WHAT’S LEFT: PENDING ANIMAL & HABITAT RELATED LEGISLATION IN CONGRESS

Welcome to Federal Policy Week, a blog that covers federal policy developments in conservation, natural resources, wildlife, and animal welfare. 

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Although there is still time for Congress to pass legislation, it is unlikely many bill will pass when Congress returns after the election. So this edition of Federal Policy Week provides information on several key pieces of legislation impacting domestic and farm animals, federal lands, as well as wildlife. As referenced below, not all legislation introduced in the current Congress positively impacts animals or wildlife. The list does not include animal-related legislation that already passed Congress (e.g. the Farm Bill, appropriations bills), and is by no means exhaustive. Finally, the legislation “expires” when this (113th) Congress ends and bills that were not enacted into law will need to be reintroduced in the next (114th) Congress (January 2015).

The legislative topics listed below include:

  1. Pets
  2. Horses
  3. Agriculture
  4. Primates
  5. Animal Care & Handling
  6. Wildlife
  7. Refuges
  8. Marine – Fish, Ocean, and Coastal
  9. Resolutions (Different form of legislation)
  10. Examples of Legislation Detrimental to Animals, Wildlife, and Habitat.

Video on Puppy Mills

PETS:

1.     Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act (H.R.847/S.395): Introduced by Rep. Gerlach (R-PA) & Senator Durbin (D-IL). Agriculture Committees.  The Bill has 136 cosponsors in the House and 26 in the Senate.

Summary: Amends the Animal Welfare Act to define a “high volume retail breeder” as a person who, in commerce, for compensation or profit: (1) has an ownership interest in or custody of one or more breeding female dogs; and (2) sells, via any means of conveyance, more than 50 of the offspring of such dogs for use as pets in any one-year period. Considers such a breeder of dogs to be a dealer.” (Read more).

  1. Pet and Women Safety Act of 2014 (H.R.5267). Introduced by Rep. Clark (D-MA). Agriculture and Judiciary Committees. The Bill has 31 cosponsors in the House.

Summary: “Clark’s legislation expands federal law to include protections for pets of domestic violence victims and establishes a federal grant program to assist in acquiring a safe shelter for pets. The PAWS Act strongly asserts the need for states to expand their legal protections for the pets of domestic violence victims.” (Read more).

  1. Pet Safety and Protection Act of 2013 (H.R.2224) Introduced by Rep Doyle (D-PA) and Chris Smith (R-NJ). Agriculture Committee. The bill has 72 cosponsors in the House.

Summary: Amends the Animal Welfare Act to list permissible sources of dogs and cats used by research facilities to include dogs and cats obtained: (1) from a licensed dealer, (2) from a publicly owned and operated pound or shelter that meets specified requirements, (3) by donation from a person who bred and raised the dog or cat or owned it for not less than one year, or (4) from a research facility licensed by the Secretary of Agriculture. Sets forth additional monetary penalties for related violations. (Read more).

  1. Pets on Trains Act of 2013. (H.R. 2066/S.1710). Introduced by Rep. Denham (R-CA) and Sen. Whitehouse (D-RI). House Transportation and Senate Commerce Committees. There are 38 cosponsors in the House and 2 cosponsors in the Senate.

Summary: Directs the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) to propose a pet policy that allows passengers to transport domesticated cats or dogs on certain Amtrak trains. (Read more)

[Passenger Rail Reform & Investment Act – H.R.5499 – is a related bill]

NOTE: There are a series of bills addressing service dogs for military personnel that were introduced during this Congress, as well.

HORSES:

  1.  Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act of 2013. (H.R.1518/S.1406). Introduced by Rep. Whitfield (R-KY) and Sen. Ayotte (R-NH). The Bill has 304 cosponsors in the House and 58 cosponsors in the Senate.

Summary: Amends the Horse Protection Act (HPA) to direct the Secretary of Agriculture to prescribe regulatory requirements for the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to license, train, assign, and oversee persons who are to be hired by the management of horse shows, exhibitions, sales, or auctions and are qualified to detect and diagnose sore horses or otherwise inspect horses at such events. (The soring of horses is any of various actions taken on a horse’s limb to produce a higher gait that may cause pain, distress, inflammation, or lameness.) (Read more).

Note: Horse Protection Amendments Act of 2014 (HR4098/S.2193) introduced by Rep. Blackburn (R-TN) and Sen. Alexander (R-TN) was introduced in response to the PAST Act on behalf of the industry that engages in horse soring. (Read more)

  1. Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (H.R.1094/S.541). Introduced by Rep. Meehan (R-PA) and Sen. Landrieu (D-LA). House Agriculture and Energy and Senate HELP Committees. The Bill has 175 cosponsors in the House and 28 cosponsors in the Senate.

Summary: Amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to deem equine (horses and other members of the equidae family) parts to be an unsafe food additive or animal drug. Prohibits the knowing sale or transport of equines or equine parts in interstate or foreign commerce for purposes of human consumption. (Read more). (These are similar, but not identical bills)

  1. The Horse Transportation Safety Act (H.R.4440/S.1459) Introduced by Rep. Cohen (D-TN) and Sen. Kirk (R-IL). House Transportation and Senate Commerce Committees. The Bill has 44 cosponsors in the House and 8 cosponsors in the Senate.

Summary: Prohibits a person from transporting a horse in interstate commerce in a motor vehicle (except a vehicle operated exclusively on rail or rails) containing two or more levels stacked on top of one another. Sets forth civil penalties for persons who knowingly violate such prohibition. (Read more).

  1. Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2013 (H.R.2012/S.973). Introduced by Rep Pitts (R-PA) and Sen. Udhall. House Energy and Commerce and Senate Commerce Committees. The Bill has 34 cosponsors in the House and 2 cosponsors in the Senate.

Summary: Requires: (1) there to be an independent anti-doping organization with responsibility for ensuring the integrity and safety of horse races that are the subject of interstate off-track wagers, and (2) the independent anti-doping organization designated pursuant to the Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 2006 to serve as such organization. (Read more).

NOTE: There are other Horse-related bills, several of which do not protect horses, but subject them to potential mismanagement, including Wild Horse Oversight Act (H.R.5058), which would transfer jurisdiction of wild horses to states and tribal governments (read more).

AGRICULTURE:

  1. Transparency for Lethal Control Act (H.R.2074). Introduced by Rep. Davis. House Agriculture Committee. The Bill has 3 cosponsors.

Summary: Directs the Secretary of Agriculture (USDA), through the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, to submit an annual report to Congress (and make such report publicly available on the Internet) on the animals killed during the preceding year under the wildlife services program or by a state or local entity acting in cooperation with or on behalf of such program. (Read more).

NOTE: This program, which needs to be eliminated or significantly reformed, has a long history of supporting lethal methods against native animals to benefit a few private individuals (often livestock owners) engaged in private activities on federal and non-federal lands. (Read more).

NOTE: A related, but separate bill related to Wildlife Services is H.R.730 (PESTT Act).

  1. Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA). (H.R.1150/S.1256) Introduced by Rep. Slaughter (D-NY) and Sen. Feinstein (D-CA). House Energy & Commerce and Senate HELP Committees. The Bill has 75 cosponsors in House and 12 cosponsors in Senate.

Summary: Amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require an applicant for approval of a new animal drug that is a medically important antimicrobial to demonstrate that there is a reasonable certainty of no harm to human health due to the development of antimicrobial resistance attributable to the nontherapeutic use of the drug. Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to refuse approval if the applicant fails to make such a demonstration. (Read more)

.CHick

  1. Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments (H.R.1731/S.820). Introduced by Rep. Schrader (D-OR) and Sen. Feinstein (D-CA). Agriculture Committees. The Bill has 148 cosponsors in the House and 17 cosponsors in the Senate.

Summary: Amends the Egg Products Inspection Act to revise provisions concerning housing and treatment of egg-laying hens and enforcement of such requirements. (Read more).

PRIMATES (RESEARCH, WILDLIFE, POACHING, ETC.)

  1. CHIMP Act Amendments of 2013 (S.1561). Introduced by Sen. Harkin (D-IA). The bill passed the Senate.

Summary: Amends the Public Health Service Act, with respect to the lifetime care of chimpanzees used in federally conducted or supported medical research, to: (1) require the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to reserve appropriations through FY2023 for the sanctuary system and other compliant facilities, and (2) allow reservation of funds beyond a total of $30 million if the Secretary determines that doing so would enable the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to operate more efficiently and economically by decreasing the overall federal cost of supporting and maintaining chimpanzees from FY2014-FY2023. Requires such a determination to be reported to Congress and include biennial updates regarding the care and maintenance of the chimpanzees and related costs. (Read more)

  1. Captive Primate Safety Act (H.R.2856/S.1463) Introduced by Rep. Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Sen. Boxer (D-CA). The House Natural Resources and Senate EPW Committees. The Bill has 134 cosponsors in the House and 20 cosponsors in the Senate.

Summary: Amends the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 to add nonhuman primates to the definition of “prohibited wildlife species” for purposes of the prohibition against the sale or purchase of such species in interstate or foreign commerce. (Read more).

  1. The Humane Care for Primates Act (H.R. 3556). Introduced by Rep. Ellmers (R-NC). House Energy and Commerce Committee. The Bill has 42 cosponsors.

Summary: Humane Care for Primates Act of 2013 – Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to promulgate a final rule revising federal regulations regarding the importation of nonhuman primates (i.e. chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, macaques, and numerous other species) to expand the categories of uses for which nonhuman primates may be imported and distributed to include live nonhuman primates imported into the United States by a certified primate sanctuary for purposes of providing lifetime shelter and care. (Read more).

ANIMAL CARE & HANDLING:

  1. Animal Emergency Planning Act of 2014 (H.R.4524). Introduced by Rep. Titus (D-NV); Agriculture Committee. The Bill has 5 cosponsors in the House.

Summary: Amends the Animal Welfare Act to require research facilities, dealers, exhibitors, intermediate handlers, and carriers (covered persons) to develop, document, and follow a contingency plan to provide for the humane handling, treatment, transportation, housing, and care of their animals in the event of an emergency or disaster. (Read more)

  1. Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (H.R.4525). Introduced by Rep. Moran (D-VA). Agriculture Committee. The Bill has 28 cosponsors in the House.

Summary: Amends the Animal Welfare Act to prohibit an exhibitor from allowing for the participation of an exotic or wild animal (including a non-human primate) in an animal act if, during the 15-day period preceding such participation, such animal was traveling in a mobile housing facility, unless the use of such animal is: (1) in an exhibition at a non-mobile, permanent institution or facility; (2) a part of an outreach program for educational or conservation purposes by an accredited zoo or aquarium and such animal is not kept in a mobile housing facility for more than 12 hours a day; (3) by a university, college, laboratory, or other research facility registered with the Secretary of Agriculture (USDA); (4) in film, television, or advertising if such use does not involve a live public exhibition; or (5) in a rodeo. (Read more)

WILDLIFE

  1. Multinational Species Conservation Funds Reauthorization Act of 2013 (H.R.39). Introduced by Rep. Young (R-AK). House Natural Resources Committee. The Bill has 5 cosponsors.

Summary: Multinational Species Conservation Funds Reauthorization Act of 2013 – Authorizes appropriations to carry out the African Elephant Conservation Act, the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act of 1994, and the Asian Elephant Conservation Act of 1997 for FY2014-FY2018. (Read more).

  1. Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act (HR.1998/S.1381) Introduced by Rep. McKeon (R-CA) and Sen. Blumenthal (D-CT). House Natural Resources and Senate EPW Committees. The Bill has 114 cosponsors in the House and 6 cosponsors in the Senate.

Summary: Amends the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 to prohibit any person from importing, exporting, transporting, selling, receiving, acquiring, purchasing in interstate or foreign commerce, breeding, or possessing any prohibited wildlife species (current law prohibits importing, exporting, transporting, selling, receiving, acquiring, or purchasing such a species in interstate or foreign commerce). Includes among exemptions to such prohibition the breeding transportation, or possession of such species by authorized persons. (Read More)

  1. Invasive Fish and Wildlife Protection Act (H.R.996/S.1153). Introduced by Rep. Slaughter (D-NY) and Sen. Gillibrand (D-NY). House Budget, Judiciary, Natural Resources, and Ways and Means Committees, and Senate EPW. The Bill has 32 cosponsors in the House and 3 cosponsors in the Senate.

Summary: Authorizes any person, entity, or the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to propose the regulation of nonnative wildlife taxa. Requires the Director to determine whether the proposal should be approved within 180 days. (Read more).

  1. Wildlife Disease Emergency Act of 2014 (H.R.5156) Introduced by Rep. Shea-Porter. House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Budget Committees. The Bill has 6 cosponsors.

Summary: Allows the federal government to declare official wildlife disease emergencies and coordinate its response. (Read more).

  1. National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Reauthorization Act of 2013 (H.R.263/S.51). Introduced by Rep. Grimm (R-NY) and Sen. Boxer (D-CA). House Natural Resources and Senate EPW Committees. The Bill has 1 cosponsor in the House and 11 cosponsors in the Senate.

Summary: Reauthorizes and revises the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Establishment Act. Requires the Secretary of the Interior to appoint 28 directors (currently, 23) who are knowledgeable and experienced in matters relating to conservation of fish, wildlife, or other natural resources and represent a balance of expertise in ocean, coastal, freshwater, and terrestrial resource conservation. Removes limitations on the appointment of such Foundation’s officers and employees. Requires the Foundation’s Executive Director to be appointed by and serve at the direction of the Board as the chief executive officer and to be knowledgeable and experienced in matters relating to fish and wildlife conservation. (Read more)

  1. Wildlife VET Act (H.R.2796). Introduced by Rep. Hastings (D-FL). House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committees. The Bill has 7 cosponsors.

Summary: Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to award grants to wildlife or veterinary institutions to create additional clinical and research positions for wildlife and zoological veterinarians, with preference to institutions that will create positions in areas of need, including wildlife disease research and training, disease surveillance, ecology and wildlife population management, and conservation and management of the health of endangered, threatened, and sensitive species. (Read more).

  1. Joint Ventures for Bird Habitat Conservation Act of 2013 (H.R.1137). Introduced by Rep. Kind (D-WI). House Natural Resources Committee. The bill has 1 cosponsor.

Summary: Directs the Secretary of the Interior to conduct, through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a Joint Ventures Program to develop a framework for the approval and establishment of Joint Ventures that: (1) provide financial and technical assistance to support regional migratory bird conservation partnerships, (2) develop and implement plans for the protection and enhancement of migratory bird populations, (3) complement and support activities by the Secretary and the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to fulfill obligations under specified migratory bird and conservation Acts, and (4) support other specified goals and objectives. (Read more).

  1. National Bison Legacy Act (H.R.3400/S.2464). Introduced by Rep. Clay (D-MO) and Sen. Johnson (D-SD). House Oversight and Senate Judiciary Committees. The Bill has 16 cosponsors in House and 16 cosponsors in the Senate.

Summary: Adopts the North American bison as the national mammal of the United States. (Read more).

NOTE: Related to S.Res.543 – National Bison Day.

REFUGES & PUBLIC LANDS

  1. To Amend the Fish & Wildlife Act of 1956 to reauthorize the volunteer programs and community partnerships for the benefit of national wildlife refuges. (H.R. 1300) Introduced by Rep. Runyan (R-NJ). Passed House.

Summary: Amends the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 to extend through FY2017 the authorization of appropriations for volunteer services for programs conducted by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), community partnership projects for national wildlife refuges, and refuge education programs. (Read more)

  1. United States Fish and Wildlife Service Resource Protection Act (S.2560). Introduced by Sen. Cardin (D-MD). Senate EPW Committee.

Summary: Would enhance the protection and restoration of USFWS resources found on National Wildlife Refuges, National Fish Hatcheries and other Service lands, should injury or harm occur. (Read more).

  1. A bill to designate a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as Wilderness (S.1695). Introduced by Sens. Cantwell (D-WA) and Kirk (R-IL). Senate EPW Committee. The Bill has 20 cosponsors in the Senate. Related bill is H.R.139.

Summary: “Designate 1.56 million acres of land in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) as wilderness. The wilderness designation would protect the Arctic Refuge’s coastal plain and preserve subsistence hunting and traditional uses.” (Read more)

Note: This bill promotes wildlife refuges, as opposed to several bills (e.g. H.R.638, H.R.3409, etc.) introduced that limit or prevent the expansion or creation of wildlife refuges.

  1. Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act (H.R.3513). Introduced by Rep. Lowey (D-NY). House Natural Resources Committee. The Bill has 23 cosponsors.

Summary: Amends the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 to prohibit the use or possession of body-gripping traps in the National Wildlife Refuge System. (Read more)

MARINE, OCEAN, & FISH RELATED

  1. Marine Disease Emergency Act of 2014 (H.R.5546). Introduced by Rep. Heck (D-WA). House Agricutlure and Natural Resources Committees. The Bill has 6 cosponsors.

Summary: “Establish a framework for declaring and responding to a marine disease emergency, and to provide the science community with the resources to proactively protect marine ecosystems from being irreparably damaged by cascading epidemic.” (Read more)

  1. National Fish Habitat Conservation Act (S.2080). Introduced by Sen. Cardin (D-MD). Senate EPW Committee. The Bill has 2 cosponsors

Summary: Establishes the National Fish Habitat Board to: (1) promote, oversee, and coordinate the implementation of this Act and the National Fish Habitat Action Plan (NFHAP); (2) establish national goals and priorities for fish habitat conservation; and (3) review and make recommendations regarding fish habitat conservation projects. (Read more).

  1. SAFE Act (H.R.5065/S.1202). Introduced by Rep. Cartwright (D-PA) and Sen. Whitehouse (D-RI). Senate EPW Committee. The Bill has 1 cosponsor.

Summary: Requires the President to establish an interagency Natural Resources Climate Change Adaptation Panel to: (1) adopt the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy (released March 26, 2013) to protect, restore, and conserve natural resources so that such resources become more resilient, adapt to, and withstand the impacts of extreme weather and climate change; and (2) review and revise such strategy every four years. (Read more)

  1. National Endowment for the Oceans Act (S.646). Introduced by Sen. Whitehouse (D-RI). Senate Commerce Committee. The Bill has 6 cosponsors.

Summary: Authorizes the Secretary of Commerce and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to establish the National Endowment for the Oceans as a permanent endowment fund to support programs and activities to restore, protect, maintain, or understand living marine resources and their habitats and ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources, including baseline scientific research, ocean observing, and other programs in coordination with federal and state agencies. (Read more).

  1. Coastal State Climate Change Planning Act (H.R.764). Introduced by Rep. Capps (D-CA). House Natural Resources Committee. The Bill has 28 cosponsors.

Summary: Coastal State Climate Change Planning Act – Amends the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 to direct the Secretary of Commerce to establish a coastal climate change adaptation planning and response program to: (1) provide assistance to coastal states to voluntarily develop coastal climate change adaptation plans to minimize contributions to climate change and to prepare for and reduce the negative consequences that may result from climate change in the coastal zone, and (2) provide financial and technical assistance and training to enable coastal states to implement such plans through coastal states’ enforceable policies. (Read more).

  1. Fundamentally Improving Salmon Habitat Act (FISH Act) HR 3414. House Natural Resources and Transportation Committees. The Bill has 3 cosponsors.

Summary: Amends the Water Resources Development Act of 2000 to revise requirements for studies and ecosystem restoration projects for the lower Columbia River and Tillamook Bay estuaries, Oregon and Washington. Directs the Secretary of the Interior to: (1) conduct studies and ecosystem restoration projects with total costs of $2 million or greater per project (designated as “large projects”); and (2) provide grants to the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership, the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board, and the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership to conduct projects with total costs of less than $2 million per project (“small projects”). Revises and adds requirements relating to administration of such projects, including the provision of technical assistance to entities carrying out small projects, the determination of priority for large and small projects, and the allocation of funding for small projects. (Read more)

OTHERS – Protecting Animals

  1. Humane Cosmetics Act (H.R. 4148). Introduced by Rep. Moran (D-VA). House Energy and Commerce Committee. The Bill has 55 cosponsors.

Summary: Prohibits: (1) any entity from conducting or contracting for cosmetic animal testing in the United States, in or affecting interstate commerce, effective on the date that is one year after enactment of this Act; and (2) selling, offering for sale, or transporting in interstate commerce any cosmetic if the final product or any component was developed or manufactured using cosmetic animal testing conducted or contracted for after such date, effective three years after this Act’s enactment. (Read more).

  1. The Battlefield Excellence through Superior Training (“BEST”) Practices Act (H.R. 3172/S.1550). Introduced by Rep. Johnson (D-GA) and Sen. Wyden (D-OR). House & Senate Armed Services Committees. The bill has 30 cosponsors in the House.

Summary: Battlefield Excellence through Superior Training Practices Act or the BEST Practices Act – Requires the Secretary of Defense (DOD), no later than: (1) October 1, 2016, to develop, test, and validate human-based training methods for training members of the Armed Forces in the treatment of combat trauma injuries, with the goal of replacing live animal-based training methods; and (2) October 1, 2018, to use only use human-based training methods for such purposes. Prohibits the use of animals in such training after the latter date. (Read more).

RESOLUTIONS

While these are legislation, a “sense of the House” or “sense of the Senate” does not carry the same weight as bills passed.

  1. Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the practice of using gas chambers to euthanize stray cats and dogs. (H.Res.433) Introduced Reps. Barletta (R-PA). House Agriculture Committee.   “Expresses dissatisfaction that the practice of using gas chambers to euthanize stray cats and dogs continues in the United States in the 21st century.” Similarly, H.Res.208, introduced by Rep. Moran (D-VA) “Expresses: (1) disapproval of the use of gas chambers to euthanize shelter animals, and (2) support for the enactment of state laws requiring the use of euthanasia by injection with sodium pentobarbital as the standard method of euthanasia for all animal shelters. Encourages states to allow licensed shelters to purchase necessary euthanasia drugs, subject to appropriate training and certification.”
  2. Expressing support for the network of experienced and accredited wildlife rehabilitation centers across the United States and honoring their important work in protecting native wildlife. (H.Res.651). Introduced by Rep. Smith (R-TX). House Natural Resources Committee. The resolution has 13 cosponsors.

Summary: Recognizes the importance of experienced and accredited wildlife rehabilitation centers and their contributions to the humane treatment of animals.

  1. Expressing support for designation of the first Saturday in October as “National Animal Rescue Day/Winslow’s Day” (H.Res.63) Rep. Andrews (D-NJ). House Oversight Committee. The Resolution has 26 cosponsors.

Summary: Supports the designation of a National Animal Rescue Day/Winslow’s Day to create awareness for animal rescue programs throughout the year and address the challenge of overpopulation through continued spaying and neutering.

Expressing the sense of the Congress that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service should incorporate consideration of global warming and sea-level rise into the comprehensive conservation plans (H.Con.Res.13) Rep. Christensen (D-VI) House Natural Resources Committee.

Summary: Expresses the sense of Congress that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) should incorporate consideration of the effects of global warming and sea-level rise into the comprehensive conservation plan for each coastal national wildlife refuge. (Read More)

Examples of Introduced Bills with Potentially Deleterious Impact:

The list of harmful legislation likely exceeds the number of favorable pieces of legislation.

ESA: Each Congress, members introduce legislation to undermine the Endangered Species Act, like Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act (H.R.3533/S.1731) that requires involvement of governors in ESA designation.  Other bills attack specific species designations under ESA, like the Lesser Prairie Chicken Voluntary Recovery Act of 2014 (H.R.4866/S.2677) or the Sage-Grouse and Endangered Species Conservation Act (H.R.4716/S.2394) (Read more). Or, the ironically named Save Endangered Species Act of 2013 (H.R.576). Another, the Enhancement of Species Survival Act (H.R.1866) , which allows importing of species hunted legally in foreign lands and amends major laws.

Private v. Public Lands (and habitat): Acre In, Acre Out Act, H.R.4423 would require that for every acre of land added to a national park, refuge or forest the Secretary would need to sell an acre of land, prevent any increased acreage regardless of the need.

Hunting v. Wildlife: Many other bills undermine wildlife and animal protection laws for the benefit of hunting, fishing, or monetary gain, for example the SHARE Act of 2013 (H.R.3197), which exempts projectiles from firearms or fishing equipment from the Toxic Substances Control Act. (Read more).

Logging v. Wildlife: Another example are bills that promote logging or other activities that jeopardize wildlife under the guise of forest fire prevention, such as Catastrophic Wildfire Prevention Act of 2013 HR1345, H.R.818 (read more) and S.1479 (read more).

Energy Costs v. Wildlife: Bills that criticize and try to undermine laws that make power companies incur compliance costs, like Environmental Compliance Cost Transparency Act of 2013 (H.R.2162).

International Wildlife. Creating incentives for hunting of species, like Polar Bears, by allowing imports from hunts in foreign countries, through the Restoration of the U.S.-Russia Polar Bear Conservation Fund Act of 2013 H.R.1819.

Key Sources:

Congress: www.congress.gov Information on number of cosponsors, text, and summary of the legislation (when available).

Humane Society: http://www.humanesociety.org/action/fed_bill/

Animal Welfare Institute: https://awionline.org/content/federal-bills

Farm Sanctuary: http://www.farmsanctuary.org/get-involved/federal-legislation/

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One thought on “WHAT’S LEFT: PENDING ANIMAL & HABITAT RELATED LEGISLATION IN CONGRESS

  1. Pingback: LISTING LIONS AND LEAKY PORTS | FEDERAL POLICY WEEK

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