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December 15, 2009

The HSUS, HSI Applaud Congress for Passing Bill to Aid Latin American Wildlife Protection

Appropriations measure awaits President’s signature

The Humane Society of the United States and its global arm Humane Society International applaud Congress for provisions in the Fiscal Year 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Bill that provide critical funding for environmental and wildlife protection programs in Latin America.

Thousands of unique and endemic animal and plant species inhabit Latin America. While the region is rich in biodiversity, it faces serious environmental challenges such as a rampant illegal trade in wildlife and timber products, and lack of effective enforcement of environmental laws. 

"We are grateful to Congress for continued financial support of environmental trade capacity-building programs under U.S. trade agreements. These programs are not only imperative to promoting environmental protection and biodiversity conservation, but also to advancing sustainable economic development," said Michael Markarian, chief operating officer of The Humane Society of the United States. 

The bill was passed by the House and Senate last week, and will now be sent to President Obama for approval. It provides a total of $36 million in trade capacity-building funding for environment and labor initiatives under U.S. trade agreements with Central America, the Dominican Republic and Peru. The funding will support vital programs addressing pressing environmental issues that pose great risks to the survival of threatened and endangered species and critical habitat, and to the long-term health of the region's ecosystems. 

The HSUS and HSI express special thanks to House Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., for her strong leadership on this issue, and to Senate Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., and House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Sander Levin, D-Mich., for their continued support.

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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.

Follow HSI on Twitter.

Humane Society International is the international arm of The Humane Society of the United States, one of the world's largest animal protection organizations — backed by 11 million people. HSI is creating a better future for animals and people through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide — On the web at hsi.org.

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