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FARM BILL PASSAGE IS A MIXED BAG FOR ANIMALS

From The Humane Society of the United States and The Fund for Animals
May 8, 2002:

Congress has now approved the Farm bill, by a vote of 280-141 on Thursday (5/2) in the House and a vote of 64-35 on Tuesday (5/7) in the Senate. In its final form, this enormous legislative package proved to be a major disappointment for animal protection efforts. While the "conference committee" quietly gutted protections for animals (e.g., provisions regarding puppy mills; downed animals; the bear parts trade; and AWA coverage for birds, rats, and mice), we did garner a single, significant victory in the fight to shut down illegal cockfighting rings.

The anti-cockfighting measure, championed by Senators Wayne Allard (R-CO) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Tom Tancredo (R-CO), and Collin Peterson (D-MN), will close the legal loophole that cockfighters have been exploiting for years to ship their fighting roosters across state and national lines. The legislation bans any interstate shipment or exports of fighting birds. To see how your U.S Senators voted on the Farm Bill, see: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/vote1072/vote_menu.html , and to see how your Representative voted, see: http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2002&rollnumber=123

Department of Defense's License To Kill:
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is asking Congress to pass legislation that would exempt it from federal environmental and animal protection laws, such as the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The House Armed Services Committee has approved legislation, as part of its pending annual Defense Authorization bill, that would harm federally-protected migratory birds by granting the DOD a blanket exemption to kill them and destroy their nesting areas with bombing and firing activities. It would also automatically eliminate vital protections for 300 endangered or threatened species living on DOD lands. These exemptions are completely unnecessary-most existing federal laws already grant the President the authority to waive regulations, on a case-by-case basis, in the interest of national security. The new exemptions would be disastrous for animals and the environment and would set dangerous precedent by allowing the government to sidestep the very laws! it is supposed to uphold.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
The Defense Authorization bill is scheduled to be voted on in the U.S. House Thursday (5/9), and will be reaching the Senate floor soon. Call your Representative and two Senators and urge them to oppose blanket exemptions from our nation's environmental protection laws in the Defense Authorization bill. To identify the names of your legislators, go to www.vote-smart.org or call The HSUS at 202-955-3666.