Animal Protection Poised for Big Wins in New Congress
WASHINGTON — Congressmen Vern Buchanan and Earl Blumenauer, co-chairs of the Animal Protection Caucus, today outlined their legislative agenda for the 116th Congress. Priorities include passing legislation like the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, which makes it easier to prosecute individuals involved in the gruesome torture and killing of animals. Introduced in January, the PACT Act has already garnered momentum and drawn national attention, reaching over a million Americans.
Buchanan received an “A” rating from the Humane Society for his leadership and votes in 2018. He is also a past recipient of the Humane Society’s “Legislator of the Year” award. He recently opposed the Interior Department’s announcement that it would move to delist the gray wolf from the Endangered Species protection.
By Congressmen Vern Buchanan and Earl Blumenauer
April 8, 2019
While there are many issues that divide Democrats and Republicans, one that strongly unites us is protecting helpless animals from severe cruelty and torture.
Animal protection is a cause that enjoys broad support from Americans of all political affiliations. From Sarasota, Florida to Portland, Oregon, animal lovers have something to be excited about as the 2019-20 session of Congress is shaping up to be a productive time for animal welfare and wildlife conservation efforts.
We will build upon the success of the last Congress, which passed legislation to end dog fighting in U.S. territories, banned the slaughter of dogs and cats for human consumption and helped survivors of domestic violence keep their pets. This session, the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus has an even more ambitious agenda.
With more than 130 members of Congress, our caucus is committed to passing legislation that combats animal cruelty, ends painful experimentation on animals and permanently bans the slaughter of American horses for human consumption.
We ask our colleagues in Congress to join us – and millions of Americans – in supporting the following bipartisan reforms:
Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act (H.R. 724/S.479)
While federal penalties exist for creating videos of animals being tortured, there are currently no penalties for the acts of abuse themselves. The PACT Act would strengthen federal law and prohibit extreme acts of animal cruelty in interstate or foreign commerce, video recording or not. This sweeping legislation would create the first nationwide animal cruelty bill, empowering federal prosecutors to go after people who abuse animals.
The Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act (H.R. 737)
The global demand for shark fins has decimated shark populations, with certain species on the brink of extinction. While the U.S. has a ban on shark finning itself, Congress can strengthen it with the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act, which outlaws the possession, sale and trade of shark fins. They are harvested by slicing off the fins of live sharks and throwing the mutilated animals back into the ocean to die.