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May 15, 2009


 Legislative priorities identified

Posted May 1, 2009

Capitol buildingThe Executive Board approved several recommendations from its Legislative Advisory Committee regarding bills in the 111th Congress.

The Horse Transportation Safety Act of 2009 (H.R. 305) was given a designation of "active pursuit of passage." The bill would prohibit the interstate transportation of horses in a motor vehicle containing two or more levels.

Support of H.R. 305 is consistent with the AVMA policy on "Humane Transport of Equines," the LAC explained in the recommendation background. Moreover, the AVMA has consistently supported related proposals aimed at protecting the welfare of horses in transit to slaughter.

The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (H.R. 503/S. 727) was designated for "active pursuit of defeat." The legislation would criminalize shipping, transporting, purchasing, selling, delivering, or receiving any horse, horse flesh, or carcass with the intent that it be used for human consumption.

The AVMA opposes the bill because it fails to adequately address the fundamental welfare issues associated with unwanted horses that will be impacted by this legislation.

The Crane Conservation Act of 2009 (H.R. 388/ S. 197) was designated for "support." The bill establishes a fund under the Multinational Species Conservation Fund to assist in the conservation of cranes by supporting and providing financial resources for conservation programs in countries whose activities affect cranes and their ecosystems. The House passed H.R. 388 April 21.

The AVMA has historically supported the Multinational Species Conservation Fund as a member of the Multinational Species Coalition. Support of this effort is consistent with AVMA policy on "Conservation of Wild and Exotic Animals."

The Great Cats and Rare Canids Act of 2009 (H.R. 411/S. 529) was designated for "support." The bill sets up a fund under the Multinational Species Conservation Fund to assist in the conservation of rare felids and rare canids, which face a variety of threats, including habitat degradation, loss of natural prey, intentional and unintentional takings by humans, and disease transmission. The fund will not support North American species, including the gray wolf. The House passed H.R. 411 April 21.

Support of this effort is consistent with AVMA policy on "Conservation of Wild and Exotic Animals."

The Captive Primate Safety Act of 2009 (H.R. 80/S. 462) was designated for "nonsupport." This legislation would make it unlawful to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate or foreign commerce any prohibited wildlife species. Exemptions are made for certain persons or agencies, such as those licensed by the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The AVMA had a position of "support" for that legislation in the 110th Congress, but the current version has an exception for the use of nonhuman primates as service animals, which conflicts directly with the AVMA policy on "Nonhuman Primates as Assistance Animals" and indirectly with the policy on "Private Ownership of Wild Animals." The LAC recommended that GRD staff work with Congress to address the Association's concerns with the legislation.

In addition, the board reaffirmed several AVMA legislative positions from the 110th Congress.