April 6, 2011
Animal Advocates Lobby Florida Lawmakers for Humane Legislation
The HSUS, ASPCA and GREY2K USA address spay/neuter programs, greyhound racing and animal fighting
Citizens from across Florida participating in Humane Lobby Day 2011 met with lawmakers Tuesday at the state capitol to urge them to support bills that would help fund local companion animal spay and neuter programs, strengthen Florida’s animal fighting law and stop forcing greyhound tracks to offer excessive amounts of live greyhound racing. The Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), and GREY2K USA are co-sponsoring Humane Lobby Day.
Participants urged lawmakers to support several pieces of humane legislation. Sen. Nan Rich, D-Weston, and Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando, have introduced S.B. 676 / H.B. 359 to help fund local spay/neuter through a $10 penalty on animal cruelty and control ordinances violations. Sen. Oscar Braynon, II, D-Miami, and Rep. Trudi Williams, R-Ft. Myers, filed S.B. 2032 / H.B. 1395 to clarify Florida’s prohibition on the possessing, selling, or owning of animal fighting equipment.
“Florida lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have introduced humane legislation, including bills to prevent pet homelessness, alleviate the suffering of racing greyhounds, and help law enforcement crack down on animal fighting,” said Jennifer Hobgood, Florida state director for The HSUS. “Floridians support humane legislation and we urge the legislature to enact these important bills this session.”
“Humane Lobby Day is a unique opportunity for animal advocates from across Florida to meet with their legislators and be the voice for animals,” said Ann Church, senior director of ASPCA Government Relations. “Greyhound racing and animal fighting are inherently cruel and it’s important for Florida lawmakers to hear from their constituents to enact stronger laws protecting animals.”
In addition, bi-partisan legislation has been filed that will help racing greyhounds. S.B. 1594 / H.B. 1145 Parimutuel Permit Holders will stop the government from forcing these facilities to have live dog racing and will allow the marketplace to wind down this cruel activity. H.B. 1145, sponsored by Rep. Dana Young, R-Tampa, recently passed the Business and Consumer Affairs subcommittee by a wide margin, 14-1. S.B. 1594, sponsored by Sen. Maria Sachs, D-Delray, has passed the Senate Regulated Industries committee.
“Greyhound racing is cruel and inhumane, and the passage of these common sense bills will help thousands of dogs,” said GREY2K USA Executive Director Carey Theil. “The passage of HB 1145 and 1594 will lead to a significant decrease in greyhound injuries and reduce the number of greyhounds that endure lives of confinement.”
On Wednesday, Humane Lobby Day participants will also be celebrating legislative resolutions declaring April 2011 Adopt-a-Shelter Pet Month, sponsored by Sen. Dennis Jones, R-Seminole, and Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach.
Last year, state legislatures across the country passed nearly 100 new laws for animals. The HSUS and ASPCA work with animal advocates and legislators to enact laws protecting animals from cruelty, combating animal fighting, halting wildlife abuse and more.
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.
About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first humane organization established in the Americas and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animal welfare. One million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. The ASPCA, which is headquartered in New York City, offers a wide range of programs, including a mobile clinic outreach initiative, its own humane law enforcement team, and a groundbreaking veterinary forensics team and mobile animal CSI unit. For more information, please visit www.aspca.org.
GREY2K USA is a national, non-profit greyhound protection organization with more than 30,000 supporters nationwide. For more information, go to www.GREY2KUSA.org.