Name: State, Foreign Operations, Agriculture, Rural Development, Interior, Environment, Military Construction, and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2021
Bill Number: HR 7608
Each year, Congress passes bills appropriating funds for various federal agencies. While this year’s funding bill for the Department of Agriculture, HR 7610, contained several provisions that would positively impact animal welfare, a second bill—HR 7608—incorporates all of these measures (replacing HR 7610) as well funding for additional federal agencies and more benefits for animals. In addition, this bill has already received approval in the House and has moved forward for consideration in the Senate.
This combined appropriations bill would still prohibit the use of appropriated funds for several purposes, including:
The expanded bill also includes a prohibition on making funds available to conduct research on dogs by the Department of Veterans Affairs, if the study causes any pain or suffering to the animals, even if pain relief is administered as part of the study. This provision mirrors the Puppers Act, HR 1155, which was introduced in the House in 2019, but has not moved forward.
Inclusion of animal-friendly provisions in appropriations bills is important because it is often the only mechanism for enforcing these measures.
Call to Actions:
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Please support federal funding bills with animal welfare measures intact
Dear [Decision Maker],
I am writing to ask your support for HR 7608, the proposed State, Foreign Operations, Agriculture, Rural Development, Interior, Environment, Military Construction, and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, for the 2021 fiscal year. The bill contains several provisions that would benefit animal welfare and it is important that the final bill reflects them.HR 7608 would:--prohibit the use of funds to inspect and license slaughterhouses killing horses for human consumption; --prohibit new or continued licensing of Class B animal dealers selling dogs and cats for use in research;--continue APHIS inspections of USDA Agricultural Research Service facilities, requiring compliance with the Animal Welfare Act and its regulations; --revoke waivers issued to food processors during the COVID-19 emergency that would allow implementation of increased line speeds at slaughterhouses; and--prohibit funding of studies on dogs by the Veterans Administration that causes pain or suffering to the animals These are all important issues to me, and their inclusion in this bill helps to ensure that they are renewed on an annual basis and that their protections for animals are kept in place. I hope that you will give your full support to the passage HR 7608, including all of its animal welfare provisions. Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]