Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Animal Welfare In Your State

Although all states must meet the minimum standards set forth in the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), each can enact additional laws and policies governing the treatment of animals within their state. According to the Animal Welfare Information Center website, "The Animal Welfare Act was signed into law in 1966. It is the only Federal law in the United States that regulates the treatment of animals in research, exhibition, transport, and by dealers. Other laws, policies, and guidelines may include additional species coverage or specifications for animal care and use, but all refer to the Animal Welfare Act as the minimum acceptable standard."

I want to stress that the standards required by the Animal Welfare Act are so low that many consider them to be minimal standards for survival. If you take the time to read the AWA you may, like me, wonder how animals CAN survive in some of the conditions allowed--many don't. What makes me REALLY angry is that many puppy mills are repeatedly cited by inspectors for violating even these minimal standards, yet they continue to operate and their dogs continue to suffer. Oftentimes they are committing the same violations over and over, flagrantly thumbing their nose at the law. If someone is repeatedly cited for driving while intoxicated, are they allowed to keep their driver's license?

You can help animals by working to change the laws in your state. The following link will take you to the website of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Welfare Information Center. I encourage you to go to this site and become familiar with YOUR state's animal cruelty laws.

This next link will make it easy to find the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) director for your state. You can sign up to receive action alerts and to learn how you can help animals in your state as well as nationally.

One important way we can all make a difference for animals is by calling our elected representatives to ask them to vote in favor of the humane treatment of animals. It is especially important to make a call when a bill affecting animals is coming up for a vote. Legislators know that their constituents put them in office and can also vote them out. If you are age 18 or older and currently not registered to vote, please don't wait any longer! Use the power of your vote to help animals.

#animalwelfare #puppymills #animalwelfareact #animalcruelty #HSUS #humanesocietyoftheunitedstates #helpanimals

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