Update on the Farm Bill & the "Pet Theft" Amendment from LCA & AWI

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

Here’s the latest on the 2007 Farm Bill and the attached Pet Safety & Protection Act (PSPA) amendment from Last Chance for Animals and the Animal Welfare Institute. The alerts are somewhat similar, but I’m crossposting both for the heckufit.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Cathy Liss, Director Government and Legal Affairs – ealert [at] awionline.org
Date: Dec 14, 2007 10:40 AM
Subject: AWI eALERT: U.S. Congress Gives Pet Safety and Protection Act a Green Light

If you have trouble reading this e-mail, go to http://www.awionline.org/legislation/eAlerts/121007.htm

U.S. Congress Gives Pet Safety and Protection Act a Green Light
Contact Your Legislators NOW!

December 14, 2007

Dear Humanitarian:

Our companion animals may soon be safe from thieves who make easy money by obtaining them illegally, then selling them for experimentation. The U.S. Congress is poised to adopt the Pet Safety and Protection Act (PSPA), also known as “Buck’s Bill.” The legislation is named after Buck, pictured at left, a dog who was rescued from notorious animal dealer C.C. Baird – the subject of the HBO special “Dealing Dogs.” Sadly, because of a lack of much needed veterinary care, Buck died. Though he was rescued, he could not survive the ravages previously inflicted by heartworms.

Buck’s Bill would prevent Class B dealers and unlicensed individuals from selling “random source” dogs and cats to laboratories. As we enter what we hope is the home stretch, we need your help to ensure success.

The House of Representatives passed the PSPA in July as part of the FARM Bill, and it has already been accepted as an amendment to the Senate FARM Bill. We anticipate passage of the Senate version of the FARM Bill today or next week. Next, House and Senate Agriculture Committee Members will go to conference to iron out any differences in the language of their respective bills. This final stage of the process is expected to take place in mid-January 2008.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Anti-animal welfare members on the conference committee may seek to eliminate or weaken the PSPA. It is essential that all conferees be encouraged to support the House version in the FARM bill, as the Senate version includes a 5-year phase-in period, as well as potentially problematic ambiguous language.

Please contact as many conferees as you can, making those who represent your district or state a priority. (A list of conferees and their phone and fax numbers and mailing addresses can be found by clicking here: HouseSenate.)

(More below the fold…)

AWI eAlert: Our Holiday Wish List to Congress

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: AWI eAlert – ealert [at] awionline.org
Date: Dec 2, 2007 7:15 PM
Subject: AWI eAlert: Our Holiday Wish List to Congress

Our Holiday Wish List to Congress

* Enact Legislation Ending Horse Slaughter
* Protect Companion Animals from Theft for Lab Use

As your Representative and Senators wrap up the first session of the 110th Congress, several animal protection issues remain unresolved. But there is still time for our elected representatives to act NOW and your calls are needed to remind them that the American public expects action on these very important issues before they return home for the holidays.

(More below the fold…)

AWI eAlert: Illegal Whale Hunt Requires Independent Investigation

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: AWI eAlert – ealert [at] awionline.org
Date: Oct 12, 2007 3:50 PM
Subject: AWI eAlert: Illegal Whale Hunt Requires Independent Investigation

Animal Welfare Institute

Illegal Whale Hunt Requires Independent Investigation

October 12, 2007

Last month, five members of the Makah tribe illegally attacked a gray whale in the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Washington State. Piercing the whale with five to 10 harpoons and firing up to 21 bullets, the Makah whalers violated multiple federal laws. Some 10 excruciating hours later, the whale died and sank into the depths of the ocean. Nicknamed “Kelpie” by local residents, the whale had a habit of playing in kelp forests and frequently surfaced covered with kelp. Kelpie provided countless hours of enjoyment to those who reside and enjoy recreational activities in the area.

The Makah Tribal Council and its whaling commission have said that they knew nothing about the illegal whale hunt. Yet, the tribe’s chairman has said that the perpetrators of this crime had been talking about the hunt days before it occurred, and the head of the tribe’s whaling commission approved access to the high-caliber weapon used to shoot the whale. In addition, two of the men who participated in the hunt were whaling commission members. Makah leaders have stated several times that those involved in the illegal hunt will be prosecuted in tribal court, but not a single charge has been filed, to date.

Though the Makah tribe has repeatedly referred to its cultural connection to whales to justify its desire to whale, the tribe does not have a legitimate subsistence need to whale and, therefore, can’t satisfy either U.S. or international legal standards to engage in aboriginal subsistence whaling. Whaling for only cultural reasons is not permitted.

Those responsible for the illegal hunt violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Whaling Convention Act, and a host of other federal laws, including the maritime laws administered by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and laws protecting public health and safety. The federal government, under the direction of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), is investigating and the U.S. Attorney recently announced that a federal grand jury had indicted the five whalers on three federal misdemeanor charges. Considering the ongoing efforts by NMFS to facilitate the Makah’s desire to whale and the appointment by NMFS of a Makah tribal member – John Haupt – as its lead investigator, the results of any NMFS investigation is highly questionable.

Please help us press the U.S. Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington to call for an independent investigation of this illegal whaling incident and to push for the prosecution of the whalers to the fullest extent for violating federal laws. Please send an e-mail (see sample e-mail below) or call them to insist that an independent investigation by the FBI or other non-partisan agency is essential because NMFS has an obvious conflict of interest and can’t both support Makah whaling and investigate an incident of illegal whaling by Makah tribal members. Please make calls and send e-mails as soon as possible, as an independent investigation must be initiated soonest before memories fade and potential evidence disappears.

(More below the fold…)

easyVegan Link Dump Sanctuary, 08-17-07

Friday, August 17th, 2007

Action Alerts

American Freedom Campaign: Encourage the presidential candidates to sign the American Freedom Pledge
I pledge to fight to protect and defend the Constitution from assault by any President.

Animal Welfare Institute (AWI): Pro-Animal Bills Pending in U.S. Congress: Please Visit Your Legislators
Pet Safety Protection Act, American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act & Dog Fighting Prohibition Act

Consumer’s Union: Don’t lick Elmo!
Urge your members of Congress to ensure that the products and food that end up on our shelves are safe.

Earthjustice: Stop the Owl Extinction Plan: Political Interference Puts Birds, Forests, and Science At Risk
Please take action to tell the Fish and Wildlife Service by August 24 not to bow to the timber industry while our nation’s forests, rivers, and wildlife pay the price.

Ecological Internet / Climate Ark: Jet-Setting Leonardo DiCaprio the Convenient Environmentalist
Growth in aviation threatens the Planet, celebrities flying in private jets are no friend to the environment, and shared climate sacrifice means the super-rich must swear off jet-setting ways.

(More below the fold…)