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7 October 2001 Issue
Victories For Animals In the U.S. House of Representatives

Yesterday (10/04/01), in a series of extraordinary victories for animals, the U.S. House of Representatives passed four animal protection amendments to H.R. 2646, The Farm Security Act of 2001 (also known as the Farm Bill):

1. Downed Animals amendment:
The Downed Animal Protection amendment, introduced by Reps. Gary Ackerman (D-NY) and Amo Houghton (R-NY), will prohibit stockyards and other intermediate markets from transferring or selling farm animals who cannot walk because of illness or injury. The passage of this amendment is especially heartening after over a decade of work toward its passage by animal protectionists.

2. Anti-Cockfighting amendment:
The Anti-Cockfighting amendment, introduced by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Tom Tancredo (R-CO), closes the loophole that allows interstate shipment of fighting birds from states where the activity is illegal to one of the three states (OK, LA and NM) where the practice is still legal. The loophole creates a smokescreen for cockfighters and has allowed the cruel and barbaric practice to thrive as an underground, and, in some places, above-ground industry for years.

3. Animal Fighting amendment:
Also offered by Reps. Blumenauer and Tancredo, the Animal Fighting amendment will ban exports of fighting birds or dogs and increase penalties for any violation of the anti-animal fighting section of the Animal Welfare Act to two years in prison and a $15,000 fine from one year and a $5,000 fine.

4. Humane Slaughter amendment:
The Humane Slaughter amendment, introduced by Rep. Connie Morella (R-MD), addresses the gross cruelties inflicted upon animals in slaughterhouses nationwide, as they are often skinned and dismembered while still alive and conscious. The amendment calls upon the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to strongly enforce the Humane Slaughter Act of 1958, which requires that animals be rendered insensible to pain before they are slaughtered. A similar measure has already passed the Senate.

The passage of these amendments to the Farm Bill marks the most productive single day of action ever in the House. All of your phone calls to your members of Congress in support of these amendments have really paid off. Stay tuned for upcoming information on downed animals and animal fighting in the Senate!

HUMANElines
A project of The Humane Society of the United States
and The Fund for Animals (202)955-3666 humanelines@hsus.org 

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