HSUS leader Wayne Pacelle reviews results for 2014

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In his A Humane Nation blog this week, Humane Society of the United States leader Wayne Pacelle reviewed the organization’s “Top Transformational Results of 2014.”

The list features:

South Dakota becoming the 5oth US state to adopt a felony animal-cruelty law.

It is now a federal crime to attend or bring a child to a dogfight or cockfight.

The truly idiotic and evil “King Amendment” was tossed out of the Farm Bill.

A federal appellate court rightfully overturned a horrible ruling from a lower that might have tossed out the animal crush video law. If I recall, the lower court tried to claim that torturing and brutally killing animals was protected free speech. That’s one for the Moronic Court Ruling Hall of Fame.

So arguably the current leader for the Moronic Court Ruling Hall of Fame is Citizens United.

A number of countries have agreed to end the use of gestation crates for pigs.

Three horse-slaughter plants were blocked from opening this year.

A new U.S. Department of Agriculture rule blocks the importation of puppies for sale. This means at least foreign puppy mills can’t sell here.

Internet sellers of puppy now have to follow USDA guidelines. The HSUS helped to block a legal challenge to this ruling.

Better protections are in place for animals suffering through experiments in labs.

The World Trade Organization is thankfully supporting European Union’s ban on products resulting from the horrific Canadian seal hunts.

The wolf hunts were stopped in Michigan.

New York and New Jersey became the first states to banned the sale of Ivory. This one should become a federal ban.

And Pacelle states the “…  International Court of Justice ruled that Japan’s Southern Ocean whaling program violates the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling’s ban on commercial hunting.”

Read Pacelle’s full rundown at the link above.

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Breaking News: King Amendment removed from Farm Bill

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This is BIG news. The horrible King Amendment has been removed from the Farm Bill. The amendment is named for the single biggest supporter of animal cruelty in the US government – Rep. Steve King.

The mission for King and his amendment, was to gut animal cruelty laws across the nation and to prevent states from passing legislation to protect animals from abuse. But the Farm Bill Conference Committee has agreed to drop the seriously-flawed idea.

On its website, the World Society for Protection of Animals posted a statement by Anne Lieberman –
Executive Director, WSPA USA

If included, the King Amendment would have lowered standards for agriculture production and weakened current state-based laws (like in California, whose laws allow certain animals to move freely and extend their limbs while confined). This would have had serious negative consequences for the welfare of millions of farm animals and for consumers.

The Humane Society of the US also praised another key provision in the latest version of the Farm Bill:

The compromise bill includes a provision making it a federal crime to attend or bring a child under the age of 16 to an animal fighting event, based on the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, which will fortify the federal law against organized and barbaric dogfighting and cockfighting rings.

So good news here. This is another huge setback for Steve King, who has expressed opposition to prohibiting kids from attending animal fighting events. Yes, I know; it’s unbelievable. How could anyone think it’s okay to bring kids to a dog or cock fight. The man serious needs a visit from Dickens’ Three Ghost.

The US House could vote on the revised bill on Wednesday. Stay tuned.

Kathy Kangas of the HSUS wrote an editorial for the Huffington Post on Jan. 24, concerning the evil King Amendment.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is celebrating King’s defeat and offered the following as part of their statement:

With today’s news, the recent renewal of the ban on horse slaughter inspection, and last week’s tabling of New Hampshire’s Ag-Gag bill, it looks like 2014 is off to a great legislative start so far!

And back on Jan. 23, the LA Times offered its take, under the great headline: “Iowa Rep. Steve King lays an egg on the Farm Bill.”

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HSUS board member reviews 2013

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A view of the year 2013 for the Humane Society of the US, written by board member Cathy Kangas, was publish Tuesday on the Huffington Post website.

While the list Kangas features contains a number of important facts, some of the information really deserves highlights.

The public also became aware of the American Kennel Club’s ties with the puppy mill industry.

The HSUS also successfully advocated for passage of amendments to the House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations bills to defund horse slaughter inspections, which if retained in the final FY 2014 spending bill, will restore the ban on horse slaughter in the U.S.

The HSUS won a big victory in securing an amendment to the farm bill that makes it a federal crime to attend an animal fight.

Let’s hope we see a huge range of success in the area of animal welfare in 2014.

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How does an anti-dog fighting bill stall in the US House?

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The current Farm Bill contains a provision to criminalize attending an animal-fighting event – at the federal level. And a StarGazette.com article notes:

Spectators would face additional charges if they brought a minor to witness the fight.

How both of these activities are not already federal crimes – serious federal crimes – is beyond unbelievable. But the article also reminds readers that last year’s Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act somehow stalled in the US House.

It’s good that the Farm Bill contains the provisions. But on the down side, the penalties are way too soft. Attending an animal fight could lead to a year in prison and a fine. Bringing a minor to a animal fight could lead to three years in prison. In both cases, the offenders will most likely spend far less time behind bars.

But overall, how is it that there is a debate going on about punishing people who take part in animal-fighting rings and how is it that politicians are dragging their feet on punishing people who bring kids to dog fights?


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Proposed amendment to the recent Farm Bill was set to strip protections for animals

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US Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) is an anti-animal welfare as they come. His latest effort – the so-called King Amendment to the latest Farm Bill – was set to do several things, such overturning the ban on gestation crates for pigs.

An Examiner.com article included the following:

According to the Olympian, it would effectively force states to authorize the sale and consumption of agricultural products, regardless of how unethical, environmentally destructive, or dangerous they may be.

And the article noted the amendment might have nullified “important state laws that prevent animal cruelty” and reported “King has voted in favor of killing American bison in Yellowstone National Park, killing horses for human consumption, and trophy killing of polar bears, despite their endangered status.”

But thankfully, the King Amendment went down in flames.

On Wayne Pacelle’s blog on the HSUS website, he stated the King Amendment “would have repealed dozens of state laws on animal protection.”

And Pacelle had more good news:

… the Senate Appropriations Committee approved by voice vote an amendment, offered by Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to bar the U.S. Department of Agriculture inspections at horse slaughter plants in the United States. This comes just a week after the House approved an identical amendment by Reps. Jim Moran, D-Va., and Bill Young, R-Fla., to do the same thing.


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