Advocacy Alert

USA: Reject Dangerous Amendments & Support Animal-Protection Measures in the 2018 Farm Bill

USA: Reject Dangerous Amendments & Support Animal-Protection Measures in the 2018 Farm Bill

As Congress finalizes the Farm Bill, it will have the opportunity to embrace important animal welfare provisions and reject harmful amendments that would roll back protections for animals.

The Senate’s Farm Bill contains the Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act, vital legislation that will protect victims of domestic violence and their pets by making crossing state lines to injure a pet a federal offense. The bill, authored by Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Dean Heller (R-NV), will also allow victims to recover veterinary costs and establish grants to help house victims and their at-risk pets. The protections offered in the PAWS Act will help victims of domestic violence and their pets escape abusive environments and seek the safety and shelter they need.

Meanwhile, the House’s bill contains the Parity in Animal Cruelty Enforcement (PACE) Act, added via an amendment offered by Reps. Peter Roskam (R-IL), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), John Faso (R-NY) and Steve Knight (R-CA), which seeks to end cockfighting in U.S. territories by closing loopholes that prevent the federal prohibition of this heinous crime. The House bill also contains a strong prohibition on the consumption of dog and cat meat to ensure our nation’s pets don’t fall victim to a cruel and abhorrent practice.

While the inclusion of the PAWS and PACE Acts is great news for animals, it’s also important that Congress reject the King Provision, or the so-called “Protect Interstate Commerce Act.” This provision, included in the House version of the Farm Bill, seeks to strip states and localities of their ability to pass and enforce laws regarding the production of any “agricultural products”—a term so broad that it includes not only farm animals like cows and pigs, but also potentially dogs in puppy mills.

The Farm Bill must also protect the ability of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) to make recommendations, such as animal welfare improvements, for our nation’s organic farms. Consumers expect higher welfare for animals raised under the USDA Organic label, and the NOSB has consistently recommended changes to meet these expectations. However, Big Ag has been floating proposals to take over this board, curtail its power, and halt any progress for higher animal welfare. 


 

What You Can Do

Your voice is critical to ensuring that the language in the Farm Bill reflects humane values, so please speak up today!

Please use the email below to contact your member of Congress and ask them to support the PAWS and PACE Acts and oppose the King Provision and any changes to the National Organic Standards Board. Don’t forget to customize the message below and tell your legislator why protecting animals is important to you!

If you’re willing to take your advocacy a step further, please email us at grassroots@aspca.org to take a more active role in ensuring that the Farm Bill protects animal welfare. Be sure to include your name and mailing address in the body of the email!