During a key stage of the fiscal year 2023 appropriations cycle, members of Congress consider spending requests from individuals and groups. In the House of Representatives, where that part of the process has concluded, several animal welfare matters received widespread bipartisan support. As we do every year, AWI worked with legislators on letters to committee chairs endorsing requests to benefit animal welfare—either through funding for important programs or directives to agencies to take (or refrain from taking) certain actions.
Among AWI’s efforts this year: We helped enlist cosigners on a letter sponsored by Representatives Jared Huffman (D-CA), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Bill Posey (R-FL), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), and Bill Keating (D-MA) urging robust funding of programs that would strengthen marine mammal conservation work. We helped recruit a number of members to join Representatives Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH) and John Katko (R-NY) on a letter urging Congress to ask the US Department of Health and Human Services to add animal cruelty as a risk factor when it collects data on child abuse. And we helped rally 119 members to join Representatives Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Don Beyer (D-VA), and Debbie Dingell (D-MI) on a letter urging increased funding for Endangered Species Act implementation. We also assisted with outreach on letters related to Animal Welfare Act enforcement, trophy hunting, and captive marine mammal protection.
On equine issues, AWI rallied support among a bipartisan coalition of 66 representatives for language that would direct the Bureau of Land Management to employ safe, effective immunocontraceptive vaccines to manage wild horses in their natural habitats. We also helped spur an effort by 120 representatives (and 28 senators) to request language that would permanently prohibit the domestic slaughter of horses for human consumption.