During my time in Congress, I have consistently supported efforts to ensure the humane treatment of animals. Mistreatment of animals is cruel and unnecessary, and I am working hard to prevent inhumane practices.
I believe that the practice of slaughtering horses for human consumption should be permanently banned. That’s why I have been a long-time supporter of legislation which would prohibit horse slaughter and related commercial activities. Over 90,000 American horses were slaughtered for human consumption last year, and many were likely mistreated on their way to the slaughterhouse. I have also co-sponsored legislation which would reinstate protection for wild horses from commercial slaughter. Wild horses are one of our nation’s treasures, and I oppose their capture and slaughter. In 2006, Congress was successful in passing a 1-year ban on horse slaughter in both the House and the Senate. This is a great step, but we need to go further.
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita revealed a serious flaw in evacuation plans when many Gulf Coast residents were not allowed to bring pets with them while evacuating their homes. I cosponsored and supported House passage of H.R. 3858, the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (PETS) in the 109th Congress. The PETS Act, which was signed into law in October 2006, would require local and state disaster plans to include a provision regarding pets and service animals. People in disaster situations should not be made to choose between their pets or their own safety.
Currently, Animal Welfare Act standards of care do not apply to commercial dog and cat breeders who sell animals directly to the public. These "puppy mills"do not necessarily have the best interests of the animals in mind, and often do not give them adequate living conditions and veterinary care. I support legislation that would provide better oversight of these facilities, to help ensure better care for animals residing in them. I have also joined my colleagues in supporting measures that would prohibit the U.S. import of puppies for commercial sale from foreign puppy mills. Any dog imported into the U.S. should be in good health and at least 6 months old. I will continue to fight for these and other animal welfare issues.