Key Welfare Bills in Congress

As the 116th Congress gets underway, a number of bipartisan bills that benefit animals have already been introduced in the House of Representatives:

The Pet Safety and Protection Act (HR 689) — Introduced by Reps. Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Chris Smith (R-NJ), this bill would protect beloved family pets and strays from being sold for use in experimentation by unscrupulous Class B (random source) dealers.

The US Senator Joseph D. Tydings Memorial PAST (Prevent All Soring Tactics) Act (HR 693) — Soring, the act of intentionally inflicting pain on a horse’s hooves and front limbs to produce an exaggerated high-stepping gait, remains a rampant practice in Tennessee Walking Horse competitions. To end this abuse, Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Ted Yoho (R-FL), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Ron Estes (R-KS), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Chris Collins (R-NY) reintroduced the PAST Act, now renamed in honor of the late Maryland senator who spearheaded the passage of the Horse Protection Act of 1970.

The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act (HR 724) — In “crush videos,” depraved individuals torture and kill small animals to satisfy viewer fetishes. Reps. Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL) introduced HR 724 to close a loophole in current law, which makes it a federal crime to create and distribute such videos, but does not cover the underlying acts.

The Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act (HR 737) — Fins from up to 73 million sharks enter the global market annually. Although shark finning in US waters is illegal, the United States plays a significant role in perpetuating this barbaric practice by providing a market for shark fins. HR 737, introduced by Reps. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D-MP) and Michael McCaul (R-TX), would prohibit the sale, purchase, and possession of shark fins in the United States.

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