The 2012 Congress was a Do Nothing Congress, and of course, it meant that animal suffering was not addressed. I can only think how sad it is to have legislators be so indifferent to animal suffering.
Today I read a post by the Humane Society of the US entitled
"Congress Comes Up Lame on Animal Issues." Of course, they are
referring to the 2012 Congress. While I hope the new 2013 Congress
will be much better, I am not hopeful. We still have a Republican
House Majority who clearly, in my opinion, care very little- if at
all, for animal welfare.
Thank God the HSUS is keeping us posted on what happens in Congress
even though, after reading their post, I felt depressed, angry, and
disgusted. The founding fathers left us with what was suppose to
be a representative type of government. This Congress didn't seem
to know what that meant.
Just what kind of people have we been sending to Congress recently?
Obviously, they seem to be the kind who care very little about animal
welfare. But t hen it even seems that they don't appear to care much
about us 99 percenters either. They want to take away our hard earned
social security benefits and water down Medicare in the interests of
reducing the deficit. Well, I don't see them reducing their large
congressional pay checks or reducing their benefits. What's good for
the goose is good for the gander - a wise saying they haven't heard
it seems or choose to ignore.
I'm really not that well versed on Congressional proceedings, but
I believe that most laws start in the House. And it should be no
surprise that this Republican House majority has quite aptly earned
the unfavorable characterization of the "2012 DO NOTHING CONGRESS."
If you voted Republican recently and care about animals, you will be
sadly disillusioned and disappointed by many of the people you sent
to Congress. The following points were made by HSUS to j ustify the
title of their post - "Congress Comes Up Lame on Animal Isuses."
1. THE ANIMAL FIGHTING SPECTATOR PROHIBITION ACT. An act which would
have cracked down on dogfighting was not introduced into the House
because Republican House leaders bowed down to a handful of extremists
in the caucus. Shame on the obstructionists who rallied for
organized animal fighting interests instead of backing the concerns
of compassionate people and the enforcement agencies who were backing
2. BILL TO PHASE OUT THE USE OF BARREN BATTERY CAGES. Even though the
HSUS and the United Egg Producers came to terms with a negotiated
agreement which promised to improve welfare standards for laying hens,
Congress DID NOT take up a bill to phase out the use of barren battery
Recently, the European Union implemented a law which would require
their 27 member countries to get rid of the cruel sow gestation crates
in favor of sow stalls which would allow movement for the poor pregnant
sows. Can you even begin to imagine what it is like for them to not
be able to move around for their whole natural lives? Yes, it would
be just the same for us if we were cooped up in a small crate.
Though enforcement to date of the new more spacious sow stalls has not
been 100 per cent implimented - God bless their efforts and especially
of the 12 countries who have scored 90-100 percent in implimenting the
new sow stalls. I hope that they may in the future also do something
to alleviate battery hen suffering as well. Maybe we will be big enough
to learn from them. Obviously, when it comes to farm animal welfare and
compassion, there is nothing they can learn from us.
3. Our beautiful HORSES are still BEING DRUGGED AND TRANSPORTED TO
CANADA AND MEXICO for slaughter, even though 80 percent of Americans
want to see the trade end. Of course, not surprisingly, our do-nothing
Congress did nothing to address this horrible slaughter of our horses.
4. BAN ON NINE SPECIES OF LARGE CONSTRICTING SNAKES. Even though the
legislation had passed the House Judiciary Committee, the House
Republican leaders did not bring it up for legislation. Obviously,
they don't care that the trade poses risks to both snakes and human
5. GREAT APE PROTECTION AND COST SAVINGS ACT. A handful of senators
blocked floor consideration of this Act. Were they Republican Senators?
If so, again a lack of concern by them for the chimpanzees - most of
whom are not even used in experiments but will have to continue to
languish in laboratories at taxpayer expense. If indeed the obstructionists
were Republican - they certainly aren't too concerned about wasting
taxpayer money, and of course, they care nothing re chimpanzee suffering.
The one good piece of legislative news for the animals was the derailing
of the "SPORTSMAN PACKAGE" which seemed headed for passege. It contained
items favorable to the gun lobby and it included a provision to make it
difficult for the EPA to regulate the use of toxic lead shot in hunter's
ammunition. It would also allow American trophy hunters to import the
heads and hides of polar bears they killed in Canada, even though these
animals are threatened with extinction and protected by the US Ebdangered
I use to look up to our Congressional members- feeling they were altruistic
and worthy of our respect and support. Sadly, no more. Our Congress
seems to have been infiltrated by too many of the wrong kind of late.
However, the HSUS is more hopeful then I and their last paragraph read:
"We have a great many allies in Congress, but there are also a small
number of lawmakers who are hostile to any progress on animal welfare.
We need lawmakers to act with the country's best interests at heart,
and the work of the Congress should and must include a strong commitment
to make the nation safer for animals and to root out cruelty. We are
deeply disappointed in the collective work of Congress, but hopeful
that a new year, and some new faces in both chambers will prompt lawmakers
to pay closer attention to the public's wishes and to exert its will for
the good of the country."
Well said HSUS! I started out very pessimistic and heart-broken by the
evident short fall for animal welfare in the 2012 Congress. Yes, hopefully,
the new year and some new faces will make a difference for the animals -