January 29, 2013
Animal Advocates Lobby Washington Lawmakers for Stronger Legislation
Citizens from across Washington participating in the annual Humane Lobby Day assembled at the state capital on Monday to rally in support of animal protection legislation and to meet with lawmakers to urge them to pass animal protection bills.
Humane Lobby Day was hosted by The Humane Society of the United States, ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) and Wolf Haven International. Members of the Washington Alliance for Humane Legislation also participated.
“This session, legislators have a chance to improve animal cruelty provisions, make strides toward protecting shark populations and ban the inhumane and unnecessary farming practice of removing dairy cows’ tails,” said Dan Paul, The HSUS’ Washington state director. “Face-to-face meetings between lawmakers, staff and committed citizens are an important step toward reducing animal suffering.”
“Humane Lobby Day is a great forum for both veteran citizen-lobbyists as well as new advocates looking to help animals for the first time,” said Kevin O’Neill, state director of ASPCA Government Relations for the Western region. “Since the Washington Legislature has convened for 2013, several bills have been introduced and legislators take note when their constituents take the time out of their busy schedules to visit them in the Capitol. We look forward to our continued work with the people of Washington to further the cause of animal protection throughout the state.”
“We welcome opportunities like this to meet with legislators and discuss issues that greatly impact the quality of life for animals,” said Diane Gallegos, executive director of Wolf Haven International. “It is inspiring to see so many engaged and thoughtful people attend Humane Lobby Day and provide a voice for those that cannot speak for themselves.”
During the event, The HSUS presented Rep. Hans Dunshee, D-44, with the 2012 Humane Legislator of the Year Award for his years of strong leadership regarding animal protection.
Humane Lobby Day attendees urged their legislators to support the following bills:
- Forthcoming legislation to ban the routine docking of dairy cows’ tails.
- HB 1201/SB 5203 - Prohibits selling, bartering, or auctioning of animals upon certain public property or upon certain private property open to the public.
- HB 1202/SB 5204 - Modifies animal cruelty provisions relating to the crimes of animal cruelty in the first and second degree, animal fighting, and leaving and/or confining an animal in a motor vehicle or certain enclosed spaces.
- SB 5081 – Strengthens state ban on shark fins and derivative products. “Finning” is an abhorrent practice that involves slicing off the fins of a shark and discarding the animal at sea to drown or bleed to death. Unsustainable fishing methods like this have led to declines by as much as 90 percent in some shark populations during recent decades. A ban on shark fin products is the most effective way to eliminate the demand for shark fins and to eradicate shark finning around the world.