Past Animal Welfare and Human Animal Bond Issues

Issue Summaries for the 112th Congress

(View issue summaries for the current Congress)

H.R. 835/ S. 707, the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety (PUPS) Act
This legislation would amend the Animal Welfare Act to require licensing and inspection of dog breeders who sell more than 50 dogs a year directly to the public. In addition it would also require that dogs in commercial breeding facilities have appropriate space and opportunity for daily exercise. The AVMA supported this legislation in the 111th Congress.

Status: This legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives on February 28, 2011 and currently has 105 cosponsors. It has been referred to the U.S. House Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry. The bill was introduced in the Senate on March 31, 2011 and currently has 6 cosponsors. It has been referred to the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
AVMA Position: Support
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller


Banning of Double-Decker Horse Trailers
The AVMA is in support of the banning the interstate transportation of horses in double-decker horse trailers. AVMA has been supportive of this legislation in the past and it is consistent with the AVMA policy on Humane Transport of Equines. The AVMA believes trailers on the road containing two or more levels to transport horses are not adequately equipped to humanely meet the space needs of a horse. 

Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller


H.R. 198, Veterans Dog Training Therapy Act
This legislation directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a pilot program for assessing the effectiveness of addressing post-deployment mental health and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms through a therapeutic medium of service dog training and handling for veterans with disabilities. Requires such program to be carried out at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers that can provide training areas for such purposes.

Status:
1/6/11, referred to Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Subcommittee on Health.
AVMA Position: No Action
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney L. Miller

H.R. 943, K-9 Companion Corps Act
This legislation establishes a grant program to encourage the use of assistance dogs by certain members of the Armed Forces and veterans with certain recognized disability.

Status: Introduced 3/8/11, referred to Committee on Armed Services, Subcommittee on Readiness with subsequent referral to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs.
AVMA Position: Support
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller 


H.R. 1154, Veterans Equal Treatment for Service Dogs (VETS) Act
This legislation restricts the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) to prohibit the use of service dogs in or on any VA facility or property or property that receives VA funding. 

Status: H.R. 1154 was introduced 3/17/11 and referred to the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Subcommittee on Health.
AVMA Position: Support
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller


H.R. 2966/S.1176, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act
This legislation would amend the Horse Protection Act (HPA) to prohibit the shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling, or donation of horses and other equines to be slaughtered for human consumption; give the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to detain for examination, testing, or taking of evidence, any horse at any horse show, horse exhibition, or horse sale that the Secretary has probably cause to believe is sore, or believed to be in violation of (1); and, to raise the authorization of appropriations from $500,000 to $5,000,000. 

Status: H.R. 2966 was introduced in the House of Representatives and referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, the Committee on Agriculture. S. 1176 was introduced in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
AVMA Position: Active Pursuit of Defeat
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller 


S. 1281, Horse Transportation Safety Act of 2011
This legislation would amend title 49 of the United States Code, to prohibit the transportation of horses in interstate commerce in a motor vehicle (except a vehicle operated exclusively on rail or rails) containing two or more levels stacked on top of one another. The legislation also sets forth civil penalties for persons who knowingly violate such prohibition. 

Status: Referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
AVMA Position: Active Pursuit of Passage
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller 


H.R. 1513/S. 810, The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act of 2011 Prohibits the conducting of invasive research on great apes, the use of federal funds to conduct invasive research on great apes, and the breeding of great apes for the purpose of conducting invasive research. It also requires permanent retirement of all federally-owned great apes to suitable sanctuaries. The AVMA is concerned that there is no funding mechanism for the long-term care of animals that will be placed into permanent retirement and that research focused on improving the health and welfare of affected species that is currently being conducted in zoological settings may be hindered. 

Status: H.R. 1513 was introduced 4/13/11 and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health. S. 810 was introduced 4/13/11 and referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
AVMA Position: Nonsupport
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller


H.R. 1733/S. 886, The Interstate Horseracing Improvement Act of 2011 Amends the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 to prohibit the use of performance-enhancing drugs in horses on race-day in races subject interstate off-track wagering. Requires host racing associations to implement policies that prohibit the use of performance-enhancing drugs, bans horses from racing that are under the influence of performance-enhancing drugs, and requires the use of accredited labs and testing regimes. Lays out civil penalties and suspensions from racing for violators. The AVMA is concerned with the overly-broad definition of performance-enhancing drug in this legislation, as well as the lack of authorization of appropriations for conducting required provisions. 


Status:
H.R. 1733 was introduced 5/4/11 and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade. S. 886 was introduced 5/4/11 and referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
AVMA Position: Nonsupport
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller


 H.R. 2256, The Pet Safety and Protection Act of 2011
Amends the Animal Welfare Act to list permissible sources of dogs and cats used by research facilities to include dogs and cats obtained: (1) from a licensed dealer, (2) from a publicly owned and operated pound or shelter that meets specific requirements, (3) by donation from a person who bred and raised the dog or cat and owned it for not less than one year, or (4) from a research facility licensed by the Secretary of Agriculture. Prohibits dealers from selling or otherwise providing any research facility with random source dogs or cats unless specified requirements are met.

Status: H.R. 2256 was introduced 6/21/11 and referred to the House Committee on Agriculture, Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry.
AVMA Position: Nonsupport
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller 

H.R. 2492/S. 1947, The Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act of 2011 Amends the Animal Welfare Act to prohibit any person from knowingly attending an animal fighting venture or causing a minor to attend such a venture. Sets civil and criminal penalties for violation.
Status: H.R. 2492 was introduced 7/11/11 and referred to the House Committee on Agriculture, Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry, and in addition to the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. S. 1947 was introduced 12/6/11 and referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
AVMA Position: Active Pursuit of Passage
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller

 H.Res. 220, National Animal Rescue Day Resolution
Expresses support for the designation of the first Saturday in October as "National Animal Rescue Day" to create awareness, educated humans of the importance of adoption, and create a humane environment for any pet, including the importance of spaying and neutering of animals, and encouragement of animal adoptions throughout the United States.

Status: H.Res. 220 was introduced 4/12/11 and referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
AVMA Position: No Action
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller 

H.R. 3798/ S. 3239, Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012

This legislation would amend the Egg Products Inspection Act to provide for a uniform national standard for the housing and treatment of egg-laying hens.

Status: H.Res. 220 was introduced 4/12/11 and referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.H.R. 3798 was introduced by Congressman Kurt Schrader (D-5th/OR) on January 23, 2012. S. 3239 was introduced by Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) on May 24, 2012.
AVMA Position: Support
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller


 H.R. 2074, Veterans Sexual Assault Prevention and Health Care Enhancement Act
This bill includes language from H.R. 1154, the Veterans Equal Treatment for Service Dogs Act, of which AVMA is supportive.  Amended language is included from H.R. 198, the Veterans Dog Training Therapy Act, on which the AVMA took the position of “no action”.  Section 5: Prohibits the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) restricting the use of service dogs in or on any VA facility or property or any facility or property that receives VA funding (language from H.R. 1154). Section 6: Directs the Secretary of the VA to carry out a 3-year pilot program for assessing the effectiveness of using dog training activities as a component of integrated post-deployment mental health and post-traumatic stress disorder rehabilitation programs.

Status: H.R. 2074 was introduced 6/1/11 and referred to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Subcommittee on Health.  Legislative hearing 7/25/11.  Subcommittee mark-up on 7/28/11, forwarded to full committee.  Full committee mark-up 9/8/11, ordered to be reported amended.  Amended bill passed by House on 10/11/11.  Received in Senate 10/12/11 and referred to Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.                                                            
AVMA Position: No Action
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller

 H.R. 2210, Sportsmanship in Hunting Act of 2011
This bill would amend the federal criminal code to prohibit knowingly (1) transferring, transporting, or possessing a confined exotic animal for purposes of allowing the killing or injuring of that animal for entertainment or for the collection of a trophy; (2) making available a computer-assisted remote hunt. Defines “confined exotic animal” as a mammal of a species not indigenous to the United States that has been held in captivity for the majority of its life or a continuous period of one year.

Status: H.R. 2210 was introduced 6/16/11 and referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.
AVMA Position: No Action
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller

 
 This bill would amend the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) so that no exhibitor may allow for the participation of an exotic or wild animal (including a non-human primate) in an animal act if that animal had traveled in a mobile housing facility in the previous 15 days.  The law shall not apply to accredited zoos and aquariums with certain restrictions; a university, college, laboratory or other facility registered pursuant to section 6 of AWA; animals to be used for film, television or advertising; or rodeos.

Status: H.R. 3359 was introduced 11/3/11 and referred to the House Committee on Agriculture, Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry.
AVMA Position: Nonsupport
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller 
H.R. 3704, Downed Animal and Food Safety
This bill would amend the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1958 to require that all nonambulatory livestock in interstate and foreign commerce be immediately and humanely euthanized when such livestock become nonambulatory. Allows for disease testing of such nonambulatory livestock prior to humane euthanasia.

S
tatus: H.R. 3704 was introduced 12/16/11 and referred to the House Committee on Agriculture, Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry.  
This bill amends the Lacey Ace Amendments of 1981 to add nonhuman primates to the definition of “prohibited wildlife species” for purposes of the prohibition against the sale or purchase of such species in interstate and foreign commerce.  The bill makes it unlawful for a person to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase a live animal of any prohibited wildlife species in interstate or foreign commerce (i.e., for pet trade purposes).
Status: H.R. 4306 was introduced 3/29/12 and referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular Affairs.  S. 1324 was introduced 7/5/11 and referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Ordered to be reported favorably by committee without amendment 6/21/12. 
AVMA Position: Nonsupport
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller 
H.R. 6388 Horse Protection Act Amendments 
This bill would amend the Horse Protection Act (HPA) to designate additional unlawful acts, strengthen penalties for violations, improve USDA enforcement, and for other purposes including. Provisions include: defining “action device” to include any boot, collar, chain, roller, or other device that encircles or is placed upon the lower extremity of the leg of a horse, creating a penalty structure that requires horses to be disqualified for increasing periods of time, based on number of violations, requring USDA to license, train, assign and oversee inspectors enforcing the HPA, making the actual act of soring illegal,
prohibiting use of action devices on any limb of Tennessee Walking Horses, Spotted Saddle horses, or Racking horses at horse shows, exhibitions, sales or auctions.  Also bans weighted shoes, pads, wedges, hoof bands, or other devices that is not strictly protective or therapeutic in nature. Increases civil and criminal penalties for violation.

Status: House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Commerce, Science, and Technology 
AVMA Position: Active Pursuit of Passage
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller
S. 1838, VA Service Dog Training Pilot Program
This bill directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to commence a three-year pilot program to assess the feasibility and advisability of using service dog training activities as components of integrated post-deployment mental health and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) rehabilitation programs at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers to positively affect veterans with such symptoms and to produce specially trained service dogs for veterans. Requires consideration of VA medical centers in rural or highly rural states. Makes veteran participation voluntary. Requires the Secretary to: (1) collect program data to determine its effectiveness, as well as the advisability of expanding the program to additional VA medical centers; and (2) report annually to Congress for the duration of the pilot program.
Status: S. 1838 introduced 11/9/11 and referred to the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.  Legislative hearing held 6/27/12.
AVMA Position: No Action
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller