There’s A New Animal Protection Caucus in Town

by Mary Haight on February 20, 2009

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The 111th Congressional Animal Protection Caucus (CAPC) announced its formation yesterday, replacing the Friends of Animals Caucus of the previous Congress. 

This bipartisan caucus, co-chaired by Rep Jim Moran (D-VA) and Elton Gallegly (R-CA), is committed to taking animal welfare to the next level.  CAPC will provide fellow members of Congress with reliable information to produce common sense legislsation in line with public sentiment. 

CAPC will work with HSUS and the Humane Society Legislative Fund(HSLF), which lobbies for animal welfare legislation and works to elect those candidates with more than a passing interest in humane issues. 

Priorities include accurate fur labeling, stopping the export of horses for slaughter, tougher regulations on the internet sales of puppies, tougher laws on puppy mills.

Michael Markarian, head of HSLF, will help build concensus in Congress, as will HSUS, in favor of sound animal legislation, providing the Caucus with the benefit of  his 15 years experience in the field. 

Humane Lobby Day is an event held in 41 states across the US and is, says Markarian, an “important exercise in representative government.”  It starts this month, so check the Lobby Day link for information on your state’s date.  Travel to your state capitol, meet with like-minded people and let your representative know what strides you expect in animal welfare. 

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11 comments
Barbara Wertz
Barbara Wertz

From Wayne Pacelle: A Humane Nation, April 1, 2009 "Battling to Breed Better Laws" http://hsus.typepad.com/wayne/2009/04/puppy-mill-bills.html "....I understand when cockfighters or bear baiters attack HSUS-backed legislation, spreading their invective and outright falsehoods. They are generally not good citizens, and their ideas have long been discredited. But there is a class of commercial dog breeders out there—apparently, a good number of them who are not even high-volume puppy mills—who raise their voices loudly against any attempt to impose reasonable standards of care for dogs and limits on how large these operations can be. Since they can hardly attack the substance of the legislation—because the provisions are so obviously rational (such as giving the animals an opportunity to exercise, or not forcing them to live on wire flooring their entire lives)—they attack The HSUS, almost unable to restrain themselves. They spew knowingly false things about The HSUS wanting to ban all pet ownership. In the past, in my blog and elsewhere, I’ve addressed these prevarications, where they take one quote completely out of context from 15 or 20 years ago, and treat that fragmented comment as doctrine, even though there are decades of public statements and action on my part and that of my colleagues that unmistakably celebrate the human-animal bond and The HSUS’s vigorous support of pet keeping. Not only is pet keeping a birthright and bedrock principle of The HSUS, but we actively support responsible breeding. We always advocate that would-be pet owners go to shelters or breed rescue groups to get a life-long companion, but we ask those who do not to please follow specific guidelines in purchasing a pet from a breeder. In fact, we are about to launch an HSUS Breeders’ Advisory Group, comprised of long-time dog breeders who care about the welfare of dogs and support reasonable limits on the conduct of commercial breeders...."

Melissa Klein
Melissa Klein

OH, another point...There is a difference between "domestic animal" and "domesticated animal." I'll just bet that in this conversation, Pacelle very well could have confused those two. As, he's used the "wrong" one in conjunction with talking about livestock. No one uses "livestock" to mean pet animals. Lifestock are "domesticated" species, but not a "domestic animal" or pet. (This is more "legal" wording, as I know that many a lucky and deserving lifestock species has made someone a great "pet," as they were treated that way!) Cats and dogs are domesticated species and domestic animals. "Domestic animal" is the legal term used in many animal control laws. Typically, along with or either/or the definition which includes "companion animals" and including the list of the various species that are included under the term.

Melissa Klein
Melissa Klein

Ok, I looked it up, myself. See the entire comment and date, below. It sure seems to me that Pacelle was making this comment in the context of livestock breeding for human consumption purposes. I know that when there is a surplus of mixed breed cats and dogs to be killed at Animal Shelters, HSUS and most streetwise "pet" animal rescuers for that matter, support the ban on breeding purebreds. It's a triage approach in the killing field of "excess pets." It still exists even if the #'s are better. I am making what I think is logically speculation that his comment applied to companion animals is about taking the right steps to prevent the euthanasia of healthy, adoptable pets. Also, as this was back in '93, "people change." And, by now the stance might be different. Also, those folks you call "animal radicals" or "animal terrorists" that now work @ HSUS have changed or they would still be with an extremist group. (How many of us were "star-eyed" Democrats that spent some time as adults as conservative Republicans? Ever write an "extreme" article as a college student? This isn't much different. And, unless you have proof, it is irresponsible to accuse people of having perpetrated those illegal and violent acts, even if the org or individuals somehow affiliated with it, did them.) Of course, if you could totally stop all breeding of cows, dogs, etc., there would be none. But, come on, does anyone think (including the "animal people") that's gonna happen? It's a theoretical, ideal or moral stance. As, we can't orchestrate how this excess would be handled, we can't make some "rule" that says, "OK, I will wave my magic wand and now only this many of this breed will be bred, etc., so that there is this perfect alignment of supply and demand of pets, down to the tiniest nuance." Therefore, we go for the "sound bite" in this sound byte world. Here's the quote and date: “We have no ethical obligation to preserve the different breeds of livestock produced through selective breeding. One generation and out. We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding.” Wayne Pacelle, of Humane Society of the United States, Animal People, May, 1993.

Melissa Klein
Melissa Klein

What are the dates of these quotes attributed to those HSUS representatives?

Gail Smith
Gail Smith

To Barbara Wertz: "One generation and out. We have no problems with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding." Wayne Pacelle, CEO, HSUS "My goal is the abolition of all animal agriculture." J.P. Goodwin, Director of Grassroots Outreach with HSUS. Formerly with the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). Mr Goodwin has a lengthy arrest record and a history of promoting arson to accomplish animal liberation. Enough proof for you?

Wm. Von Dinkel
Wm. Von Dinkel

Ms. Wertz comment is hardly unfounded! YOU my dear friend, need to research this yourself! Why would we afford these so called, Humane societies a chance to hack into and destroy information offered by numerous sites on this issue? There really isn't enough space on the comments section to afford you, your request. I agree, we must look hard at all sides!

Barbara Wertz
Barbara Wertz

Judy - I find your statement that the HSUS and PETA want to eliminate all domestic animals ridiculous and unfounded. If you are going to comment in this manner, then please give us a link to some evidence supporting your point.

Judy
Judy

I would be *very* cautious about any "animal welfare" legislation supported by HSUS. Both HSUS and PETA have in the past admitted that their ultimate goal is the elimination of ALL domestic animals - including dogs and cats. They have grown more circumspect in their public statements in recent years but they have not renounced that goal. Their appeal to "public sentiment" - instead of dealing with reality and facts - allows them to collect millions of dollars from animal-loving people who have no idea of the goals to which they are contributing. (They milked millions from the public after the Michael Vick dog fighting case became public - but then insisted that the dogs all be killed. Over their objections, all but a couple of those dogs have been rehabilitated and rehomed...) Please *carefully* investigate any cause to which you contribute your financial or emotional support. Carefully read any legislation proposed in your jurisdiction and ask whether or not enforcement of *existing* laws might not solve the "problems" addressed by the new laws.

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