Bob Dole, Bob Kerrey Call on Congress to Embrace Animal Welfare Agenda

By on June 2, 2015 with 12 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

I am so pleased to announce today that two sons of the Midwest, both respected former U.S. senators and decorated veterans who sacrificed for their country, have joined The HSUS as Special Advisors: Kansas Republican Bob Dole and Nebraska Democrat Bob Kerrey.

Sen. Bob Dole with his dog, Leader.

Sen. Bob Dole with his dog, Leader.

Both men, so well known for their public service to people, have time and again shown their big hearts for animals, and it’s an honor for us to have them involved with us as volunteers. As long-time lawmakers, with Sen. Kerrey also having served as governor of his state prior to moving to the U.S. Senate, they both understand the importance of pushing reforms ahead, even if progress is slow and halting. They also understand the value of building a big tent for the animal protection movement. Like us, Sens. Dole and Kerrey recognize that so many people of conscience — whether vegetarians or cattle farmers, lawyers or truck drivers, horse show enthusiasts or birdwatchers – have a role to play in making our world better for animals.

Sen. Bob Kerrey

Sen. Bob Kerrey

Both Sens. Dole and Kerrey were deeply troubled when they read Michael Moss’s investigative report, published in January in The New York Times, about ghoulish experiments on farm animals and the misuse of tax dollars at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in western Nebraska. For Sen. Kerrey, it hurt him to see this kind of mistreatment in a state he loves so much. And for Sen. Dole, it struck a nerve in a profound way because, during his long career in the House and Senate, he made animal welfare a signature issue. He was the co-author of the 1985 amendments to the Animal Welfare Act, and he’s long objected to the idea of excluding farm animals from the protections of federal law. He was also the key architect of the 1978 amendments to the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, which requires that livestock be rendered insensible to pain prior to slaughter.

Today, we placed an ad in Politico, a newspaper that covers Congress and the executive agencies, announcing the new role of Sens. Dole and Kerrey as Special Advisors to The HSUS. The ad highlights their request that Congress adopt key elements of our federal legislative agenda, including significant reform of the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center.

In particular, they call upon Congress to enact the following reforms, which all enjoy bipartisan support:

  • The Prevent Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act (H.R. 2293) will complement the federal laws on animal fighting and crush videos by prohibiting extreme animal abuse involving interstate commerce or on federal property.
  • The Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act (S. 1121) will end the cruel practice of soring, in which unscrupulous trainers inflict pain on the feet and legs of Tennessee Walking Horses to force them into an unnatural gait.
  • The Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act (H.R. 1258) will amend the Violence Against Women Act to include protections for pets, and provide grants to domestic violence shelters to accommodate pets, so that abused women aren’t forced to choose between their safety and their pets.
  • The Animal Welfare in Agricultural Research Endeavors (AWARE) Act (H.R. 746/S. 388) will close the loophole in the Animal Welfare Act that exempts animals used in agricultural experiments at federally run facilities from the Act’s basic protections.
  • The Humane Cosmetics Act will phase out both the use of live animals in cosmetics testing and the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals – following the lead of more than 30 other countries.

We are glad to have Sens. Dole and Kerrey as champions, and we thank them for their passion for animal protection. We hope that lawmakers from both political parties heed their plea to pass these commonsense reforms and to swiftly eliminate unacceptable animal welfare problems in our society.

Animal Rescue and Care, Animal Research and Testing, Companion Animals, Equine, Farm Animals

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  1. Suzana Megles says:

    I always admired former Senator Bob Dole and voted for him when he was running for president. He would have been the compassionate president I am still waiting for.

    • Debbie Spear says:

      Suzana Megles — you just had to make a political jab at our president who has shown more compassion and done more for those less fortunate during his presidency. This is an article praising the efforts of two men of different political parties coming together to help animals. Bless them both for their good work.

  2. Diana Wierzchos says:

    Thank you for directing the law in a positive way. Animals need a lot more rights that protect them from being over-abused under current laws. Please help include all animals such as rabbits, chickens, and birds in all animal protection laws.

  3. Annoula Wylderich says:

    So overwhelmingly encouraging to see key influencers joining the ranks.

  4. maxine luker says:

    there is a big difference in animal welfare and animal activists pretending to be supporting animal welfare to people who don’t know the difference

  5. Doreen Dupont says:

    This is great news.

  6. Sally Anne Hubbard says:

    I am so happy to hear what these two wonderful and caring men are doing to help relieve animal suffering.

  7. Jo Ardell says:

    Animals deserve to not have to be forced to suffer, and/or to have to live their lives in misery. They deserve
    to be treated with respect, kindness, and compassion, and not just “things” to ‘use’, and make money off from.
    Animals are sentient, they feel pain, and they do not deserve to be beaten, tortured, deprived of a life that is natural for them. People need to have compassion and care for Animals, All Animals. They were not put here to abuse, or to be slaves, to humans.

  8. Jo Ardell says:

    I would like a total ban on the use and sale, of steel-jaw
    leg-hold traps, and body-gripping traps in America.
    Wolves and All Wildlife deserve to live free from these
    evil devices which cause so much suffering. All traps, and
    trapping should be illegal. Companion Animals fall victim
    to these cruel devices, as well. No Animal should have to
    suffer in these cruel and outdated devices of pain. This
    country can be better than this.

  9. Eileen Goodman says:

    This is fine,…but why does this common sense decency have to take so long? These poor animals have to suffer every day! Why doesn’t Obama speak up against all forms of animal cruelty?!

  10. Andrea says:

    Does anyone have an update on the status of the Bills referenced above?

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