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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Talk Back: Questions and Comments

Today I’d like to post a few comments that have come into the blog, and answer a couple questions as well.

In response to the problem of crippled cows at livestock auctions:

The pain and cruelty that these beautiful and sentient beings are forced to endure is so deeply disturbing that it has me in tears for hours. I make my donations, phone calls, letter writing, faxing, and emailing until my fingers are cramped! What else can we do to yield results and action right now? I reside in Connecticut and am so proud that Rep. Christopher Shays is a co-author of the Farm Animal Stewardship Purchasing Act. But, we and most importantly, the victims/animals need our help and support ASAP!—Lisa K.

Lisa, thanks for all your work to protect farm animals. We need strong federal policies to protect these creatures from cruelty and abuse. As you said, the Farm Animal Stewardship Purchasing Act is an important reform that would set humane standards for the National School Lunch Program and other federal nutrition and commodity programs. We also need the U.S. Department of Agriculture to close the loophole that allows the slaughter of downed animals, and we need Congress to pass the Downed Animal and Food Safety Protection Act. Keep contacting the USDA and your members of Congress on these important issues. And watch this blog and the HSLF website for updates and actions you can take.

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In response to Oprah’s show on puppy mills:

I believe that this should be against the law, no matter what pet stores are open or not. This is definitely a form of animal cruelty and it’s got to stop. These people should lose their licenses after the first offense of animal cruelty and neglect.—Jennifer R.

Please STOP this cruel behavior. Do something to stop not only the puppy mill activity, but also the core of the problem: the overwhelming desire of people to own these inbred animals. BEGIN advocacy of pound puppies. We have two! They need homes, and these puppy mills would be shut down if demand for them plummeted.—Tamara O.

What ever happened to PAWS, S.1139 and H.R. 2669?—Joanna F.

Joanna, the Pet Animal Welfare Statute (PAWS) legislation had been introduced in the 109th Congress.  It had a favorable subcommittee hearing but did not pass into law during that session, and has not been reintroduced in the 110th Congress.  Federal lawmakers have been taking action on other puppy mill legislation, and the final Farm Bill includes a provision strongly backed by HSLF which bars the import of young puppies from foreign puppy mills for sale in the United States. We expect new legislation to be introduced soon to further crack down on puppy mill abuses.

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In response to the introduction of the Great Ape Protection Act:

I've been fighting as best I could for the past 30+ years to save these laboratory animals. Can you imagine living in a cage for 40 years and the only time you’re out is when they’re performing god-awful experiments on you? As a nation, we are the worst when it comes to animal caring. It sickens me because no matter how hard you try, the animals still suffer.—Carole L.

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And a general inquiry:

Do you have to be a registered voter to participate in activities such as signing petitions and letters to representatives or senators regarding legislation?—Barb

Barb, you do not have to be a registered voter in order to communicate your views to your elected officials. You are a constituent who lives in their state or district, whether you are registered or not, and they need to hear your opinions. That said, it’s important for animal advocates to register to vote and to participate in candidate elections if we want to become a powerful political force and have more influence in the decision-making process. You can follow this link to register.

If you have a question about HSLF, offer a comment through the blog or email your query. I may post it in a future blog.

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