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Animal Advocates Rally at Wyo. Capitol Urging Lawmakers to Protect Animals

The Humane Society of the United States

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Citizens from across Wyoming will gather at the state capitol and meet with their lawmakers Wednesday to urge them to pass legislation to protect animals. The citizen lobbyists are participating in Humane Lobby Day, organized by The Humane Society of the United States. Rep. Rosie Berger, R-51, will receive the Humane State Legislator Award for her work to strengthen animal fighting penalties in the state.

Lobby Day participants are advocating for H.B. 207, which has passed the House of Representatives. The bill would ban the use of Internet software to shoot wildlife remotely. Thirty-eight other states have banned or restricted "Internet hunting."

"Traditional hunters and animal advocates alike know that there's no sport in shooting wildlife remotely from your living room," said Heidi Hopkins, The HSUS' Wyoming state director. "We urge the Wyoming Senate to pass H.B. 207 to prevent this ridiculous practice from occurring in our state."

Internet hunting allows hunters to shoot animals with the click of a mouse for a fee. Computer users aim and fire a weapon that is mounted on a mechanized tripod at a remote location — usually a game ranch where exotic animals are kept penned and shot at close range.

Lawmakers in Wyoming also considered a bill to include pets in protective orders in domestic violence cases. Such a provision would protect animals and victims of domestic violence, since abusers have targeted family pets. The HSUS hopes the legislature will revisit the issue in the next session.

Last year, state legislatures across the country passed 93 new laws for animals. The HSUS works with animal advocates and state legislators across the country to enact laws protecting animals from cruelty, combating animal fighting, halting wildlife abuse and more. Forty-one states are hosting Humane Lobby Days in February, March and April 2009.

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 30. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.