March 31, 2009
Mich. Advocates Urge Lawmakers to Consider Animal Protection Issues
Citizens from across the Great Lake State have descended on the state capitol to meet with lawmakers as part of Michigan Humane Lobby Day. The event is organized by The Humane Society of the United States.
Humane Lobby Day brings together animal welfare advocates from across the state to meet with their elected officials to discuss legislation to protect animals. This year, the citizen lobbyists will focus on two issues that desperately need regulative legislation: puppy mills and the possession of primates as pets.
Advocatyes anticipate that legislation to stop abuses at large-scale dog production factories will be introduced this session. This type of legislation would enable humane investigators to more effectively and efficiently deal with complaints about dogs living in squalid conditions and receiving inadequate care, and also would protect consumers who unknowingly purchase sick or diseased puppies born and raised in puppy mills.
Legislation to prohibit the possession of dangerous primates as pets is also expected to be introduced in the near future. About 20 states prohibit keeping primates as pets, and federal health regulations prohibit importing primates into the United States for the pet trade. Still, these animals are readily available for sale from exotic pet dealers and even over the Internet. Michigan appropriately prohibits big cats, bears, and wolf hybrids as pets. The state should add primates to the list before another person is injured or killed. The recent chimp attack that left a woman disfigured in Connecticut demonstrates just how dangerous these animals are to communities.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for citizens who care about animal protection to make their voices heard, and a great way for them to participate in the lawmaking process," said Jill Fritz, Michigan state director for The Humane Society of the United States. "The support of local advocates is crucial to our efforts to improve the lives of animals in Michigan, and prevent lawmakers from rolling back the will of the people."
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. 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.