With The Humane Society of the United States, you not only get a passion and determination for the idea of protecting animals, but a long list of tangible achievements—benefiting all animals at risk of pain and suffering. The results that rolled in this week are a striking reminder of what your support allows us to do.
On Monday, the California Assembly gave final approval to a bill, sending it off to the governor, to stop the sale of eggs from battery cages in the state, with the measure taking effect at the same time Proposition 2 does. In November 2008, California voters approved the initiative to halt the confinement of laying hens, breeding sows, and calves in small cages and crates, with the measure to take effect in January 2015. A.B. 1437, authored by Assemblyman Jared Huffman, would prohibit the sale of eggs from battery cages operations, which spawn animal cruelty and unsafe eggs. In the coming days, we’ll be asking all California members to contact Governor Schwarzenegger to ask him to sign A.B. 1437.
The HSUS participated in a raid on Monday, with a special southern California task force, to uncover an alleged cockfighting operation, with 1200 birds confiscated—just the latest of the raids we’ve helped to execute. In New York, we helped secure Senate passage of a bill to upgrade penalties against spectators at an animal fighting operation.
On the other side of the continent on Wednesday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in a unanimous 7-0 vote outlawed the barbaric practice of fox penning, in which foxes and coyotes are released in fenced enclosures and chased and often torn apart by dogs. There are no firearms used in this form of “hunting,” and it amounts to a novel and vicious form of animal fighting. HSUS has long campaigned against fox pens, and this is an enormous victory—the latest of our efforts and the efforts of others to eradicate this activity. We are grateful to Commission Chairman Rodney Barreto for his outstanding leadership on this issue.
And also on Wednesday in the U.S. Congress, the House Judiciary Committee, by a 23-0 vote, approved H.R. 5566 to outlaw interstate and foreign commerce in obscene and cruel animal crushing videos. If you remember, in April, the U.S. Supreme Court declared a federal law against crush videos invalid and an infringement on free speech. We worked with our allies in Congress, and this legislation is on the move, and has enormous bipartisan support, thanks to the great work of Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Calif., and Rep. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and outstanding committee leadership.
Caring about animals is not enough. We must stop the cruelty, and that’s exactly what we are doing in a methodical and strategic way. The actions of this week, not yet complete, reveal what you get for your investment and should give you hope about the possibilities ahead.