May 22, 2019

Breaking News on Agriculture Appropriations Bill

We just received good news for animals from Capitol Hill! The House bill to fund the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was released today, and it contains the following provisions representing huge gains for dogs in puppy mills, domestic horses, and animals threatened with violence by abusive domestic partners.

As currently drafted, the bill:

  • Mandates that USDA repost all Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and Horse Protection Act (HPA) inspection and enforcement reports that were formerly available on its website, and post new reports going forward.
  • Prohibits funding for USDA to inspect horse meat for human consumption—meaning that horse slaughterhouses in the U.S. effectively cannot reopen.
  • Boosts funding of the HPA, giving USDA more funds to enforce this law aimed at preventing the cruel practice of “soring,” the use of painful chemicals and devices to inflict pain in horses to compel an exaggerated, high-stepping gait.
  • Includes new funding to implement the PAWS Act, providing grants to help domestic violence victims and their at-risk pets.

We are grateful to Agriculture Appropriations subcommittee Chairman Sanford Bishop (D-GA), whose leadership helped secure these important wins for animals. We will provide a more detailed update soon! In the meantime, please join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade and start easily communicating with your legislators—we need your voice to help pass animal-friendly laws (and budgets!).