Wonderful news for horses: Earlier today, May 22, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved an anti-horse slaughter amendment to the 2015 Agriculture Appropriations bill by a vote of 18-12. The Landrieu-Graham Amendment, introduced by Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), would continue to keep would-be horse slaughterers at bay by prohibiting the use of federal tax dollars to inspect their facilities. The current ban is set to expire in September and must be renewed by Congress in order to continue to protect our nation’s horses.
“There is no place for the brutal and uncivilized practice of horse slaughter in the United States,” said Senator Landrieu. “Our nation’s values are reflected in what we choose to fund in our annual budget. Today’s bipartisan vote to defund domestic horse slaughter shows this is not a Democratic or a Republican issue—it is an issue that 80 percent of the American people agree on. Brutal slaughter is never the answer, and I will continue to push for a ban to be signed into law.”
The majority of horses killed for human consumption are young, healthy animals who could otherwise go on to lead productive lives with loving owners. What’s more, meat from American horses is unsafe for human consumption; horses are not raised as food animals, and they’re often given medications and other substances that are toxic to people.
“There is no such thing as a commercial horse slaughter plant that doesn’t inflict cruelty on horses,” says Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Government Relations. “Using taxpayer dollars to fund this abhorrent industry is irresponsible and wasteful. We are thankful to Senators Landrieu and Graham for their strong leadership in advocating to protect our nation’s revered equines.”
We thank the Senate Appropriations Committee for passing this amendment, and Senators Mary Landrieu and Lindsey Graham for their hard work and leadership on this issue.
Hey Advocates! Here at the ASPCA we work hard to make sure the strongest laws are in place to protect animals across the country—but we can’t do it without the help of our dedicated grassroots supporters like you!
Among the most powerful ways for animal advocates to help shape our laws is through lobbying legislators directly. This was especially true at last Wednesday’s “New York Voices for Animal’s Day,” when our New York advocates gathered at the State Capitol in Albany to make their voices heard on behalf of animals across the state.
“The ASPCA is fortunate to have some exceptionally effective citizen advocates,” said Bill Ketzer, ASPCA Senior State Director for the Northeast Region. “We build their skills during grassroots webinars and in-person meetings, where they can really learn the issues and build a community that amplifies our collective voice.”
Our citizen lobbyists had a busy agenda that included meeting with state assembly members, senators and legislative aides to share stories, find common ground and request support for animal-friendly bills, including bills to prohibit breed-discriminatory insurance policies, fund trap-neuter-return programs, and ensure pets are included in public transportation emergency plans in the event of natural disaster evacuations.
But it wasn’t all business. The day kicked off with a training session and breakfast hosted by advocacy experts and ASPCA Government Relations staff, followed by a special Humane Leadership Awards presentation to New York lawmakers who have exhibited particular dedication to animal protection. Even Hudson “The Railroad Puppy” made a special appearance!
We want to thank each one of our New York advocates and all of our supporters nationwide for standing beside us as we continue to fight for animals!
Our advocates include people from all backgrounds and all levels of advocacy experience, and it’s when we come together to be a unified voice for animals that enormous impact on legislation can be made. We can’t do it without you!
If you haven’t yet, join our ASPCA Advocacy Brigade today so you’ll never miss out on the next Lobby Day, grassroots training or opportunity to take action. Together, we are unstoppable!
Factory farms keep animals in cruel, unethical conditions—and naturally, the agriculture industry doesn’t want its abusive practices brought to light. That is why it’s trying to pass anti-whistleblower “ag-gag” laws that would punish anyone who tries to expose the appalling conditions many farm animals live and die in.
On Thursday, May 15, join our Farm Animal Welfare Team at 3 P.M. EDT for a live Facebook Chat to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes and how you can help.
Want a primer? View our “Factory Farming Basics” video here.
You know what they say: kindness is contagious. That’s why we love Be Kind to Animals Week, which kicks off today! Be Kind to Animals Week is celebrated every year during the first week in May, and this year marks its 99th anniversary. And while we know that you’re kind to animals all year round, this week is a great excuse to get active. Here are four ways you can show your compassion for furry friends everywhere:
Join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade: Sign up for the Advocacy Brigade to receive important alerts from the ASPCA. We’ll contact you when we need your help fighting for laws against animal cruelty.
Help Fight Puppy Mills: Most pet store puppies come from puppy mills—large, sub-standard breeding facilities. Help us put puppy mills out of business by pledging not to shop in stores that sell puppies (not even for food or toys!).
Show Your Virtual Support: Spread the word about Be Kind to Animals Week through Facebook, Twitter, or your blog! And if you haven’t already, join us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+ to keep track of breaking animal welfare news.
Volunteer: From walking dogs to fundraising, there are tons of ways you can get involved with your local animal shelter. Even if you can’t make a long-term commitment, consider lending a hand today! We can always use the help.
In honor of National Animal Advocacy Day (April 30), we’re running a special series on the blog this week to honor those individuals who dedicate their energies to standing up for animals. Meet our final profiled citizen lobbyist, Lisa King of Columbia, Connecticut.
Though a frequent donor to reputable animal causes, including the ASPCA, Lisa King had never been involved in advocacy work at the grassroots level.
“I've signed petitions to save the wolves of Michigan or the baby seals of Canada, or any other cause that could result in responsible legislation that protects any animal,” she says. “But I've never done anything where I was actually physically involved in something as worthwhile as [for example] trying to eliminate puppy mills.”
Then she learned the ASPCA was asking Connecticut residents to attend our "Voices for Animals Day" in Hartford last February, “I knew I had to be there,” she says.
Lisa, an operating room nurse at a local hospital, likens an animal’s vulnerability to that of a child's. “The term ‘Voices for Animals’ explains it perfectly,” she says. “The weak and the vulnerable need our protection.”
An avid animal lover all of her life, the 59-year-old has been an ASPCA member “for as long as I can remember,” she says. “I respect the ASPCA’s tireless efforts to help animals, and the ASPCA, in turn, is respected by the community.”
Lisa has two rescued cats, Manny and Dexter, from the same litter. “They couldn't be more unalike. I love my boys,” she says.
What she loves about advocacy work is being part of the solution, “instead of sitting back and hoping someone else does the job.”
She says she will never forget her first day at her state Capitol. “I felt as if I had truly accomplished something,” recalls Lisa, who traveled to Harford with a fellow lobbyist, met other like-minded advocates, and visited her state representative’s office. “The trip was absolutely worth it,” she adds. “It’s important for [lawmakers] to realize that the people who vote for them have these concerns. Who will speak for animals if we don't?”
She even admits, “I'm not a big fan of snakes, but I respect their place on the planet and would support legislation designed to protect them, too."
Join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade!
By joining the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, you will receive important alerts from us when we need your help to fight for laws against animal cruelty.