Saturday, July 4, 2015

Good news,bad news for animals on Capitol Hill

Animal welfare advocates today are celebrating the defeat of the massive Farm Bill.

Good news,bad news for animals on Capitol Hill


Animal welfare advocates today are celebrating the defeat of the massive Farm Bill.

Buried deep in the $940-billion bill, was an amendment that they say would have obliterated state laws protecting production farm animals.

The King amendment (sponsored by anti-animal protection Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa) would nullify state laws involving animals, among them efforts to provide more humane housing for hens and pigs.

Michael Markarian, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, explained without a federal ban on the sale of horse meat, every state would have to allow it.

He said such a federal law could extend its authority to puppy mills - including threatening Pennsylvania's landmark puppy mill statute.

As Markarian put it: "The King amendment basically says you can’t have state laws, but we don’t want federal laws either."

Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, says the House failed to allow debate on other positive amendments for animals such as language to ban horse slaughter and so-called "soring" of show horses.

The Farm Bill did included a provision to upgrade the federal animal fighting statute, making it a crime to attend or bring a child to a dogfight or cockfight.

The good news - advocates say - over in the Senate the Appropriations Committee approved 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.

 But it's not over yet. One way or another Congress will need to approve a Farm Bill. The question is, whether the concerns of animal lovers will be heard.

Inquirer Staff Writer
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

Amy Worden Inquirer Staff Writer
Latest Videos:
Also on
letter icon Newsletter