During the COVID-19 Pandemic Dog Adoptions Soared
The Humane Society Legislative Fund (Humane Society) is the leading political organization in the United States that advocates on behalf of animal welfare and protection. In 2022 so far the Humane Society has spent 422,688 USD on lobbying costs and has lobbied on behalf of thirty-five bills. One of the larger, more complex bills on this list is H.R. 4512, the United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021. H.R. 151, the Preventing Future Pandemics Act of 2021, was presumably lobbied for by the Humane Society as it would ban the importing, exporting, buying, or selling of live wild animals for consumption, either as food or medicine. Wildlife markets, that sell or slaughter wildlife for human consumption, would be better monitored to address any threats caused by zoonotic disease outbreaks. If it passes, the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine would be required to report on the conditions at wildlife markets that lead to disease outbreak and transmission.
Animal based diseases account for 73% of all emerging infectious diseases amongst humans, with many found in wildlife markets.
The Humane Cosmetics Act of 2021, H.R. 6207, is another bill being promoted. Introduced in December of last year, this bill would generally prohibit animal testing for cosmetics as well as prohibit the sale of cosmetics that were generated with animal testing. Exemptions exist, especially for foreign produced cosmetics that must meet their own quality regulations. With 182 cosponsors from both sides of the aisle, this bill certainly has gained traction as of late.
Several lobbyists have been hired on behalf of the Human Society and their skillsets are quite diverse. Miriam Brody has experience lobbying the areas of animal welfare and budget and appropriations. Holly Gann is experienced in the arena of natural resources, while Sara Amundson has more than thirty years experience in animal protection and is one of the Humane Society first employees.
Shark Finning: The Fall of an Ecosystem
Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act (H.R. 2811) is another bill being championed by the Humane Society. If it passes, this bill would make it illegal to possess, buy, or sell shark fins or any product containing shark fins. Upwards of one-hundred million sharks are killed annually for their fins and many are tossed back into the ocean still alive and bleeding. Shark finning is widespread and largely unregulated with no limits on the age or size of the sharks that are caught. What is now a multi-billion USD industry, is having devastating effects on the world’s oceans with the threat of extinction for some shark species.