April 24, 2012
Animal Advocates Gather at Delaware Capitol to Lobby for Animal Protection
Citizens from across Delaware participating in Humane Lobby Day 2012 met with lawmakers at the Capitol to urge them to pass legislation that will significantly impact animals. The Humane Society of the United States and Delaware Votes For Animals sponsored Humane Lobby Day, which began with an informational session for advocates to learn about animal issues impacting the state and how they can lend their voice to the cause.
“This session, legislators have a chance to crack down on the continuous tethering of dogs and to make strides toward protecting the shark populations that are vital to our oceans,” said Hetti Brown, Delaware state director for The HSUS. “These face-to-face meetings between lawmakers, staff and committed voters are an important step toward reducing animal suffering.”
“Delaware citizens who care about protecting animals are proving to be a powerful political force,” said Patricia Haddock, president of Delaware Votes For Animals. “Protecting animals from cruelty is a mainstream value, and legislators are hearing the message that animals matter.”
Humane Lobby Day attendees urged their legislators to support the following legislation:
• A bill sponsored by Rep. Earl Jaques, D-Glasgow, would ban the trade and sale of shark fins in the state. The demand for shark fins helps drive a cruel, wasteful and unsustainable fishing method called “finning.” Ending Delaware’s participation in the trade would provide critical protection to sharks and preserve the health of the world’s ocean ecosystems.
• S.B. 211, sponsored by Sen. Patricia Blevins, D-Elsmere, to outlaw the continuous tethering of dogs for more than 24 hours and the tethering of animals younger than 4 months old or nursing mothers while their puppies are present. In practice, chaining threatens a dog's health and well-being, as well as the safety other animals and humans.
Though no bill has been introduced, animal advocates also urged the Delaware legislature to consider phasing out the use of extreme confinement of breeding pigs in gestation crates. In gestation crates, female pigs spend nearly their entire lives inside two-foot-wide metal cages so small the animals can't even turn around.
Participants asked lawmakers to oppose S.B. 129, which would open sport hunting and trapping of coyotes in Delaware without a season or limit.