USA: Here’s How to Stop the King of Animal Cruelty

April 16, 2018

a young pig

Update—April 18, 2018: The House Agriculture Committee approved the King Amendment. The entire Farm Bill will soon move to consideration on the House floor.  It’s more important than ever to contact your representative to urge them to oppose this dangerous provision!

Congress begins debating the 2018 Farm Bill this week and Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is trying yet again to get his favorite anti-animal amendment, the “Protect Interstate Commerce Act,” added to the bill. Your U.S. representative needs to hear from you now!

Though its title sounds innocent, the Protect Interstate Commerce Act—widely known as the King Amendment—is an awful piece of legislation that has the potential to destroy hundreds, if not thousands, of important animal-protection laws. It would prohibit states from passing laws regulating “agricultural products”—which definitely includes farm animals, and is potentially broad enough to include other animals, like dogs from puppy mills. This is a clear overreach of federal power that would not only stop states from passing new laws, but would eliminate protections already in place, creating a disastrous race to the bottom for animal welfare. 

In fact, Rep. King and the agriculture industry want to get rid of laws like Question 3 in Massachusetts, a ballot measure that resulted in one of the most comprehensive farm animal-protection measures in the country. This law requires that eggs, pork, and veal produced and sold in Massachusetts come from farms that don’t use the cruelest confinement practices. If Congress passes the Protect Interstate Commerce Act, Question 3 and 10 state-level farm animal confinement laws like it will be in jeopardy. 

Countless other state and local animal-protection laws may also be at risk, including:

  • Laws banning the sale of cat, dog and horse meat in California, Georgia, Mississippi, and Oklahoma.
  • Laws banning the sale of foie gras and shark fins in California. 
  • Local laws banning retail pet store sales of commercially bred puppies in Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas.

We must act now and stop this attack on animal welfare in its tracks.

Defeating the King Amendment, the Protect Interstate Commerce Act, is essential to ensure the protection of animals across the country now and into the future. We cannot let it become law. Here’s how you can take action today:

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