I have some encouraging news to report: the U.S. House of Representatives this afternoon defeated the Farm Bill with the King amendment by a vote of 198 to 213. Rep. Steve King’s amendment could eliminate hundreds, if not thousands, of state and local laws protecting animals, children, workers, consumers and the environment, but its primary goal is to undermine our historic California egg law, which requires that shell eggs sold in the state come from hens who are not cruelly confined.
We owe a debt of thanks to all of our supporters who called their lawmakers and urged them to vote no on the Farm Bill in this objectionable version. I am also happy to report that an amendment to strengthen the federal animal fighting law passed by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 359 to 51. This amendment clarifies that federal prohibitions against dogfighting and cockfighting activity affecting interstate or foreign commerce apply to all U.S. jurisdictions, including U.S. territories.
Unfortunately, another amendment we supported, which would have required transparency and accountability in commodity checkoff programs and prevented checkoff dollars from being used to lobby against animal welfare reforms and family farmers, was withdrawn. But its very filing drew attention to this important issue, and we’ll continue to fight that battle through every means available.
Note: We’re not out of the woods yet, and we need your continued engagement. As the House works to reshape the Farm Bill in order to garner enough votes for its passage, we want to urge legislators to remove King’s federal power grab, retain the animal fighting provision, and preserve a great amendment by Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., adopted in committee, which bans the slaughter, trade, import and export of dogs and cats for human consumption. Let’s celebrate the news today, while keeping up the pressure on Congress to ensure that the next version of the Farm Bill reflects the American public’s support for animal protection.