Breaking news: Farm Bill clears Congress; House votes to protect pets from domestic violence, outlaw dog meat and prevent animal fighting in U.S. territories

By on December 12, 2018 with 12 Comments

The U.S. House has just passed the Farm Bill, and we’re celebrating great wins for animals.

Most importantly, the bill does not contain the reckless King amendment, which could have nullified state and local laws that address, among other issues, prohibiting horse slaughter for food, the extreme confinement of farm animals, shark finning and puppy mills.

The bill does contain crucial animal protection provisions that we worked hard to enact. It bans domestic slaughter, trade and import/export of dogs and cats for human consumption, preventing this trade from ever taking hold here and giving our country greater standing to end it worldwide. It extends federal domestic violence protections to include pets at risk and authorizes grants to help domestic violence shelters accommodate pets or arrange for pet shelter.

Finally, it makes clear that federal prohibitions on dogfighting and cockfighting activity apply consistently across all U.S. jurisdictions, including the U.S. territories and the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, where cockfighting has long been popular and openly displayed in large arenas.

The Senate voted to pass the Farm Bill 87 to 13 yesterday, but the battle was tougher in the House, making today’s actions more significant. In the end, the bill passed the House overwhelmingly by a vote of 369 to 47. It now heads to the president’s desk for his signature, and we urge him to swiftly sign it into law.

Kudos to our colleagues at the Humane Society Legislative Fund who have been working for years to fight the King amendment and secure the specific gains that were included in the bill. That amendment from Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, if included, would have undermined the work that states and localities do to protect their citizens by legislating in a broad range of policy areas, including food safety, child labor, opioids, pesticide exposure, fire-safe cigarettes, manure management and handling of diseased livestock. This is also a victory for HSUS staff who have worked hand in hand to build broad opposition to King’s egregious overreach that jeopardized so many of our state and local accomplishments.

This is also a victory for our work to end animal cruelty in all its forms, including dogfighting and cockfighting, and for our Humane Society International staff who are working to end dog and cat meat consumption around the world.

I’m personally heartened by this because I have spent a lot of time and energy to support our dog meat campaign, which has won worldwide attention and put Humane Society International at the center of efforts to stop the trade. And while the dog and cat meat trade is already outlawed by some states, a federal ban clarifies our country’s moral stand, helping our efforts to make a strong case when we press for reform in countries like China, South Korea and other countries where dog and cat meat are still eaten.

Finally, the Farm Bill acknowledges the case we have been making for a long while, that the nation should extend federal domestic violence protections to include pets, who are frequently among its victims.

We applaud members of Congress who worked to get these pro-animal measures into the bill, and saw them through to victory, as well as to ensure the King amendment was jettisoned. And we are grateful, as always, to all of you who called in and wrote to your federal lawmakers, asking them to vote for this bill.

Let’s celebrate this important win for animals today.

HSUS asks feds to investigate Pilgrim’s Pride’s misleading claims about its chickens

By on December 12, 2018 with 2 Comments
HSUS asks feds to investigate Pilgrim’s Pride’s misleading claims about its chickens

Today, the Humane Society of the United States asked the Federal Trade Commission, the government agency charged with protecting consumers, to investigate allegedly deceptive marketing claims made by Pilgrim’s Pride, the second largest chicken producer in the United States, which wrongly leads consumers to believe . . . 

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Breaking news: Senate approves Farm Bill minus King amendment; includes major wins for animals

By on December 11, 2018 with 6 Comments
Breaking news: Senate approves Farm Bill minus King amendment; includes major wins for animals

Update! The U.S. Senate has just voted to approve the Farm Bill by a vote of 87 to 13. The bill did not include the dreaded King amendment that had the potential to nullify important state and local laws protecting animals, but senators approved three . . . 

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Undercover investigation exposes Petland’s treatment of sick puppies

By on December 11, 2018 with 12 Comments
Undercover investigation exposes Petland’s treatment of sick puppies

A dead puppy in the freezer. Puppies with hacking coughs and runny noses. Sick puppies confined to isolation. Overcrowded cages. These are just a few of the shocking details our undercover investigators found at two different Petland, Inc. pet stores last fall. It’s been 10 . . . 

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HSI rescuers battle natural and man-made disasters to help animals around the world

By on December 10, 2018 with 1 Comment
HSI rescuers battle natural and man-made disasters to help animals around the world

Every day, Humane Society International battles incredible odds to help and rescue animals in difficult and perilous situations, in countries scattered around the globe. The organization’s expertise and dedication is in evidence many times each year, whether they are responding within hours to a flood . . . 

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Pets in the workplace: Why we let the HSUS go to the dogs

By on December 7, 2018 with 0 Comments
Pets in the workplace: Why we let the HSUS go to the dogs

One of the great benefits of working at the Humane Society of the United States is that staff members can bring their pets to our offices. For me, that means Lilly, my sidekick, can come to work with me. She loves nothing more than visiting . . . 

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HSUS, HSI and partners sue U.S. over failure to protect giraffes

By on December 6, 2018 with 3 Comments
HSUS, HSI and partners sue U.S. over failure to protect giraffes

Giraffes are in desperate need of protection. There are fewer giraffes than elephants now in the wild, and if we are to protect these gentle and beautiful animals from going extinct, we need to act fast to keep them out of the sights of trophy . . . 

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A Humane Nation’s top 10 blogs of 2018

By on December 5, 2018 with 1 Comment
A Humane Nation’s top 10 blogs of 2018

This year has seen incredible wins for animals despite a steady onslaught of Congressional threats and agency rollbacks. On the one hand, there have been attempts to roll back protections for wild animals, like native carnivores in Alaska, and attacks on the Endangered Species Act. . . . 

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Historic win in California caps a year of major progress for farm animals

By on December 4, 2018 with 1 Comment
Historic win in California caps a year of major progress for farm animals

The year 2018 was a historic one for farm animals, with California passing the strongest law against farm animal confinement in the world. We successfully campaigned to protect chickens in the meat industry—moving major US companies to adopt comprehensive welfare reforms and spotlighting those lagging . . . 

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Mission complete: President Bush’s dog Sully transitions to new role helping veterans

By on December 3, 2018 with 22 Comments
Mission complete: President Bush’s dog Sully transitions to new role helping veterans

There has been so much to move the spirit over the 48 hours since we learned of the passing of George H.W. Bush, our 41st president. I was deeply touched by “Mission Complete,” the image of Sully the dog, keeping vigil by the late president’s . . . 

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