February 4, 2013
Humane Lobby Day Kicks Off in Topeka
Kansas animal advocates lobby lawmakers to protect pets
Citizens concerned about animal welfare from across Kansas converged on the state capitol for Humane Lobby Day in Topeka on Monday to lobby for better animal welfare laws to protect pets. Humane Lobby Day is sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States and the Pet Animal Coalition of Kansas. Rep. Tom Sloan, R-45, spoke at the event, providing advice to attendees on how to approach legislators.
“People have come to Topeka from across Kansas to speak up for animals,” said Midge Grinstead, The HSUS’ Kansas state director. “Legislators are recognizing that animal welfare is a high priority issue that enjoys bipartisan support from Kansas voters.”
Humane Lobby Day participants met with their state legislators to lobby in support of the Kansas Pet Animal Act, SB 57, with amendments which would protect the health, safety and welfare of companion animals in Kansas.
Specifically, the bill would establish annual inspections of licensed pet breeding facilities, shelters, research facilities and other licensees; end the use of carbon monoxide chambers that are currently used to euthanize animals in certain shelters; ensure standards of cleanliness at licensed pet breeding and sheltering facilities; allow inspectors to view veterinary records of USDA licensed kennels; and increase representation of shelters and rescue groups within the Governor’s Pet Animal Advisory board. This advisory board was established in 1989 to advise the Kansas livestock commissioner on hiring a director to implement the Kansas Pet Animal Act and to make recommendations on changes to it.
Kansas ranks 33rd 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. Kansas has some strong animal protection laws, but there is still plenty of room for improvement.
In 2012, The HSUS helped pass 74 new laws to help protect animals.
The HSUS – Anna West, 301-258-1518, firstname.lastname@example.org
PACK – Courtney Thomas, 913-742-7307, email@example.com