It is time to clean up the U.S. horse racing industry by passing the federal Horseracing Integrity & Safety Act (HISA), H.R. 2012/S. 973. Introduced by Representatives Joe Pitts (R-PA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) in the House, and Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) in the Senate, this bill will ban performance-enhancing drugs in U.S. horse racing and designate the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) as the governing body to create and oversee the implementation of uniform medication rules to protect horse welfare. The Jockey Club recently acknowledged the importance of this bill and agreed that the USADA “has the experience, the knowledge and the credibility to bring much-needed integrity to our sport.”
The ASPCA is on the ground in Lansing lending our voice to the campaign to Keep Michigan’s Wolves Protected. Yesterday, Vicki Deisner, State Director of ASPCA Government Relations for the Midwest Region, helped deliver nearly 230,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office to place a measure on November’s ballot that will restore the right of citizens to have a say in wildlife decisions.
In spite of strong public opposition, in 2013 the Michigan Legislature passed a law allowing the gray wolf to be hunted for the first time in nearly 50 years. When faced with the threat of repeal via ballot measure (popular vote by citizens on Election Day), the Legislature quickly passed another law to take away voters’ right to have a say in the wildlife management matters, giving all decision-making power to a panel of political appointees whose decisions cannot be challenged by citizens.
Take Action Please join us in defense of Michigan’s wolves—visit Keep Michigan’s Wolves Protected to spread the word about the threat to wolves and to the democratic process, which has been upended by Michigan’s government.
Many of us dread filing our taxes—and understandably so. But as you navigate through complicated forms and piles of receipts, be aware that some states offer their citizens a chance to help animals at tax time. Alabama, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Oklahoma, UtahandVirginia have statewide spay/neuter programs that are funded by a voluntary income tax check-off. Contributing part of your tax return toward providing low-cost spay/neuter surgeries to needy dogs and cats is a great way to help animals in your community!
Animal advocates lobbied hard to pass the laws that created these voluntary tax check-offs, but in order for the programs to be successful and continue, taxpayers have to take advantage of the opportunity to dedicate a small portion of their tax return to spay/neuter services. If you live in one of the states listed above, click on it to find out how to contribute when you file!
Connecticut State Representative Brenda Kupchick (right) speaks at Voices for Animals Day.
When Brenda Kupchick’s son was nine years old, he begged her for a puppy. Eventually, she gave in and purchased a female beagle at a pet shop. “Over the next 12 years, that dog cost us $16,000 in vet bills,” admits Kupchick, now a Connecticut state representative. “Not only did she cost us a lot of money, but a lot of heartache, as well.”
Rep. Kupchick, along with Rep. Auden Grogins, spoke at the ASPCA’s Connecticut Voices for Animals Day in Hartford on February 21, using the forum to renew their support for a state law that would address the inhumane treatment of dogs in the commercial breeding facilities—commonly known as puppy mills—that supply animals to Connecticut pet shops.
ASPCA-sponsored lobby days like Connecticut Voices for Animals Day give animal lovers like you the chance to meet your elected officials and tell them, in person, that you support animal protection and oppose laws that would allow animals to be hurt and exploited. Of the 31 animal advocates in attendance at Connecticut Voices for Animals Day, many were lobbying for their first time. Lisa King felt the trip was “absolutely worth it.”
“I had a nice conversation with an aide to my state senator,” Lisa said. She also left behind a personal note for Senator Cathy Osten. “It’s important for them to realize that people who vote for them have these concerns.”
Stacey Doan of Protectors of Animals, Inc., Maya, a Chow Chow up for adoption, and Rep. Brenda Kupchick welcome a group of seventh and eighth graders from Cesar A. Batalla School in Bridgeport to Connecticut Voices for Animals Day.
You may have heard a lot of talk about Idaho recently, and it’s no small potatoes. Idaho’s governor, C.L. “Butch” Otter, recently signed into law a controversial anti-whistleblower “ag-gag” bill that punishes those who expose abusive conditions on factory farms. Though Governor Otter claims this law will keep agriculture producers “secure in their property,” we, and countless others concerned about the welfare of animals, are extremely concerned about the greater implications of ag-gag.
In passing this bill, Idaho became the seventh state to enact an ag-gag law. By effectively closing out journalists, investigators, and even the general public from animal production facilities, the agribusiness industry can continue to keep consumers in the dark about where their food is coming from.
We have seen countless instances of abuse on industrial farms, including the recent case of a Wisconsin dairy farm that produces cheese for the frozen pizza brand DiGiorno. Undercover footage taken by Mercy For Animals caught workers at this farm viciously kicking, stabbing, beating, and dragging cows, and the footage led to 11 charges of criminal animal cruelty. Without such footage, we may never have known of these horrors, and because of ag-gag laws, we may never learn of countless other, similar instances.