Current Legislation

Federal Legislation

Support:

H.R. 746 / S. 388  “AWARE” Act 

This bill increases animal comfort by requiring federal government agricultural research facilities to provide humane care for animals in their possession.  It would require these facilities to meet the minimum standards in the Animal Welfare Act.  Read this NPR piece about animal suffering at a federal animal research facility.

  • Status: H.R. 746: 02/27/2015 – Referred to the Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture
  • Status: S. 388: 02/05/2015 – Read twice and referred to Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
  • MA Cosponsors: Rep. Katherine Clark, Rep. James P. McGovern, Rep. Niki Tsongas, Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy, Rep/ Michael E. Capuano, Rep. William R. Keating, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Edward J. Markey

H.R. 1552  Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of 2015 

This bill creates a definition for “medically important antimicrobial” in the FDCA.  Using this definition, antibiotic use is limited to the treatment of sick food-producing animals and not as part of a regular diet.

  • Status: 03/27/2015 Referred to the Subcommittee on Health
  • MA Cosponsor: Rep. Niki Tsongas (as of 7/1/05)

H.R. 1258  Pets and Women Safety Act of 2015

The PAWS Act will provide additional protections for the animals of victims of domestic violence.  It prohibits persons from committing the offenses of interstate stalking and interstate violation of protection order against pets.  It grants restitution for veterinary costs caused by the offender and provides grants for emergency and transitional pet shelter and housing assistance for victims of domestic violence.

  • Status: 03/31/2015 Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations
  • Bill Sponsor: Rep. Katherine Clark (MA)
  • MA Cosponsors: Rep. Niki Tsongas, Rep. James McGovern, Rep. William R. Keating, Rep. Michael E. Capuano (as of 7/1/15)

S. 27  Wildlife Trafficking Enforcement Act of 2015 

This would apply the federal criminal code provisions regarding money laundering and racketeering to the Endangered Species Act, African Elephant Conservation Act, and the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act if the value of goods involved was over $10,000.  Penalties for violation include increased fines and imprisonment.  The money collected from fines and penalties would go to the benefit of the impacted species.

  • Status: 01/06/2015 Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
  • MA Cosponsors: none (as of 7/1/15)

H.R. 2016/S. 1081  Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act 

This bill would prohibit the use of any body-gripping traps by the National Wildlife Refuge System.  Body-gripping traps are any traps intended to capture or kill animals by physically restraining any part of the animal’s body. Learn more.

  • Status H.R. 2016: 05/26/2015 Referred to the Subcommittee on Federal Lands
  • Status S. 1081: 05/06/2015 Committee on Environment and Public Works. Hearings held.
  • MA Cosponsors: Rep. James P. McGovern. Rep. Michael E. Capuano (as of 7/1/15)

S. 1214  John Rainey Memorial Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act 

This bill would prohibit the sale and transportation of horses and equine parts for human consumption.  It also modifies the FDCA to declare equine parts as unsafe for consumption.

  • Status: 05/06/2015 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
  • MA Cosponsors: none (as of 7/1/15)


H.R. 2858 The Humane Cosmetics Act

The Humane Cosmetics Act would phase out animal-based testing for cosmetic products in the United States in favor of cutting-edge testing methods, and eventually prohibit the sale in the US of cosmetics tested on animals in other countries, making sure that only safe and humane products enter the American market.

  • Status: 6/23/2015 Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce
  • MA Cosponors: none (as of 7/3/15)

H.R. 2293 The Prevent Animal Creulty and Torture Act (The PACT Act)

This bill would empower the FBI and U.S. Attorneys to prosecute animal abuse cases that cross state lines.

  • Status: 06/01/2015 Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations
  • MA Cosponsors: Rep. James P. McGovern, Rep. Michael E. Capuano, Rep. Stephen Lynch (as of 7/24/15)

           

Oppose:
 
H.R. 687  Protect Interstate Commerce Act

This is a stand-alone bill similar the “King Amendment” that was stripped from the 2014 Farm Bill.  This legislation would prevent states from passing laws that would protect the welfare of all farm animals and overturn existing protections.

  • Status: 02/27/2015 – Referred to the Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture          

 H.R. 1099 / S. 595  Hunter and Farmer Protection Act       

These bills will weaken the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  They create new non-baited areas and alter the language of the Act to allow the taking of migratory birds on non-baited areas.  Any area that may attract or lure birds that is created by normal agricultural practices would not be considered a baited area.

  • Status: H.R.: 03/23/2015 – Referred to the Subcommittee on Federal Lands
  • Status: S.: 02/26/2015 – Read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works      

S. 90  Migratory Bird Treaty Amendment Act of 2015

This bill will weaken migratory bird protection by granting farmers, or hired hunters, immunity from the act under certain circumstances.  It allows for the farmers to use bait to hunt birds if the current or proceeding year’s crop was destroyed or made economically impracticable by a natural disaster.

  • Status: 01/07/2015 – Read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works

H.R. 697  African Elephant Conservation and Legal Ivory Possession Act of 2015

This bill would increase the legal ivory market by removing some of the limitations currently in place to restrict ivory imports and exports. The bill would allow for the import of elephant hunting trophies and would require US Fisheries and Wildlife Service to place a law enforcement officer in each African elephant range country. 

  • Status: 03/16/2015 - Referred to the Subcommittee on Federal Lands

           

For more information:

  • If your Senator/Congressperson has not signed on to a good bill (to support), please contact him/her and ask him/her to sign on as a co-sponsor.
  • To see a list of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation in the 114th Congress, click here
  • To find out who represents you and how to contact your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators, visit http://www.wheredoivotema.com/
  • To see how the MA Congressional Delegation has scored in previous sessions of Congress, see the Humane Society Legislative Fund's scorecards
  • To check on the status of a bill or to read the text, go to thomas.gov