Saturday, April 27, 2013

Legislation Briefs April 27, 2013

Dear SAOVA Friends,

Never underestimate the resolve of animal rights organizations to bring an end to animal ownership and breeding as we know it today.  Following release of the APHIS 2014 Budget request, SAOVA reactivated the APHIS Rule Opposition List and it continues to grow. The list is truly an attention-getter; however, we need a HUGE push now to build it even larger before carrying it again to Congressional staff.

If your organization or business is not listed please do so now! EVERY state needs to be represented.  Send an email signed by an officer of the organization stating opposition to the Rule to Susan Wolf:  Please include state where your organization is located.  

The world not only belongs to those who show up, it's controlled by the best informed and most motivated.  Thanks for reading.

Cross posting is encouraged.

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

Plans have been drafted to lift protections for gray wolves across the Lower 48 states.
Roughly 5,000 wolves are now living in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes and are believed to be enough to ensure their long-term survival without introducing gray wolves elsewhere, such as the West Coast, parts of New England and the Southern Rockies. According to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service the rule is under internal review and will be subject to public comment before a final decision is made.

A bill based on the agreement between the HSUS and the United Egg Producers to set standards for egg-laying hens and the labeling of eggs has been introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).  Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) are cosponsors of S 820.  Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) has introduced a companion bill in the House.  HR 1731 is cosponsored by Representatives John Campbell (R-CA45); Jeff Denham (R-CA10); Sam Farr (D-CA20); Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA8); and Jared Huffman (D-CA2).

Sources say the United Egg Producers are committed to getting the legislation passed before the end of September. The Egg Bill establishes an approximately 18-year transition period where conventional cages will be phased out and hens will be housed in either enriched cages or in cage-free systems.

Fallout from Prop2, the 2008 HSUS backed ballot initiative in California, continues to threaten the California egg industry as 2015 draws closer and caged eggs will be banned. According to the 2008 UC Davis survey, California produces about 6 percent of the nation's table eggs, and consumes about 12 percent. The value of table egg production in California was about $330 million in 2007 and the industry produced almost 5 billion eggs per year from almost 20 million laying hens.

Although the number of eggs produced by cage-free hens has been increasing the last few years, hens housed in conventional cages are responsible for over 90 percent of egg production in the U.S.

Animal rights activists hacked the website of Hudson Valley Foie Gras — a large U.S. supplier — and sent the names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of their customers to animal rights groups.  North American Animal Liberation Press Office published the information online.  To commemorate Earth Day, hackers targeted Hudson Valley Foie Gras, the largest foie gras farm in the U.S., because they believe the ducks are being tortured.

Never one to let an opportunity for media attention slip by, Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) immediately sent a letter California Attorney General Kamala Harris asking her to investigate purchases by California residents that appeared on the hacked list.  ALDF wrote, “While wealthy restaurateurs and foreign corporations are exploiting California's under enforcement of the foie gras law, the state struggles with a budget crisis and cities flirt with bankruptcy. California taxpayers should not be subsidizing persistent violators when the state is nearly bankrupt and the foie gras law authorizes citations payable to enforcing agencies up to $1,000 per sale.”

Activists occupied an animal facility at the University of Milan, Italy releasing mice and rabbits and mixing up cage labels to confuse experimental protocols. Researchers at the university say that it will take years to recover their work. Many of the animals at the facility are genetic models for psychiatric disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. Some of the mice they removed were delicate mutants and immunosuppressed nude mice, which die very quickly outside controlled environments.

Five activists entered laboratories in the university’s pharmacology department on Saturday morning. The lack of signs of a break-in suggests that the activists may have used an illegally acquired electronic card to enter the lab. Activists posted photos of themselves on their website; two of them chained themselves by the neck to the main double doors. The department plans to press charges for theft and trespassing, and to recover financial damages.

Researchers worldwide are being asked to condemn acts these acts of extremism.

SANTA CRUZ -- A judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit filed against Santa Cruz Biotechnology Inc. alleging the company abused and neglected goats and rabbits. Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge Paul Marigonda dismissed the suit filed by the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund on behalf of an organization called Stop Animal Exploitation Now after ruling that the local court was not the proper forum to address it.  Santa Cruz Biotech supplies antibodies and other research materials to laboratories around the world. Last year it was ranked as the second-largest supplier in the United State's $1.6 billion global market for research antibodies, according to the journal Nature.
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel

Introduced April 2, 2013. Resolution H930 proposes to amend the Constitution of Maine to provide that the citizens of Maine have the personal right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife, subject to statutes enacted and agency rules that promote wildlife conservation and preserve the future of hunting and fishing, and to provide that public hunting and fishing are a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife.

Registry bills were introduced in 16 states for 2013 with multiple bills introduced in New York, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. The bills do not appear to have any momentum again this year; however, HB3747 in Texas is scheduled for a hearing Monday, April 29, 2013.  Texas residents are urged to oppose this measure.

In Hawaii the Attorney General’s office and the Public Defender’s office submitted testimony in Opposition to the animal abuser registry. The Attorney General noted that only nine (9) potential covered offenders in the past fifteen years would be required to register under this proposed 2013 bill and expressed concern about the resources and funds that would be needed to set up, maintain, administer, and enforce the proposed registry for so few individuals. The Office of the Public Defender stated in their opposition that the registry proposed in this measure makes no sense.  In addition they wrote, “While there is a governmental interest in keeping track of sex offenders, especially those who prey on strangers and children, there is no such interest or similar benefit in keeping track of animal abusers. These individuals do not typically prey on stray animals or pets that belong to strangers. The cases we have seen usually involve individuals abusing their own pets or a business owner and/or employee that mistreat their animals.”  The letter continued, “The funds allocated to maintaining this registry would be better utilized by providing counseling to the offender and/or their family members.”