April 10, 2013
Humane Lobby Day Kicks Off in Pennsylvania
Animal advocates lobby Pennsylvania lawmakers to protect pets, exotic animals and wildlife
Pennsylvanians concerned about animal welfare converged on the state capitol for Humane Lobby Day in Harrisburg on Tuesday to lobby for better laws to protect pets, exotic animals and wildlife. Humane Lobby Day was sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®).
“Humane Lobby Day is a great opportunity for animal advocates across the Commonwealth to come together and let their lawmakers know that protecting pets, exotic animals and wildlife is important,” said Sarah Speed, Pennsylvania state director for The HSUS. “So many Pennsylvania residents came out to speak up for animals.”
“Humane Lobby Day allows citizens to meet with their legislators to discuss important animal welfare issues, and advocate on behalf of the animals who cannot speak for themselves,” said Debora Bresch, Esq., senior state director of ASPCA Government Relations for the Mid-Atlantic region. “The ASPCA was happy to see so many concerned citizens from across Pennsylvania come out in support of animal welfare legislation, and make sure that their voices were heard.”
Lobby Day participants met with their state legislators to lobby in support of numerous animal protection bills, including HB 164, which would ban the possession of animal fighting paraphernalia, including razor sharp knives that are tied to roosters’ legs in cockfights, breaking sticks used to pry dogs apart in fights and other equipment used in animal fights. Animal advocates also supported HB 41 and SB 522, legislation that would regulate the constant tethering of dogs; SB 510, which would ban live pigeon shoots – contests where live birds are released from a tiny box and shot at close range, often times suffering for hours before dying; and SB 521, which would prohibit the private possession of big cats, bears, wolves, primates and other dangerous wild animals as pets.
Advocates lobbied against two pieces of legislation – HB 723 and SB 644 – which would deregulate feral pig captive hunts. Animals in captive hunts are stocked inside fenced enclosures, allowing facilities to offer guaranteed trophies, 100 percent success rates, and advertise no kill, no pay policies.
Pennsylvania ranks 17th 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. While Pennsylvania has some strong laws against animal cruelty, there are plenty of gaps that need to be closed.
The Humane Society of the United States: Kaitlin Sanderson, 301-721-6463, firstname.lastname@example.org
The ASPCA: Maureen Linehan, 646-706-4602; Maureen.Linehan@aspca.org