Senator Boxer: Working for Animal Welfare   

Thursday, February 15, 2007  

I am cosponsoring three important bills regarding animal welfare and wanted to let you know about them and about my interest in ensuring more humane treatment for animals.

First, I am pleased to be an original cosponsor of S. 311, Senator Mary Landrieu’s legislation to amend the Horse Protection Act to prohibit the shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling, or donating of horses and other equines to be slaughtered for human consumption.  Last year, the Senate came close to passing similar legislation to protect America’s horses, and I am pleased that this bill has garnered early bipartisan support.  Like last year, it will undoubtedly face opposition, but I am hopeful that we can prevail and protect America’s horses.

Second, I have cosponsored S.261, the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act of 2007, which amends the federal criminal code to prohibit most activities involving animal fighting and increases the penalties to a fine and up to three years' imprisonment for violations.  This legislation by Senator Maria Cantwell has received bipartisan support and will go a long way in ending the cruel activities involving animal and bird fighting.

I am also an original cosponsor of S.394, which would help to ensure more humane treatment of nonambulatory or “downed” livestock.  These are animals that, because of disease or injury, are unable to move about on their own.  Senator Akaka’s bill would prevent these “downed” animals from being transported to slaughterhouses for eventual human consumption and would, instead, mandate that they be euthanized in the field.   In part, this legislation would help to better protect the public from contaminated meat from diseased cattle. Importantly, however, it also provides for animals to be more humanely euthanized in the field rather than transported under what are often painful conditions for eventual slaughter. 

While the 110th Congress is just barely underway, the introduction of these three bills provides ample opportunity for steps to increase animal welfare and well being.  You can count on me to work for the passage of all of them.


Barbara Boxer, US Senator, California
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer