April 13, 2011
Animal Advocates Gather in Sacramento to Lobby for Animal Protection
SACRAMENTO – More than 200 Californians will gather in Sacramento Wednesday as part of Humane Lobby Day, an annual advocacy event co-sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®). Animal advocates from across California will meet with lawmakers to urge them to support legislation to protect sharks, combat illegal animal fighting, and to prevent animal abuse and neglect.
“Humane Lobby Day is a unique opportunity for animal lovers and compassionate citizens from all corners of the state to meet and network as they work to pass stronger animal protection laws,” said Jennifer Fearing, California senior state director for The HSUS. “Californians will meet with their legislators and urge them to pass bills enacting bans on the shark fin trade and the roadside sale of animals, creating stronger penalties for animal fighting and requiring judges to limit the ability of convicted abusers to own animals.”
“It’s important for lawmakers to hear from their constituents,” said Jill Buckley, Esq., senior director of government relations and mediation for the ASPCA. “We’re thrilled with the number of Californians who are championing to enact stronger laws to protect animals from the inherent cruelty of animal fighting and put an end to inhumane practices like roadside sales.”
Among the bills that animal advocates will be urging lawmakers to support are:
- AB 376, authored by Assemblymembers Paul Fong, D-Cupertino and Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael. Prohibits the possession, sale, trade and distribution of shark fins.
- SB 425, authored by Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello. Establishes minimum fines for animal fighting and adds cockfighting to the profiteering statute.
- SB 917, authored by Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance. Prohibits the roadside sale of animals and increases animal neglect criminal penalties
- AB 1117, authored by Assemblymember Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita. Would clarify animal seizure process and require judges to prohibit ownership of animals by those convicted of animal cruelty for a period of time.
Amidst the important work of citizen lobbyists making their voices heard, there will also be time for a more light-hearted aspect of Humane Lobby Day. The winners of the inaugural California State Legislative Pet Photo Contest will be announced, from the more than 100 submissions across the Capitol community. Taking honors as “Most Adorable Cat” was Senate staffer Neva Parker’s furry friend George. The “Most Adorable Dog” award went to Toula Belle, whose photo was submitted by Senate Office of Research consultant Rebecca Foree. And “Most Adorable Furry Friend” went to reporter Laura Mahoney’s photo of her family’s hamster, Einstein.
The Golden State is ranked number one in The HSUS’ 2010 “Humane State Ranking,” a comprehensive report rating all 50 states and D.C. on a wide range of animal protection laws. Among the many animal protection laws is the Farm Animal Cruelty Prevention Act, which prohibits the extreme confinement of animals on industrial factory farms. California was the first state to extend this protection to egg-laying hens and also to ban the sale of cage eggs. It is also the only state to prohibit the painful and unnecessary practice of docking the tails of dairy cows.
In 2010, state legislatures across the country passed 97 new laws for animals. The HSUS and the ASPCA work with animal advocates and state legislators to enact laws protecting animals from cruelty, combating animal fighting, halting wildlife abuse and more.
About The Humane Society of the United States
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 The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching “HumaneTV” in the App Store.
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.