Failed House Farm Bill promoted puppy mills, horse slaughter and shark fins

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An all inclusive farm bill failed in the House on Friday even though Republican leadership gambled it would pass despite Democratic opposition. The final vote 198-213. Although it contained some positive provisions for animals, according to the Humane Society of the United States,  it included the harmful provision—the “Protect Interstate Commerce Act” (H.R. 4879) inserted in committee by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).

Rep. Steve King’s amendment would essentially have ended state laws that protected against puppy mills selling sick puppies to the public and pet stores, selling horse, dog and cat meat and the promotion and sale of sharking “finning.”  The legislation had been adamantly opposed by animal welfare groups with more than 200 organizations on the record opposing it, as did a bipartisan set of 119 Representatives led by Reps. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.).  The legislation would have stopped states from regulating “agricultural products” sold in other states and ended the prohibition of selling cat, dog, horse meat, shark fins and foie gras to states like California, Georgia, Mississippi and Oklahoma.

According to  Michael Markarian, only six states have laws against preventing the dog and meat trade in the country. An overwhelming bipartisan vote of 359-51, included in the bill,  would have strengthened federal laws on animal fighting. Sponsored by Reps. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), Blumenauer, John Faso (R-N.Y.), and Steve Knight (R-Calif.), the legislation clarified federal prohibitions against dogfighting and cockfighting applicable to the entire country.

In addition, the failed bill would have cancelled regulations about wood containing invasive pests crossing state lines, challenged rules on pesticides and threatened to end laws using warning labels currently for tobacco, alcohol and artificial sweetener consumption. The bill also would have ended the statewide bans on gestation crates for pigs and hens – wire enclosures where the animals can not move. An amendment to stop cruel and illegal “soring” of show horses was denied.

King attempted to include the same legislation in 2013, but met similar opposition from animal rights groups. Large pet stores have since complained that state and local laws prohibit them from buying puppy mill pets thus being forced out of business.

King previously supported permitting the trophy killing of polar bears and importing the heads and hides killed in Canada. In 2012, King defended dog fighting in a town hall meeting when he stated it would be “wrong” to make it a crime since it’s legal to watch humans fight.

“…It’s wrong to rate animals about human beings and there’s something wrong with the priorities of people who would ban animals from fighting,” King stated.

Even though King backed off on the controversial stance when his statements went viral, in 2017, he was just one of 39 House representatives to oppose stronger penalties for transporting fighting animals across state lines and repeatedly voted “to wipe out state laws restricting the sale of dog and cat meat.”

“We thank everyone around the country who weighed in with their members of Congress to keep anti-animal welfare language out of the Farm Bill and to include critical animal protection provisions. As the House turns back to putting together a Farm Bill with stronger bipartisan support, we urge legislators to remove the intensely controversial King language and, as in past Farm Bills, include advances for animals such as the already approved provisions on animal fighting and the dog and cat meat trade as well as others.”

For more information to your lawmakers, please click here. Make a change and get out and vote this November. Share the news.

(Photo of puppy mill victim via ASPCA)

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5 replies
  1. susispot says:

    Thank God this was squashed once again. This puke needs to realize we are not going to let him sneak his insane agenda into reality. He is an evil thinker.

  2. Darla G says:

    Steve King is an idiot…a loose cannon. I live in Iowa but not in his District so unfortunately I can’t have the pleasure of voting him out of office.

  3. Nancy Raymond says:

    This idiot Steve King should be nailed to a tree and used as target practice – he has continually opposed animal welfare acts – promotes and condones dogfighting and is a horrible representative for the state of Iowa and needs to be out of office. Animals deserve protection from assholes like him – his actions prove he is a waste and hopefully, Iowans will realize he is doing their state no good. And thanks to all the jerkoff Republicans who continually seem to think animals are so low on the Richter scale they should not be protected from abuse, or mistreatment – Well, hopefully, by the next election you will all be looking for new jobs.




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