Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan Wins “A” Plus From U.S. Humane Society

Feb 18, 2016
Press Release
Tops in Congress on Protecting Wildlife and Stopping Animal Cruelty

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL, earned the highest grade in Congress from the U.S. Humane Society for his record protecting wildlife and preventing animal cruelty, according to the group’s newly released 2015 legislative scorecard.

Buchanan was the only Republican in the U.S. House or Senate to earn a score of 100-plus. He was also honored as a Legislative Leader, an award given to members of Congress that have introduced important animal protection bills.

“Congressman Buchanan has been a leading advocate for animal protection in Congress, preventing animal cruelty and protecting endangered species,” said Michael Markarian, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

Last year, Buchanan introduced bipartisan legislation that permanently bans the transport of horses to slaughterhouses in Mexico to be sold as a delicacy around the world. He also co-sponsored legislation to tighten animal cruelty laws and ban painful cosmetics testing on dogs, rabbits and other animals.

Buchanan said it was a tremendous honor to be recognized by the group. “Stopping animal cruelty and safeguarding threatened wildlife should be a bipartisan issue important to all of us.”

Buchanan is also a leader in animal welfare issues unique to Florida. Earlier this year he urged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to withdraw its decision to weaken protections for the manatee under the Endangered Species Act. He also called on the Obama Administration to help designate a critical habitat for the endangered panther, Florida’s state animal.

“We applaud Congressman Buchanan’s work to celebrate the human-animal bond, protect pets from malicious cruelty and stop abusive practices such as horse slaughter,” Markarian said.

The list of issues highlighted in the group’s scorecard includes:

  • Introduced Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, H.R. 1942 – permanently bans the shipment of horses to slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada for overseas export to countries like Japan where horse meat is considered a delicacy.
  • Co-Sponsored Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 3268 – prevents the practice of deliberately and permanently maiming a horse’s foot, ankle or leg in order to make them perform better at horse shows and competitions.
  • Co-Sponsored Humane Cosmetics Act, H.R. 2858 – ends the use of painful experimental testing on dogs, rabbits and other animals in the cosmetics industry.
  • Co-Sponsored Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, H.R. 2293 – makes it easier to prosecute individuals involved in the gruesome killing of animals to film and distribute so-called “animal crush videos.”
  • Co-Sponsored Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act, H.R. 1258 – makes it easier for women to bring their pets with them to domestic violence shelters when they leave abusive relationships. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence 71% of pet-owning women entering these shelters reported that their abuser had threatened to injure or kill their pets.
  • Voted To Protect Endangered Elephants – supported legislation to crack down on the illegal global ivory trade that results in the slaughter of 35,000 African elephants a year. The African elephant is headed toward extinction within the next two decades, according to wildlife officials.