I am heading over to the state Capitol in Sacramento to testify on legislation to strengthen California’s protection of downed animals. This bill, A.B. 2098 by Assemblyman Paul Krekorian, comes in response to the HSUS investigation of the Hallmark/Westland Meat Co. in Chino for its tormenting of "spent" dairy cows who were too crippled or weak to walk. We are optimistic that we’ll get this legislation passed, given that The HSUS and even some industry players are pushing for reforms. I am pleased that the San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos, who brought charges against two slaughterhouse workers thus far, is personally trekking to the Capitol to express his support for the legislation.
© Long Photography
With Hayden Panettiere.
I flew up last night from Los Angeles, where we this weekend hosted the 22nd annual Genesis Awards. The Genesis Awards is put together by our Hollywood Office, and it honors the media and entertainment industry for incorporating animal protection themes in their work. It was a poignant yet uplifting event—one that spotlights some awful human behavior, but also celebrates people who are doing something about it.
Writers, reporters, directors, and producers showed up to receive awards, including Anderson Cooper for CNN’s documentary series "Planet in Peril." CBS News racked up a range of wins for its news programming with "60 Minutes," "Sunday Morning," and "CBS Evening News with Katie Couric" all claiming top honors in their categories. The feature film of the year, in a highly competitive category, was "Year of the Dog," featuring Molly Shannon. Also recognized were documentary films, TV comedy and drama series, magazine and newspaper features, and local and international news coverage.
The second-ever recipient of The Wyler Award, which honors a celebrity who has raised awareness of animal issues, was actress and animal advocate Hayden Panettiere for her on-the-ground work to expose Japan’s slaughter of dolphins. Hayden was visibly moved by the honor, and the crowd recognized her with a standing ovation.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who recently signed a landmark city ordinance promoting spaying and neutering, also appeared at the ceremony and greeted guests.
At The HSUS, we work to confront cruelty, but we also celebrate animals and the people who advocate for them. The Genesis Awards showcases both themes, and it’s a program I’m particularly proud of. We’ve posted a complete list of this year’s winners, along with photos from the event, on our website. Take a look when you have a chance.