Selected Articles from our
The C.A.S.H. Courier
ARTICLE from the Spring 2008 Issue
What’s LOHV been up to?
From Peter Muller
Toni Lovoi (L) with NYS legislative aide
The League of Humane
Voters started this quarter with its Fifth Annual Legislative Breakfast
in Albany, New York on March 18th. We invited state legislators and
representatives from the Governor’s office to attend a vegan breakfast
with members of the New State Chapter and the affiliates of the LOHV. We
went over our agenda for the legislative session of 2008 with the
We also scheduled
meetings with the heads of the committees in which our bills will have
to pass, and with the leadership of the two legislative chambers – the
New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate – as well as the
Governor’s office and the Commissioner of the New York State DEC. The
New York State DEC is the state agency hat regulates wildlife.
Senator Padavan (L) and
Peter Muller (R) plot strategy
We had over forty legislators and/or their staff in
attendance at the breakfast. Later we
took up our bills with the leadership of the Senate, the Assembly and
the Committee chairs:
1) In conference with
the Senate leadership, LOHV negotiated a change to the Canned
Hunt Bill (S00784 and A02612). It had
been opposed by the Farm Bureau. We agreed to some changes to address
the concerns of the farmers and ensure the passage of the Bill. The bill
had passed the Assembly and was out of the Encon Committee in the
Senate. We were led to believe that it would be able to get to the
Senate floor for a full vote before this session ends. Recently, after
the legislative breakfast, - we were informed that several large
national animal protection organizations were opposing the version of
the bill that we had negotiated. A different version, one more likely to
be opposed by the Farm Bureau is now pending.
2) Ban Shooting Contest Bill (S0156 and A02614).
This bill has no opposition from the
Legislative leadership; the head of the Senate Encon Committee (Carl
Marcellino) who is its sponsor seems reluctant to schedule it for a
committee hearing. His aide asked us to poll his committee members to
see where they stand. We are asking him to confirm that he would
schedule it for a hearing if the majority of his committee favors
passage of the bill. Marcellino’s posturing and trying to send us off to
do some busy-work-tasks seems to be a negative indicator.
We’ve taken an
alternate path to bypass Marcellino and the NYS legislature - by going
to the DEC and asking them to pass a regulation which would achieve the
same effect as the stalled bill. Peter Grannis, the Commissioner of the
DEC, expressed his willingness to check it out and make sure that such a
regulation has no unforeseen consequences.
3) Dissection Notification Bill (S05408 and A00585).
This bill also has no opposition from the
Legislative leadership. The committee chairs of both chambers were
unavailable for consultation on the day of our breakfast. We will
schedule meetings with them in a week or thereabouts to help this bill
get to the floor of both chambers for a vote.
4) Home Rule for Trapping Bill (S01461and A07991).
This bill is also stuck in the Senate
Encon Committee. Carl Marcellino seems totally determined to stop this
bill- although neither he nor his staff can come up with an explanation
of why home-rule should not be expanded into this area. It seems that we
have to wait until Marcellino gets voted out or until the entire NY
State Senate is no longer controlled by the Republican Party (very
possibly January 2009).
5) Prohibit Foie Gras Production Bill (S01463 and
A06277). This bill unfortunately has
little chance of moving forward this session. The Farm Bureau is totally
opposed to it. The Farm Bureau exercises a great deal of influence in
the current Senate. The Farm Bureau argues that this would constitute
limiting a “normal farm practice.” Force-feeding ducks is not a normal
practice by any standard. The Farm Bureau is concerned with limiting any
farm practice for humane reasons- in their view permitting any such law
would lead to a “slippery slope” which would result in banning many farm
practices which people with a humane perspective would find
All in all the session
was productive and advanced our position with the New York State
Marianne Bessey, Esq. LOHV
Greater Philadelphia, and Elisabeth Anderson, Marcia Gordon of the new
Chester County affilate
In early April LOHV
launched a new affiliate in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Chester County
is close to Philadelphia and the new chapter will join with the
Philadelphia chapter on many local issues.