Animal Welfare Institute Calls For U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy To Advance Animal Welfare Legislation

In a letter issued Monday to United States House of Representatives Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) urged the Majority Leader to advance animal welfare legislation in the House.

“With the 115th Congress now in its second session and the government now fully funded and operating, we hope that Leader McCarthy will make animal welfare legislation a priority,” stated Cathy Liss, AWI president. “Each of these bills, which provide a practical and humane solution to pressing animal welfare concerns, have well over 100 co-sponsors and broad bipartisan support. We urge the majority leader to bring these bills forward for a vote by the full U.S. House of Representatives.”

Pending legislation highlighted in AWI’s letter include the following:

  • Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act (HR 909): The PAWS Act would make greater resources available to enable domestic violence victims with companion animals to escape their abusers. Currently, the bill has 246 cosponsors—over half of the entire U.S. House of Representatives.

  • Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act (HR 1456): The Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act would make it illegal to buy or sell shark fins. Approximately 73 million sharks die each year as a result of inhumane shark finning, in which the fins are removed while the shark is still conscious and the mutilated body is tossed back into the ocean to die. The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation has already passed its version of the bill; it is up to the House to act to end this cruelty. Currently, the bill has 233 cosponsors, more than half of the House.

  • Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act (HR 1494): The PACT Act would prohibit the heinous acts of cruelty typically found in “crush videos,” in which animals are intentionally tortured, mutilated, and killed to satisfy sadistic fetishes. Currently, the law covers only the creation and distribution of the videos, not the underlying abuse. The Senate has already unanimously passed its bill; the House should do the same. Currently, the bill has 273 co-sponsors, over 60% of the members of the House.

  • Humane Cosmetics Act (HR 2790): The Humane Cosmetics Act would phase out inhumane and outdated animal-based testing for cosmetic products in the United States in favor of more accurate cutting-edge technologies. The legislation would eventually prohibit the sale in the U.S. of cosmetics tested on animals in other countries, ensuring that only safe and humane products enter the American market. Currently, the bill has 169 co-sponsors, more than one-third of the House.

AWI has a strong legacy of working with members of Congress from both parties to pass important animal welfare legislation. Since it was founded in 1951, AWI has helped enact the Humane Slaughter Act, the Animal Welfare Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

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