Several key animal protection issues were at stake in the omnibus spending package released early this morning by congressional negotiators, and The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund are celebrating major victories for horses, elephants, wolves, and other creatures. In addition to important funding for animal welfare enforcement and development of alternatives to animal testing, the omnibus bill:
- Prohibits the use of funds to allow horse slaughter plants to open in the U.S.
- Retains the Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves, and rejects congressional attempts to delist the species.
- Allows the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to crack down on the domestic trade in ivory to protect elephants from poaching.
- Funds much-needed protections for farm animals in research at federal facilities.
“Negotiators have done the right thing and included language to forbid anyone from setting up a horse slaughter plant on American soil,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “We don’t round up dogs and cats, butcher them, and ship them to foreign markets, and it should be unthinkable to do that with a species that helped us settle the nation.”
“Lawmakers had the good sense to keep their paws off of wolves,” added Pacelle. “These animals occupy just a fraction of their original range, and the ancestors of the domesticated dog should continue to be protected from zealots who want to kill them in a head-hunting pursuit.”