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Stop HR 3599 & HR 2887: The States’ Rights Elimination Acts

Representatives Steve King (R-IA) and James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) have introduced two bills—HR 3599 and HR 2887, respectively—we've dubbed the States' Rights Elimination Acts. These bills would completely undermine the authority of states to pass laws to protect animals and their citizens.

These bills could make it easy for animal abusers to skirt existing state laws on many important issues including puppy mills, factory farms, horse slaughter, cat and dog meat and shark finning.

Please urge your legislators to stop the attack on animals by opposing the States’ Rights Elimination Acts

A diverse and broad coalition of more than 50 groups opposes these dangerous bills.

Both HR 3599 and HR 2887 could roll back many hard-fought protections for animals and lead to additional suffering.

HR 3599

  • Rep. King's bill is the same failed proposal he's put forth for years. It aims to undo most existing state and local laws regarding agricultural products, including how animals are raised. It takes a lowest-common-denominator approach—if any one state tolerates the way a particular agricultural product is manufactured or produced, no matter how hazardous or unacceptable, every other state could have to do so as well.
  • This threatens laws already enacted by state legislatures and citizen ballot measures on a wide range of concerns including puppy mills, the sale of horse meat, dog and cat meat, eggs from battery-caged hens, and shark finning.
  • In addition to animal welfare laws, HR 3599 could subvert hundreds of state and local measures addressing food safety, food labeling, environmental requirements, child labor, alcohol, fire-safe cigarettes, and more.
  • While King has not yet succeeded in enacting his bill, he did get it added as a House committee amendment to the last Farm Bill, generating tremendous opposition across the spectrum. Thankfully, the catastrophic provision was left out of the final version of the last Farm Bill, but now King aims to insert it into the new Farm Bill.

"[HR 3599] would preempt vital state agricultural policies designed to protect the safety and well being of our farmland, waterways, forests and most importantly, our constituents... [It] not only violates the tenets of the Tenth Amendment, but would also have significant economic effects across the states."
-The National Conference of State Legislatures

Download the HR 3599 California Factsheet

HR 2887

  • Rep. Sensenbrenner's bill prohibits states from taxing or regulating any activity in interstate commerce by any person (including a corporation) unless that entity is physically present in the state, for example by being there for 15 days or more in a calendar year. It would prevent states from regulating sales within their own borders of any product made in another state, no matter how hazardous the product or unacceptable the production process.
  • It would also prevent states from regulating professions and services within their borders. Short-term visitors would be able to sell otherwise prohibited goods and commit an untold number of otherwise prohibited acts without being subject to state standards or restrictions. This would put citizens at risk across a broad range of concerns and put in-state businesses at a competitive disadvantage with out-of-state operators who are free to evade state requirements.
  • State laws that could be nullified under HR 2887 include agriculture and animal-related laws threatened by the King bill and a multitude of additional laws related to interstate commerce, such as those governing opioid prescriptions, gambling, adult-oriented businesses, gun sales, water rights, price-gouging by car repair shops, and professional licensing requirements.

"This constitutionally questionable legislation would codify a radical federal overreach that would undermine the longstanding constitutional right of states to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their citizens and local businesses, as well as preempt countless laws in all 50 states. In short, this legislation would strip states' ability to govern."
-The National Conference of State Legislatures

Please urge your legislators to stop the attack on animals by opposing the States’ Rights Elimination Acts