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January 23, 2013

Humane Lobby Day Kicks Off in Richmond

Virginia animal advocates lobby lawmakers to end cruel practice of fox penning

ASPCA®

Citizens concerned about animal welfare from across Virginia converged on the state capitol for the second annual Humane Lobby Day in Richmond on Wednesday to lobby for better laws to protect animals. Humane Lobby Day is sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA and Humane Dominion.
 
“Animal protection is a bi-partisan issue that has tremendous support among Virginia voters,” said Laura Donahue, Virginia state director for The HSUS. “It’s important for Virginia lawmakers to hear from their constituents and enact stronger laws to protect animals against inherently cruel practices like fox penning.”
 
Humane Lobby Day participants met with their state legislators to lobby in support of SB 1280, sponsored by Sen. Dave Marsden, D-Burke, legislation to end staged competitions within fox pens and place a moratorium on new enclosures. SB 1280 aims to crack down on the cruel practice of fox penning–competitions where dogs are released into fenced areas stocked with captive foxes, often harming or killing them.
 
“Humane Lobby Day provides an opportunity for Virginia legislators to meet with their constituents and see how passionate they are about protecting animals,” said Jessica Johnson, grassroots advocacy manager for the ASPCA. “Pitting defenseless dogs against captive wildlife to fight for their lives is a cruel and unnecessary practice that animal advocates, ethical hunters and communities surrounding these pens all agree on.”
 
As part of Humane Lobby Day, The HSUS held a Humane Rally with more than 100 Virginia animal advocates to voice support of SB 1280.
 
Virginia ranks 7th in The Humane Society of the United States’ 2012 “Humane State Rankings” which grades each state and the District of Columbia based on a wide range of animal protection laws dealing with pets, animal cruelty and fighting, wildlife, animals in research, horses and farm animals. Virginia has some strong animal protection laws including laws against cockfighting and dogfighting and prohibiting shooting captive deer on fenced hunting operations, but there is still plenty of room for improvement.
 
In 2012, The Humane Society of the United States helped pass 74 new laws to help protect animals.

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Media Contacts: Kaitlin Sanderson: 301-721-6463; ksanderson@humanesociety.org
Maureen Linehan: 212-876-7700, ext. 4602; Maureen.Linehan@aspca.org
 
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two 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. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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