In response to a New York Times article by journalist Michael Moss (@MichaelMoss) detailing the neglect of animals at a federal research facility in Nebraska, lawmakers have introduced new legislation. The bill – Animal Welfare in Agricultural Research Endeavors (AWARE) Act – would amend the current Animal Welfare Act to remove existing exemptions for animals used in research at federal facilities. Both Democrats and Republicans signed on.
Michael Moss reports this breaking news for the New York Times:
“As stewards of taxpayer dollars, we felt a responsibility to present a legislative fix that holds the U.S.D.A. to the same humane standards that countless research facilities across the country are held to,” said one sponsor, Representative Mike Fitzpatrick, a Pennsylvania Republican. The Senate sponsors include Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat who wrote on Twitter last month that the article in The Times “speaks to a level of cruelty to animals that is unacceptable.”
Two lawmakers involved in the legislation were Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Representative Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA).
Hoard’s Dairyman (an online journal devoted to dairy farming) reported that the two had stepped into a leadership role for “The Congressional Animal Protection Caucus (CAPC).” CAPC is a non-partisan congressional group that highlights important issues affecting animals.
Learn more about the background to this story from a previous UC Food Observer post.