AWI’s 60th Year Honored by Congressional Animal Protection Caucus Leaders

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Washington, D.C. -- Sunday will mark the 60th anniversary of the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI). In honor of this, the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus co-chairmen, Congressman Elton Gallegly (R-CA) and Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA), recognized AWI with a resolution commemorating the organization’s 60th year.

The resolution, entitled Recognizing the 60th Anniversary of the Animal Welfare Institute (H. Res. 309), highlights AWI's unparalleled leadership in animal protection issues, speaks to AWI programs, and underscores AWI’s current bipartisan and responsible legislative initiatives.

Since its inception in 1951, AWI has been a leader in the field of animal welfare. It was the first group of its kind to approach Congress and urge members on both sides of the aisle to consider their responsibility to be kind to animals and to enact laws to stamp out senseless cruelty while putting an end to needless suffering. Along the way, founder Christine Stevens - who guided the organization for over 50 years until her passing in 2002 - became known as the "mother of the animal protection movement." She and the dedicated staff at AWI have helped raise awareness and pass some of the most landmark animal welfare laws in the U.S. - the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, the Laboratory Animal Welfare Act, the Endangered Species Preservation Act, and the Horse Protection Act, to name a few.

"We are especially grateful to the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus and all of the many Members of Congress who have helped lend a voice to those who would otherwise not be heard," noted AWI’s president, Cathy Liss. "A special thanks is also due to the resolution sponsors, Congressman Gallegly and Congressman Moran, for their unwavering commitment to animal protection legislation over the years. Both have been incredible champions for the welfare of animals."

"As the co-chairman of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, I have come to view the Animal Welfare Institute as a vital institution, providing me and my colleagues with critical and timely information on fundamental animal welfare issues," said Congressman Gallegly.

Today, AWI continues its critical mission, working in a bipartisan fashion with Members of Congress to address animal suffering in a number of areas, including horse slaughter, laboratory animal handling and housing, trapping, marine mammal harvesting, farm animal husbandry, and animal transportation.

"I am pleased to recognize the Animal Welfare Institute on its 60th anniversary," said Congressman Moran. "AWI has been a tremendous asset on Capitol Hill - consistently on the vanguard in the fight to end senseless cruelty of animals - and I look forward to working with them in the future on the key animal welfare issues debated in Congress."

The Animal Welfare Institute is honored to be recognized for 60 years of service and commitment to animals and is energized now, more than ever, to carry on with the mission set forth by our founder, Christine Stevens - to alleviate the suffering inflicted on animals by people.

##30##

Media Contact:
Christine Sequenzia, AWI, (202) 337-2332