WASHINGTON (Jan. 31, 2012) -- The Humane Society Legislative Fund, the nation’s leading political advocacy organization for animal welfare, announced its endorsements of U.S. Rep. Martin Heinrich for U.S. Senate in New Mexico, and former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chávez for New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District.
“Martin Heinrich and Marty Chávez have demonstrated a commitment to commonsense animal protection policies,” said Sara Amundson, executive director of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “We urge voters who care about the humane treatment of animals to vote for Marty Chávez in the 1st District and Martin Heinrich statewide for U.S. Senate.”
Heinrich has supported a number of federal policies to stop animal cruelty and abuse. Among his efforts, he has:
- Co-sponsored the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, which passed in 2010 and banned commerce in videos showing the intentional torture of puppies, kittens and other live animals for the sexual titillation of viewers (P.L. 111-294).
- Co-sponsored the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, H.R. 1513, to phase out use of chimpanzees in invasive research, retire the approximately 500 federally-owned chimpanzees to sanctuary, and save tens of millions of tax dollars from warehousing chimps in federally-funded laboratories.
- Championed the permanent retirement of 202 chimpanzees at the Alamogordo Primate Facility to a sanctuary, providing for their welfare and saving millions of taxpayer dollars.
- Co-sponsored the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety (PUPS) Act, H.R. 835, to crack down on abusive “puppy mills” in the United States, where breeding dogs are often stacked in wire cages for years to produce litter after litter, without exercise, veterinary care, socialization or human companionship.
- Co-sponsored the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, H.R. 2492, to establish misdemeanor penalties for knowingly attending an organized dogfight or cockfight, and felony penalties for taking a minor to such a fight.
- Co-sponsored the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, H.R. 2966, to prohibit the long-distance transport (including export) of horses for slaughter for human consumption in other countries where horse meat is eaten.
Mayor Chávez has championed a number of new animal protection policies in Albuquerque and statewide. During his terms as mayor, he:
- Sponsored Albuquerque’s Scooby’s Law, which mandates that producers of antifreeze include a bittering agent to deter animals and children from ingesting it. The bill was passed subsequently at the state level in New Mexico.
- Created one of the first programs to cross-train police officers and animal control officers to recognize animal neglect and cruelty as a corollary to domestic violence.
- Strongly supported banning cockfighting in New Mexico, one of the last states to outlaw the staged combat between roosters.
- Led the effort to pass city ordinances to require spaying or neutering and micro-chipping pets, establish free spay/neuter programs for low-income pet guardians and created Lucky Paw, a shelter adoption store.
HSLF is a nonpartisan organization that evaluates candidates based only on a single criterion: where they stand on animal welfare. HSLF does not judge candidates based on party affiliation or any other issue.
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The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. On the web at hslf.org.
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