Big Step Back for Animals
UPDATE: There was a setback in the House with the passage on July 11 of a highly partisan, retrograde Farm Bill that could set back state policies on animal welfare, and represents a missed opportunity to advance an historic agreement to reduce the misery that laying hens endure in battery cages. Read more on Wayne Pacelle's blog, "A Humane Nation"»
The House narrowly passed its pared-down version of the Farm Bill, which excluded all Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program funding, by a vote of 216 to 208. The bill approved by the House includes the dangerous and overreaching King amendment, which could nullify dozens of state laws to protect animals, the environment, worker safety and food safety. The Farm Bill does, however, include a top HSUS priority an upgrade of the federal animal fighting law, making it a crime to attend or bring a minor to a dogfight or a cockfight. Yet even with the anti-dogfighting and anti-cockfighting provision included, it’s impossible for us to support this disastrous Farm Bill because of the radical and overreaching King amendment that threatens so many animal welfare laws.
It is likely the Senate and House will conduct a conference committee on the Farm Bill, and we'll do our best to nix the King amendment (the Senate version does not include any provision similar to the King amendment) and to retain a strong animal fighting provision (which is included in both the Senate and House Farm Bills).