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Friday, January 30, 2009

Together We Can Make Real Change for Animals

A couple weeks ago, I laid out our ambitious Change Agenda for Animals—100 urgent steps that federal executive agencies must take for the sake of animals and their humane treatment. Since then, I’ve seen a mixture of both optimism and reality here in Washington: We hope that change is coming, but we know it’s going to take hard work if we’re going to be part of it.

281x144_dog_in_box Here at the Humane Society Legislative Fund, our dedicated team of legislative and policy experts have thrown themselves at the task—but our vision of change won’t turn into reality without your help. That’s why I hope you’ll join me as a monthly supporter of the Humane Society Legislative Fund today.

To be sure, the Humane Society Legislative Fund has an ambitious agenda in Congress, but much progress for animals can be achieved through regulatory actions based on laws Congress has already passed. We need the executive agencies that directly impact the lives of millions of animals to take immediate steps to protect animals from cruelty and abuse. Here are just three reforms that cry out for action:

  • As I wrote yesterday, gray wolves are in jeopardy of losing their protections under the Endangered Species Act. If these federal protections are rolled back, states are likely to open up sport hunting and commercial trapping seasons on these majestic creatures. The Interior Department must instead renew our national commitment to protecting wolves and other endangered species.
  • Today marks the one-year anniversary of the exposé that uncovered the appalling abuse of sick and crippled cows at a California slaughter plant supplying ground beef to the school lunch program. Yet, the Agriculture Department has not finalized its rule banning the slaughter of downed cows. As each day passes, animals remain at risk and so does food safety.
  • Around the country, law enforcement agencies are cracking down on animal cruelty and organized animal fighting. But they need more help and encouragement to make these crimes a priority. They need the Justice Department to track animal crimes as a specific category. This will put the spotlight—and then the handcuffs—on those criminals who force animals to fight to death for entertainment.

If the federal agencies take action on all 100 items on our Change Agenda for Animals in the first year, they need to act quickly—at the pace of 8 reforms each month. I hope you will join us in this fight, with a gift of just $8 a month to support the critical work of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

Please stand with us as we implement our change agenda, and make sure the animals have a voice in Washington. I know that we can do it with your help, and that this is change the animals can believe in.

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