies will be forced to absorb the costs of investigating related cruelty complaints, taking in dogs with injuries and illness for treatment, rescue and adoption, and picking up dead discarded bodies of dogs dumped when the racing industry is done with them. In the last six-month season of racing in Kansas, 80 dogs suffered broken legs and backs and other injures. A total of 19 dogs were killed.</p> <p>The racing industry conducts extensive breeding of dogs, resulting in an annual surplus numbering in the thousands, many of whom will end up being destroyed despite the best efforts of shelters and rescue groups. What’s more, even when they are made available for adoption, they clog the adoption pipeline, making it more difficult for other dogs to find lifelong homes. Since 2008, the year that dog racing ended in Kansas, more than 12,000 greyhound injuries were reported in other states, including broken backs and legs, spinal cord paralysis, and death by cardiac arrest. Now is not the time to bring back this cruelty to the Sunflower State.</p> <p>Each Kansas citizen now has an opportunity to voice their disgust with this action, but they must weigh in urgently. <a href="http://action.humanesociety.org/site/PageServer?pagename=HSLF_elected_officials_state" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Contact your state legislators</a> now and ask them to oppose greyhound racing and House Bill 2386. It’s clear the citizens of this state no longer see the entertainment value in subjecting dogs to run for their lives. The clock is ticking and the lives of thousands of greyhounds are hanging in the balance.</p> <p>Greyhound racing is archaic and exploitive, and there is no place for it in the humane economy. In fact, a dog dies every three days on a Florida track. Racing greyhounds endure lives of confinement, are fed 4D meat (the Ds represent dying, diseased, disabled, and dead to describe the source of meat fed to these animals), and suffer injuries and sometimes death. As a humane movement, we must keep pushing to improve the lives of dogs, and we are making progress.</p> <p>For example, the Florida regulatory agency is in the process of creating rules that will require tracks to report greyhound injuries to the state. Last year the humane community prevailed and passed a greyhound protection ordinance in Seminole County requiring disposition reporting, injury reporting, and routine inspections of greyhound kennels. This year a bill that would prohibit the use of anabolic steroids passed the Florida House with bipartisan support and came close to passing the Senate. We will keep pushing to save dogs from cruelty and remove the antiquated government mandate that requires tracks to hold a certain number of live races in order to operate their profitable poker rooms.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden tags field--items"> <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> Fri, 05 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Sara Amundson 20650 at https://hslf.org