23 May 2008

From Yesterday's New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “A Disgraceful Farm Bill” (editorial, May 16):

While the farm bill recently approved by Congress deals with enormous agricultural policy issues, it also includes three important provisions to protect animal welfare.

Because the Agriculture Department enforces the Animal Welfare Act, this authorizing bill deals with a broad range of subjects regarding the humane treatment of animals.

The bill contains sweeping new penalties against animal fighting, included after the Michael Vick case revealed the pervasiveness of this crime.

The bill also bans the importation of puppies from foreign puppy mills, and increases penalties for violations of the Animal Welfare Act from $2,500 to $10,000. Enforcement has been inconsistent at best. These new penalties would give the law some much needed teeth.

The Humane Society of the United States and other animal protection organizations support the farm bill because of these achievements for animals. We hope Congress will vote to override the president’s veto.

Wayne Pacelle
President and Chief Executive
The Humane Society of the United States
Washington, May 21, 2008

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