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December 11, 2009

Michigan Rep. Byrnes Receives Humane Legislator Award

The HSUS is pleased to announce that Michigan state Representative and Speaker Pro Tempore Pam Byrnes, D-Ann Arbor, has been honored as the Humane State Legislator of the Year for 2009. Each year, The Humane Society of the United States, the nation's largest animal protection organization, recognizes state lawmakers across the country who have initiated path-breaking animal protection legislation and demonstrably advanced reform in the policy-making arena.

Rep. Byrnes received the award for her active leadership to negotiate a compromise between animal welfare groups and agricultural leaders in the state, and to pass legislation this session, H.B. 5127, to phase out the confinement of breeding pigs, veal calves and egg-laying hens in small crates and cages where the animals can barely move. Thanks to her efforts, a diverse group of stakeholders reached consensus on the bill, and Michigan enacted a strong public policy that will help protect farmers, food safety, the environment and animal welfare.

Rep. Byrnes worked diligently with other legislators and leaders in Michigan agriculture to ensure the bill's passage. "I am honored to receive this recognition from The Humane Society of the United States for my work on animal welfare in the Michigan legislature," said Byrnes. "I am proud to say that I share The HSUS' commitment to animal welfare issues."

Jill Fritz, Michigan state director for The HSUS, and Betsy McFarland, HSUS' senior director for Companion Animals, presented Rep. Byrnes with her award at her office in the state capitol.

"Michigan has become a national leader in animal welfare thanks to the dedication and effectiveness of Representative Byrnes," said Fritz. "The Humane Society of the United States is tremendously pleased to honor Representative Byrnes with this award and acknowledge her dedicated public service."

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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 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.

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