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Monday, February 28, 2011

State Animal Protection Bills on the Move

We are now two full months into 2011, and state legislatures around the country have been active on animal protection issues. We have many defensive battles, such as blocking Missouri politicians from defying the will of the voters and dismantling Proposition B, but we are also advancing our proactive agenda for animal welfare in many state capitols.

Dog_puppy_mill_resuce_in_bowl_270x224 Already this year, Arkansas has enacted a bill making appropriations for animal rescue shelters in the state. The Texas House of Representatives adopted a resolution urging the adoption of shelter pets, and the California Assembly passed a measure commemorating Spay Day 2011.

Just today, by a vote of 83-14, the West Virginia House of Delegates passed a strong measure to crack down on puppy mill abuses in the state by establishing common-sense standards for the care of dogs. While Missouri politicians seek to undermine voters and roll back basic protections for dogs, lawmakers in other states are heeding the concerns of their constituents and moving forward to address these serious problems.

Cockfighting A number of animal welfare bills in other states have passed at least one chamber and await action in the other body this session, including legislation to stop antifreeze poisoning in Georgia, New Hampshire and West Virginia; to establish felony-level penalties for animal cruelty in Mississippi; to ban gambling at animal fights in West Virginia; to prohibit greyhound racing simulcasts in Pennsylvania; to promote spaying and neutering in New Jersey; to prevent Internet hunting in North Dakota; and to combat poaching in South Carolina and Wyoming. Several states are working to upgrade their anemic anti-cockfighting statutes, and bills to combat cockfighting have been introduced this year or are expected to be soon in Alabama, California, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

Find out what animal protection bills are pending in your state, and let your elected officials know that you support these public policy reforms for animals. You can also attend one of the upcoming Humane Lobby Days, and join other citizens who care about animals in making your voice heard at your state capitol.


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