Thursday, July 11, 2013

Legislation Briefs and PUPS Update July 11, 2013

SAOVA Friends,

This will be a busy month for the members of Congress dealing with priority issues such as a new budget, the farm bill, student loans, and immigration laws, before returning to their districts for the August recess.

Concerns with the PUPS bill, HR847 / S395 do not need to take a backseat to any other legislation.  Many of you have already written to your Congressman expressing your opposition, but please do so again.   It is especially important to write to Congressmen who were newly elected last year to let them know PUPS is not the welfare bill that HSUS/ASPCA portray.

HR847 now has 127 cosponsors with 11 added during the month of June; S395 has 21 cosponsors with one added this week.  HSUS has already sent out two email blasts this year urging their minions to send form letters to Congress from the HSUS website.

The HSUS synopsis is overly simplistic and misleading, stating PUPS closes a “loophole” that currently allows large, commercial breeders to sell puppies online or directly to the public and escape federal licensing and inspection requirements.

PUPS creates the new definition high volume retail breeder. A breeder only has to have interest or custody of one breeding female dog to fall under the first criteria test. The second criterion includes anyone who sells or offers for sale, via internet, phone, or newspaper more than 50 dogs in a year.  Co-ownerships and location of co-owners, age/sex/ownership of the sold dogs are not taken into consideration.  Rescue is not exempt.

PUPS reverses a long-standing, court tested basis for pet business licensing and regulation in the commercial sector.

PUPS fails to consider that sight unseen sales have always existed via magazines and printed media and are not a new phenomenon created by the Internet.

PUPS requires specific, excessive, and impractical space for physical exercise. It does not simply ensure that dogs have daily exercise as HSUS and supporters claim.

PUPS allows private, home/hobby breeders to be the subject of activist harassment and Freedom of Information Act requests.

Find more talking points to download for your letters to Congress at the SAOVA website:    Please do this now!  Flyers are also available to use next month when members of Congress are back at local offices.

The world not only belongs to those who show up, it's controlled by the best informed and most motivated.  Follow SAOVA on Facebook!

Cross posting is encouraged.

Susan Wolf
Sportsmen's & Animal Owners' Voting Alliance
Working to Identify and Elect Supportive Legislators

National farming groups are suing the Obama administration over concerns that thousands of farmers and ranchers will have their personal information compromised. The American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Pork Producers Council filed a lawsuit on Friday to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from responding to information requests from environmental groups that they worry could include personal details about farmers and their families. “We are sticking up for the tens of thousands of farmers and ranchers whose personal information would end up in the public domain,” Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman said in a statement. “This lawsuit is about the government’s unjustified intrusion into citizens’ private lives.” Source: The Hill blogs  
Read press release at American Farm Bureau newsroom

Eight meat industry groups from the United States and Canada have sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture over the country-of-origin labeling rule finalized in May.  The American Meat Institute (AMI), American Association of Meat Processors, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Canadian Pork Council, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council, North American Meat Association and Southwest Meat Association joined in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court. The groups argue that the rule violates the Constitution by compelling speech without a substantial government interest; goes beyond the intentions of the original mandate; and is arbitrary and places undue burden on the industry. Read press release at AMI

Following USDA's announcement late last week to issue an inspection permit to a New Mexico equine slaughter plant, animal rights organizations have filed suit against the agency and asked for an immediate injunction. HSUS and various organizations are suing under the National Environmental Protection Act, alleging the agency failed to conduct an environmental review before authorizing horse slaughterhouses to operate.  The plaintiffs are represented in the case by Schiff Hardin, LLP and attorneys within The HSUS' Animal Protection Litigation section.

Aside from the New Mexico plant, FSIS said it expects requests for inspection from two more plants in Iowa and Missouri in the future.

Earlier HSUS filed a petition with USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to declare horsemeat unfit for human consumption. USDA denied that petition stating, “After carefully considering the issues raised in the petition and the supplemental statement, the Agency finds no merit in the assertion that all meat and meat food products from a horse without a proven lifetime history of all substances administered to it are adulterated under the FMIA.  FSIS has concluded that its existing authority under the FMIA and implementing regulations, which include requirements for the disposition of livestock suspected of having biological residues, along with the Agency’s National Residue Program (NRP), will allow the Agency to ensure that carcasses and horsemeat products that bear the mark of inspection are safe for human food.”  Full FSIS response

Introduced by Rep. Dan Benishek (R, MI-1) HR1825 directs Federal public land management officials to exercise their authority under existing law to facilitate use of and access to Federal public lands for fishing, sport hunting, and recreational shooting, and for other purposes. The bill establishes that Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service lands are “open unless closed” to hunting, fishing and recreational shooting.  HR1825 does not create hunting, fishing or recreational shooting opportunities where they are not already authorized; however it protects congressionally authorized activities from legal challenges that seek to interfere with authorized hunting, fishing and recreational shooting on federal land.

This important legislation was approved by the House Natural Resources Committee with a 28-15 vote and reported to the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy, and Forestry.

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