U.S. Senate Committee Advances Wins for Animals in Federal Spending Bill

August 6, 2021

dogs in a kennel

This week, the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations advanced provisions to protect animals in the Agriculture Appropriations bill—a huge annual bill that funds the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other federal agencies. This bill outlines protective measures that could benefit dogs in puppy mills, horses and farmed animals.

The Senate Agriculture Appropriations bill continues to fund important federal activity that protects animals—such as the enforcement of the Horse Protection Act, the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act and the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Importantly, the bill includes the provision that prohibits the operation of horse slaughterhouses in the United States—a provision the ASPCA and animal advocates must fight for every year. Until Congress passes the SAFE Act and permanently ensures that no American horses meet this cruel fate in the U.S. or abroad—we must fight to retain this defunding measure in annual federal spending bills.

The report accompanying the bill acknowledges that the USDA is failing to protect dogs and other animals confined in AWA-regulated facilities like puppy mills, zoos and animal laboratories. The report directs the USDA to reform its Animal Care program and start enforcing the law. The ASPCA has been urging the USDA to do its job to protect animals, and we appreciate that Congress is paying attention to this important issue. You can help deliver this message to the USDA by signing our petition to President Biden.

We would like to thank Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and John Hoeven (R-ND) for including these provisions in their spending bill as well as Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Richard Shelby (R-AL) for advancing the bill. If you would like to stay updated and learn more about how you can advocate for more federal animal protections, please join our Regional Advocacy Field Team!