Hopeful Sign: Animals Gain Some Protection in New Budget
The Humane Society Legislative Fund, the government affairs affiliate of the Humane Society of the U.S., worked with animal protection champions in both chambers and with other stakeholders to secure success on several fronts in the 2018 federal budget.
Victories include preventing the slaughter of wild horses and burros, preserving protections for carnivores on National Park Service lands in Alaska, preserving Endangered Species Act protections for Great Lakes wolves and urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to restore inspection reports and enforcement records for horse shows, puppy mills, roadside zoos, laboratories and other facilities that were purged from the agency’s website in early 2017.
The budget also adds another $2 million for USDA enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act and $5 million to train and provide therapeutic service dogs for veterans and soldiers. It holds the line against cuts on many other vital fronts affecting animals, such as the Marine Mammal Commission and development of alternatives to live animal testing.
Harmful provisions still reflected in the budget include exempting concentrated animal-feeding operations from reporting toxic air emissions and maintaining a prohibition on the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate toxic lead content in ammunition and fishing tackle that poison and kill wildlife.
This article appears in the September 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.