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March 7, 2011

Citizen Advocates Converge on Oregon's Capitol, Urge Lawmakers to Protect Animals

SALEM, Ore. – Citizens from across Oregon are assembling at the State Capitol Monday to rally in support of animal protection legislation and to meet with their lawmakers. Humane Lobby Day is being sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States.

The day will start with a legislative briefing, after which citizen lobbyists will fan out for meetings with their legislators.

Scott Beckstead, The HSUS’ senior state director in Oregon said, “There are some good, common-sense measures we are supporting. Unfortunately, there are also some bills we oppose that pose serious threats to the cause of animal protection.”

 Citizens are meeting with legislators about the following items:

 

  • Animals and Domestic Violence- SB 616, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Barker, D-Aloha, and Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-South Land, adds brief but necessary language to Oregon’s Family Abuse Prevention Act to give judges the authority to provide for the safety of victims’ animals in restraining orders. Acknowledging the close relationship between domestic violence and cruelty to animals, the bill will guarantee that victims have the legal ability to get their pets out of harm’s way when they choose to leave an abusive relationship. 

 

  • Battery Cages for Laying Hens- SB 805, a committee bill advocated by Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, would phase out the use of battery cages, cruel, intensive confinement systems used by egg producers. Currently, approximately 2.4 million laying hens in Oregon spend their entire lives crammed into small cages that deprive them of the ability to move freely or spread their wings. This modest, common-sense bill would require producers to give each hen enough room to spread her wings. 

 

  • Shark Finning- HB 2838, sponsored by Rep. Brad Witt, D-Clatskanie, represents an important effort to save world shark populations by banning the possession, sale, trade or distribution of shark fins. The human appetite for shark fins has been a major cause of the collapse of shark populations worldwide.  As a coastal state with a strong commercial fishing economy, it is vital that Oregon take a strong stand to protect these important predators of the sea.

 

  • Cougar Hunting with Hounds- HB 2337 would amount to a repeal of Measure 18, the voter-approved ban on the inhumane and unsporting hound hunting of cougars. Already under intense pressure from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife policies that encourage wide-scale trophy hunting and killing, cougars are being killed by trophy hunters at twice the rate as they were before the ban was passed in 1994. Oregon voters have clearly stated twice that they do not want cougars hunted with packs of dogs.

Last year, The HSUS worked on nearly 100 new laws that passed 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. In 2010, The HSUS ranked Oregon 10 in terms of animal laws out of all the states, which is a favorable ranking.

 

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Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching “HumaneTV” in the App Store.

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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