Friday, May 26, 2006

Animal Protection is a Low Priority for the Congressional Delegation

Humans are stewards of Earth and natural resources. Therefore, humans and their societies are responsible for protecting animals from cruelty and suffering. Humans in 21st Century societies have become so proficient at inflicting cruelty and justify it since the Consititution fails to enumerate rights to animals. The Framers would never have considered it necessary. They lived in an agrarian society. Therefore, they either protected animals at all costs or they died early in life. To care for animals, understand them, learn from them, humans retain their humanity.

As the centuries have past, the U.S. has become more advanced & less enlightened as many members of the Illinois congressional delegation fail to realize. The list below includes the
legislation, current status, and the limited number of Illinois co-sponsors as of the dates they signed on or withdrew:

The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act
(H.R. 503 and S. 1915)

The U.S. House of Representatives gave unanimous approval for an amendment to the spending bill for the Department of the Interior to restore federal protections for wild horses and burros and to bar the commercial sale and slaughter of these animals for foreign food exports. This unanimous approval should provide passage of future legislation to permanently ban horse slaughter.

Status of H.R. 503 as of 5/18/2006: Introductory remarks on measure (CR 5/19/2006 H2839)

The bill needs more legislators to realize that what a cruel and inhumane practice horse slaughtering is. Co-sponsors:

Rep Evans, Lane [IL-17] - 4/28/2005
Rep Gutierrez, Luis V. [IL-4] - 7/26/2005
Rep Kirk, Mark Steven [IL-10] - 4/5/2005
Rep Rush, Bobby L. [IL-01] - 3/2/2005
Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-09] - 2/17/2005

Status of S. 1915 as of 10/25/2005: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Senators Richard Durbin and Barack Obama are not co-sponsors at this time.

Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act
(H.R. 3858 and S. 2548)

The PETS Act requires state and local emergency management agencies to consider the needs of individuals with pets and service animals in the event of a major disaster. This legislation should become law before the next hurricane season begins in June.

Status as of 5/23/2006: It passed in a landslide 349-24 vote. Few legislators realize that pets are important family members. Co-sponsors:

Rep Evans, Lane [IL-17] - 10/19/2005
Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-09] - 10/3/2005

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK, introduced S. 2548 on 4/5/2006. His committee has read it twice and referred it to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Senators Richard Durbin and Barack Obama are not co-sponsors at this time.

The Illinois General Assembly also has a plan – with more co-sponsors.

Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act
(H.R. 817 and S. 382)

The legislation strengthens the federal penalties for illegal dogfighting, cockfighting, and hog-dog fighting. It also ban cockfighting in the two states that legally allow it. Louisiana is one of those states.

Status as of 3/16/2005: Referred to the Subcommittee on Livestock and Horticulture. The barbaric and cruel practice is also dangerous to humans since the birds could have the H5N1 virus. More than half of the Illinois legislators decided this was an important fact. Co-sponsors:

Rep Biggert, Judy [IL-13] - 6/17/2005
Rep Costello, Jerry F. [IL-12] - 12/14/2005
Rep Emanuel, Rahm [IL-05] - 6/23/2005
Rep Evans, Lane [IL-17] - 5/3/2005
Rep Gutierrez, Luis V. [IL-04] - 5/26/2005
Rep Hyde, Henry J. [IL-06] - 5/3/2005
Rep Kirk, Mark Steven [IL-10] - 3/10/2005
Rep Rush, Bobby L. [IL-01] - 6/23/2005
Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-09] - 4/14/2005
Rep Shimkus, John [IL-19] - 5/24/2005

Status of S.382 as of 4/29/2005: Passed Senate without amendment by Unanimous Consent (CR 4/28/2005 S4605-4606). Co-sponsors:

Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] - 2/17/2005
Sen Obama, Barack [IL] - 4/27/2006

Captive Primate Safety Act
(H.R.1329 and S. 1509)

This legislation seeks to end the interstate and foreign commerce in captive primates for the pet trade. Approximately 15,000 primates are in private hands. There have been high-profile attacks recently. Disease is always a threat.

Status as of 3/23/2005: Executive Comment Requested from Interior. Almost no one in Illinois understands how important this legislation is. Co-sponsor:

Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-9] - 5/23/2005

Status of S. 1509 as of 5/23/2006: Committee on Environment and Public Works. Ordered to be reported without amendment favorably. Senators Richard Durbin and Barack Obama are not co-sponsors at this time.

Antifreeze Bittering Act
(H.R. 2567 and S.1110)

This legislation would require the addition of denatonium benzoate (DB). DB is a bittering agent that will render sweet-tasting engine coolant and antifreeze unpalatable. It is a simple thing to prevent pets, wildlife, and children from poisoning themselves. The Doris Day Animal League is leading the effort charge to pass this bill.

Status as of 5/23/2006: Subcommittee Hearings Held.

The Consumer Specialty Products Association, representing the antifreeze industry, and Honeywell, the leading manufacturer of antifreeze, are working to pass the Antifreeze Bittering Act. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Pet Food Institute have endorsed this legislation. The U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a resolution in 2004 urging Congress to *help cities protect children and animals. In addition, several federal laws already classify antifreeze as a hazardous substance. The veterinary school at Washington State University estimates that as many as 10,000 dogs and cats ingest antifreeze each year. All these facts and only 4 out of 19 Illinois legislators are co-sponsors:

Rep Evans, Lane [IL-17] - 7/12/2005
Rep Jackson, Jesse L., Jr. [IL-02] - 9/28/2005
Rep LaHood, Ray [IL-18] - 7/21/2005
Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-09] - 6/28/2005(withdrawn - 7/12/2005)

Status of S.1110 (Engine Coolant and Antifreeze Bittering Agent Act) as of 03/14/2006: Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders (Calendar No. 373). Senators Richard Durbin and Barack Obama are not co-sponsors at this time.

Sportsmanship in Hunting Act
(H.R. 1688 and S. 304)
Computer-Assisted Remote Hunting Act
(H.R. 1558)

The legislation will stop the interstate transport of exotic animals for use in canned hunts. Remote hunting via the Internet is a new and disturbing form of animal cruelty. A rifle and camera are mounted to a platform, which a person can control via computer from any location in the world, killing animals with a click of the mouse.

Status of H.R. 1688 as of 7/1/2005: Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. Co-sponsors:

Rep Evans, Lane [IL-17] - 4/19/2005
Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-09] - 11/7/2005

Status of S. 304 as of 2/7/2005: Referred to Senate committee. Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. Senators Richard Durbin and Barack Obama are not co-sponsors at this time.

Status of H.R. 1588 as of 5/10/2005: Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. Co-sponsors:

Rep Evans, Lane [IL-17] - 9/14/2005
Rep Kirk, Mark Steven [IL-10] - 9/14/2005
Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-09] - 7/28/2005

No one has introduced a version of this legislation in the Senate.

There is almost no interest in any of these bills. Hopefully, interest will improve after Vice Pres. Dick Cheney is no longer in office.

Downed Animal Protection Act
(H.R. 3931 and S. 1779)

The legislation establishes a permanent ban on the slaughter of downed livestock (i.e., animals too sick or injured to stand are walk on their own). Slaughterhouses typically kick the animals, drag them with chains, prod them with electric shocks, and push them with a bulldozer to move them to slaughter. They also leave them for days without food, water, or veterinary care as they await slaughter. Poultry represent 95% of animals slaughtered in the U.S., and the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act fails to cover them. Congress needs to close this loophole to assure that poultry are insensible to pain first.

Status of H.R. 3931 as of 10/6/2005: Referred to House subcommittee on Livestock and Horticulture.

Less than half of the Illinois legislators are concerned with ensuring the humane treatment of farm animals and protect people. Downed animals are also at a higher risk of carrying harmful diseases, such as mad cow, E. coli, and salmonella. All six cases of mad cow disease identified in North America have reportedly involved downed animals. Co-sponsors:

Rep Biggert, Judy [IL-13] - 9/28/2005
Rep Davis, Danny K. [IL-07] - 12/16/2005
Rep Gutierrez, Luis V. [IL-04] - 9/28/2005
Rep Kirk, Mark Steven [IL-10] - 9/28/2005
Rep Rush, Bobby L. [IL-01] - 9/28/2005
Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-09] - 9/28/2005

Status of S. 1779 as of 9/28/2005: Referred to Senate committee. Read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. Co-sponsor:

Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] - 12/14/2005
It is time for everyone to make phone calls and send e-mails. Just do not waste time with John Shimkus (IL-19). He does nothing until he receives orders from the Party leadership. Support Dan Stover (D-Centralia) in November.


At 25 May, 2006 22:28, Blogger XBIP said...

As you said, humans are responsible. That means each of us. Our Constitution does not give rights to animals, just humans. That is why this is not the responsibility of the government. It is our responsibility.

The same goes for many other jobs the public has abdicated to the government. We are letting the government do our jobs like feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, taking care of the elderly, educating our children, and many others. Until we take back these responsbilities, we will continue to lose our freedoms until we become a socialist country like that of the former Soviet Union.

At 26 May, 2006 11:36, Blogger Philosophe Forum said...

It's a shame that people don't realize it is a human responsibility to care for all natural resources -- including animals. For some, cruel, barbaric, & inhumane are a way of life. That fact justifies legislating for animal treatment. After looking into a child's eyes after they've lost their pet (i.e., their best friend, a member of the family), it's cruel to do anything less.

At 11 July, 2006 19:21, Blogger Roger Michael said...

It's true to say that humans are responsible forcaring for all animals. We have to take action, because no one else will.

For that reason, if the manufacturers of antifreeze aren't going to add a bittering agent to antifreeze, then you got to do it yourself.

Have a look at this,

At 11 July, 2006 19:27, Blogger Roger Michael said...

It's so true that "we" have to take responsibility for our pets and animals because no one else will.

So what can we do when companies don't want to add a bittering agent to antifreeze?

Well, you can now add it yourself to make it taste aweful.

Have a look;


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