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February 27, 2010 / V A Nichols

New Animal Protection Caucus Formed in Washington

Moran and Gallegly to Co-Chair Congressional Animal Protection Caucus

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 18, 2009 – Reps. Jim Moran (D-VA) and Elton Gallegly (R-CA) announced today that they will co-chair the newly formed “Congressional Animal Protection Caucus (CAPC),” a bipartisan organization committed to raising awareness of animal welfare issues in Congress.  CAPC replaces the Friends of Animals Caucus that existed in previous Congresses.

Through non-partisan forums and briefings, CAPC will seek to highlight important issues affecting animals and upcoming animal welfare legislation.  CAPC will also track the progress of relevant legislation, provide members of Congress with dependable information, and attempt to build broad coalitions in support of common-sense, humane animal welfare laws.

In the 110th Congress, the caucus was instrumental in the passing tougher animal fighting legislation, and tightening animal welfare regulations in the 2008 Farm Bill.  Priorities for the 111th Congress include legislation banning the slaughter of horses, stronger regulations on Internet sales of puppies, and legislation requiring accurate labels on all fur products.

Rep. Moran stated, “Animals are sensate beings that deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.  I look forward to building a consensus among my colleagues in support of sensible animal welfare laws that reflect our common values.  Protecting animals from cruel treatment is not a partisan issue.”

“Animal cruelty has no place in a civilized society,” Rep. Gallegly said. “Other crimes often go hand-in-hand with animal fighting, including illegal gambling, drug trafficking and acts of human violence. Virtually every arrest for animal cruelty has also led to additional arrests for at least one of these criminal activities.”

“The American public is united in its belief that all animals deserve humane treatment,” said Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States.  “The newly constituted Congressional Animal Protection Caucus will help better align our federal policies with public opinion, and we are excited to work closely with its leaders and with the entire Congress to combat cruelty and abuse.”

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3 Comments

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  1. stephanie / Feb 28 2010 11:40 AM

    How ironic? Gallegly has a horrible voting record on animal issues and now he is forming his own caucus to try to pull something over on the voters. I hope the humane society doesn’t buy his bs. I sure don’t.

  2. Victoria Nichols / Feb 27 2010 12:22 PM

    2/25/10

    The next chairman of a key house committee with oversight over federal funding for wildlife conservation has a long history of opposing hunting, trapping, and gun ownership.

    U.S. Representative Jim Moran (D- VA) is expected to be named Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. This subcommittee oversees funding for the Department of Interior and its various agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This makes this chair one of the most powerful positions influencing public policy on federal lands including whether to keep such land open to sportsmen.

    Rep. Moran has sponsored and cosponsored a number of anti-hunting and anti-trapping bills during his time in Congress. One of his most high profile battles against sportsmen was an effort to ban the use of bait to hunt black bears on federal land despite being considered a valid management option by wildlife professionals in numerous states. This effort earned him the support of the nation’s leading anti-hunting group, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

    Further anti-hunting and anti-trapping bills supported by Rep. Moran during the current Congressional session include co-sponsorships of:

    HR 3710- which would prohibit the use of body-gripping traps in the National Wildlife Refuge System; and

    HR 2480- “Truth in Fur Labeling Act of 2009” which would enforce more restrictive labeling requirements on fur.

    Rep. Moran’s anti efforts were not the only thing that earned him applause from HSUS. In February, 2009, he helped form the “Creature Caucus” in order to promote animal rights issues in Washington. The head of HSUS’ lobbying wing, the Humane Society Legislative Fund, gushed about this group at the time by saying, “We could not be more excited about this new organization of humane lawmakers.”

    He has also supported anti-gun legislation earning himself the number four position on the NRA’s 2006 Top Anti-Gun representatives. He has supported bills such as “assault weapon” bans, prohibitions on transferring ammunition to juveniles, and mandates for additional background checks at gun shows. Rep. Moran also supported legislation requiring ballistics testing data from guns be kept in a national database.

    Rep. Moran’s expected move is part of a domino effect of legislators shifting committee positions that began with the recent passing of Rep. John Murtha (D- PA).

    “Sportsmen are right to be wary that an obvious anti is getting ready to control the gavel for a committee overseeing much of the nation’s conservation policy,” said Rob Sexton, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) vice president for government affairs. “The USSA is going to watch this committee like a hawk and be sure that sound science and sportsmen’s voices are not ignored.”

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