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March 13, 2013

Humane Lobby Day Kicks Off in Illinois

Illinois animal advocates lobby lawmakers to protect pets and wildlife

Illinois residents converged on the state capitol for Humane Lobby Day in Illinois on Wednesday to lobby for better animal welfare laws to protect pets and wildlife. Humane Lobby Day is sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States.

"It is so exciting to see people from across the state come to the capitol and speak up for the animals," said Kristen Strawbridge, The HSUS’ Illinois state director. "Animal protection is a bipartisan issue that has tremendous support among Illinois voters."

Illinois citizens will meet with their state legislators to lobby in support of H.B. 3118, which would prohibit the opening of new captive-hunting ranches for native mammals, where deer are bred and shot for trophies in fenced enclosures. H.B. 3118 is sponsored by Rep. Kelly Burke, D-Oak Lawn; and S.B. 1639, which would provide civil remedies for consumers who unknowingly purchase sick or genetically-defective dogs or cats. S.B. 1639 is sponsored by Sen. Dan Kotowski, D-Park Ridge.

During the event, The HSUS presented Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, and Sen. Antonio Munoz, D-Chicago, with 2012 Humane Legislator of the Year Awards for their strong leadership regarding animal protection; including sponsoring a bill in 2012 to ban the sale, trade and possession of shark fins in Illinois. Gov. Pat Quinn signed the legislation into law on July 1, 2012.

Illinois is tied for 2nd place 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. Illinois has some strong animal protection laws, but there is still room for improvement.

In 2012, The Humane Society of the United States helped pass 74 new laws to help protect animals.

Media Contact: Pepper Van Tassell: 240-751-0232; pvantassell@humanesociety.org

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