September 21, 2006
Animal Welfare Group Urges Hawaii Voters to Choose Akaka for Senate on September 23
WASHINGTON—Citing him as a leader on animal welfare policy in the U.S. Senate, Humane Society Legislative Fund announced that it has endorsed U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka in Hawaii’s Democratic primary slated for this Saturday.
Akaka is currently the author of two major animal bills in the Senate. The Pet Safety and Protection Act, S. 451, would prohibit research facilities from purchasing animals from “Class B dealers” who traffic in family pets for research. Historically, Class B dealers have been known to house animals in inhumane conditions and are allowed to acquire animals from random sources, including unregulated “bunchers” who might be selling pets obtained from sources such as classified ads. Even though there are only a handful of these dealers who trade in dogs and cats, the USDA spends more than $250,000 of taxpayers’ money to regulate them.
And Akaka is also the lead sponsor of the Downed Animal Protection Act, S. 1779, which seeks to ensure that “downer” livestock—animals too sick or injured to walk—are not allowed into the human food supply. Downers are often dragged to slaughter with ropes, chains, or bulldozers, and are known to be at higher risk for transmissible diseases such as BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy or “mad cow disease”), E. coli, and salmonella. Ten of the eleven BSE cases in North America reportedly involved downed animals.
“There is no stronger animal welfare advocate in Congress than Senator Akaka,” said Sara Amundson, executive director of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “Akaka has been one of our best leaders in fighting for public policies to halt cruelty and abuse. In order to pass humane laws, we need humane lawmakers like Senator Akaka. Hawaiians who care about animal welfare should support his reelection.”
In 2005, Sen. Akaka successfully passed legislation in the Senate to cut funding for USDA approval of Class B dealers and meat from downer livestock, as amendments to the Fiscal Year 2006 Agriculture Appropriations bill. Although both of Akaka’s amendments passed the Senate unanimously, they were removed from the final bill in a House-Senate conference committee.
Humane Society Legislative Fund notes that U.S. Rep. Ed Case has also been an advocate of the humane treatment of animals, but Akaka gets the nod for a career-long commitment to animal welfare and active leadership on these issues.
Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. 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. Contributions or gifts to HSLF are not tax deductible. Your donation may be used for lobbying to pass laws to protect animals, as well as for political purposes, such as supporting or opposing candidates. HSLF does not accept contributions from business corporations or labor organizations. On the web at www.hslf.org.
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