Don't Let Congress Undo State and Local Animal Laws
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Don't Let Congress Undo State and Local Animal Laws

Introduction from Karen Dawn of

Pending legislation that endangers almost all animal-friendly legislation

There is a saying: "One person can do almost anything. No person can do everything." That's why DawnWatch focuses strictly on media and almost never sends out alerts that are not media based. I make an exception today in order to tell people about a piece of legislation that could undo all of the good work so many others have done on the legislative front. There is a provision tucked into the pending Farm Bill designed to prohibit states and localities from banning activities they deem to be contrary to public health, safety, or morals. If it passes, it will nullify gains made by activists across the 50 states.

If you respond to just one alert this year, please make it this one, so that others can keep fighting.

Please read the alert below from HSUS and take five minutes to make two phone calls and send two emails. Your five minutes will enable activists to continue to devote their lives to easing animal suffering.

Here is the HSUS alert:

Don't Let Congress Undo State and Local Animal Laws

Dear Friend,

Some of our most important victories for animals have been state laws barring cruel practices—such as horse slaughter, confining young calves and breeding pigs in crates so small they can’t even turn around, and force-feeding of ducks and geese to make foie gras. Should Congress be able to block all such laws? Tell your federal legislators NO!

The federal government shouldn’t be able to trump the will of the states when it comes to animal welfare. Yet that’s exactly what legislation now making its way through Congress would do. A small provision—Section 123—tucked into the pending Farm Bill would prohibit states and localities from banning activities they deem to be contrary to public health, safety, or morals. It’s an outrageous power grab that would undermine the democratic process and deny citizens the right to pass state or local laws on issues of humane treatment or food safety.

If passed, this provision would nullify bans on horse slaughter in states including Illinois, Texas and California, bans on gestation crates in Florida and both gestation and veal crates in Arizona, and bans on foie gras in California and Chicago. Tell Congress not to mess with state and local animal protection laws!


Please take a moment to make brief, polite phone calls to your federal legislators about this issue. You can reach your federal legislators by calling the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121, or go to to find their Capitol office phone numbers.

Making a phone call is easy. You will speak to a staff person who can take your message and pass it along to your legislator. You can say:

"Hello, my name is [your name] and I'm a constituent from [your town and state]. I'm calling to urge [your legislator's name] to oppose any effort to preempt state and local laws through the Farm Bill. I'm very alarmed about Section 123 of the pending House Farm Bill, which would prevent states and localities from passing laws to protect animals from inhumane treatment and to protect food safety. When citizens decide a practice is too cruel or dangerous to allow in their state, Congress has no business forcing them to allow it. Thank you."

After you make your calls, please send a follow-up email to further encourage your legislators to keep this dangerous provision out of the Farm Bill. Go to to send your emails.

Finally, please tell your friends and family about this important issue and ask them to help. We need lots of calls and letters flooding Congress right away to stop this awful legislation. You'll find a form that helps you send the alert on to friends at 

Thank you for all that you do for animals!


Mike Markarian
Executive Vice President
The Humane Society of the United States

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The calf photo on these pages is from Farm Sanctuary with our thanks.

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