Tag: House

Breaking! Bill Aiming To Stop The Wildlife Trade For Human Consumption Just Reintroduced In The U.S. House Of Representatives

The Preventing Future Pandemics Act was just reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to address the spillover of emerging infectious diseases from wildlife to humans.

As previously reported by WAN, the bill, which was first introduced in the House in September of 2020 by Representatives Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Fred Upton (R-MI), aimed to prohibit the import, export, and interstate trade of live wildlife for the purpose of human consumption. The bill also allocates $35 million for the implementation of this ban and calls on the State Department to pursue live wildlife market closures abroad through international coalitions and other diplomatic measures. This will include special consideration for indigenous peoples in communities that are dependent on wildlife consumption for food security.

“There is no question that, without decisive action, our unbridled exploitation of nature will continue to have devastating consequences for human health. The Preventing Future Pandemics Act helps address the root causes of zoonotic disease transmission by positioning the United States as a leader in reducing wildlife trade and the consumption of wild species,” said Cathy Liss, President of Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), in a statement.

The legislation also allocates $150 million to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to hire, train, and deploy at least 50 new law enforcement officers in countries where there is a flourishing illegal trade in at-risk species. Additionally, the United States Agency for International Development would receive $300 million to increase its efforts to promote global health, biodiversity, and combat wildlife trafficking.

“For the sake of our health, our economy, and our livelihoods, preventing the next pandemic before it starts is perhaps the most important thing we must do. For that reason, Representative Upton and I reintroduced the Preventing Future Pandemics Act at the very first opportunity on the day the new Congress was sworn in,” stated Quigley, who noted that the bill previously received robust, bipartisan support.

In the past 40 years, the worst pandemics and epidemics have all originated from the trade and consumption of animals amid the destruction of their habitats. A significant portion of this multi-billion-dollar industry is unregulated.

The United States is one of the world’s top importers of wildlife, responsible for an estimated 20% of the global wildlife market. While only a segment of this trade involves trafficking live wildlife for the purpose of human consumption, this sector must be eliminated to protect human safety and animal welfare.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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WAN Exclusive With Nina Jackel, Founder Of Lady Freethinker, About Undercover Investigation Exposing Horror At Dog Meat Auction House In South Korea

Photos from Lady Freethinker

A new undercover investigation this summer by animal rights nonprofit Lady Freethinker captured footage and images of confined dogs kept and sold in what is likely the largest remaining dog meat auction in South Korea at Nakwon Auction House in the city of Namyangju.

The auction and investigation took place during the Bok Nal Dog Eating Days, believed to be the hottest days of the year, when dog meat is consumed out of a mistaken belief that it will have a cooling effect. The dogs are typically cooked as boshintang, or dog meat soup, for Bok Nal.

WAN caught up with Founder and President of Lady Freethinker, Nina Jackel, about the investigation which found more than 200 dogs in metal crates and cages yelping in fear as an auctioneer prodded them with a metal hook. The investigation documented that there were 60 numbered cages, each containing three to four dogs.

“Lady Freethinker has partnered for years with an organization in Gimpo, South Korea, called Save Korean Dogs (SKD), run by a dedicated woman named Nami Kim who rescues dogs from the dog meat trade and works with local legislators to end the industry,” Jackel told WAN, noting that they had someone on the ground to film footage of SKD’s work, when the auction house opportunity presented itself. “The videographer was so brave, and wore a hidden camera even though the facility is on high alert for animal activists.”

“The ultimate goal is to save thousands of dogs from suffering at this facility by exposing what happens there,” noted Jackel, who wants officials to close down this auction house, which is most-likely operating illegally by not following regulations. “Our partner Nami, has already met with the mayor’s office following the release of the investigation, and is planning more visits.”

Unfathomably, South Korea remains the only country in the world with large-scale, commercial dog meat farms despite a decline in consumer demand for the meat by locals. The Korean Animal Welfare Association found in a 2019 poll of South Koreans that just 12.2% of respondents were still eating dogs, down from 13% in 2018. And, 41% reported that they used to eat dogs but were no longer doing so, up from 39.5% in 2018.

Lady Freethinker, in partnership with Save Korean Dogs, is also currently sponsoring 20 taxi ads in the city of Paju that state that “Dogs are not food but family,” and has been conducting undercover investigations since 2018; including one that exposed a dogfight breeder in Chile, which resulted in the strongest-ever sentence for animal cruelty in the nation.

While most major dog meat auction houses in South Korea have closed, Nakwon Auction House is believed to be the largest one remaining. The deplorable auction house is operating in a residential area and is advertised as a dog breeding facility. 

Please sign the petition urging Namyangju Mayor Cho Kwang-han to shut Nakwon Auction House down for good, HERE!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post WAN Exclusive With Nina Jackel, Founder Of Lady Freethinker, About Undercover Investigation Exposing Horror At Dog Meat Auction House In South Korea appeared first on World Animal News.

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The Horseracing Integrity And Safety Act Passes The U.S. House Of Representatives; Now Moves To The Senate For Vote

Landmark legislation to reform the horse racing industry unanimously passed the U.S. House of Representatives today. The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) led by Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) and Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY), creates a new independent regulatory authority responsible for establishing uniform safety and competition standards for Thoroughbred horse racing. HISA now heads to the U.S. Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is leading the effort for its passage.

“With today’s HISA passage in the House, we continue our momentum and move one step closer toward historic reform for the horse racing industry,” Barr said in a statement. The congressman has advocated for the development of uniform standards of competition in horse racing since entering Congress in 2013.

“Our bipartisan legislation to recognize a national standard for Thoroughbred racing is receiving support from all corners. Now, it’s earned the approval of the House,” stated McConnell. “I’d like to congratulate Congressmen Andy Barr and Paul Tonko and their colleagues for championing this legislation in the House. I look forward to their continued support as we work to continue to pass this bill into law.”

“After nearly six years working to advance this bipartisan legislation to modernize horse racing in the United States, we are at long last rounding the final turn,” said Tonko. “I urge my colleagues in the Senate to advance their companion legislation without delay and deliver it swiftly to the President to sign into law.”

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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U.S. House Of Representatives Passes Amendment Increasing Funding By $1.5 Million For The Protection Of Critically Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales

Yesterday, the United States House of Representatives approved an amendment to the fiscal year 2021 Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill, increasing funding for monitoring and researching the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale by $1.5 million.

The additional funds will also help develop and test new anti-entanglement technologies, like ropeless fishing gear.

This is especially critical following the announcement earlier this month that the North Atlantic right whale was moved from Endangered to Critically Endangered on the recently updated IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

The amendment, co-sponsored by Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), Rep. Golden (D-Maine), Rep. Rutherford (R-Fla.), and Rep. Posey (R-Fla.), increases total funding for the right whale to $6.5 million.

“Forty-one right whales since 2017 have died or been critically injured. That represents 10% of all the right whales we have left on planet Earth. We can choose to act and be the generation that brings this species back from the brink,  or, the one that stands by as it goes extinct,” Rep. Moulton shared in a post on his Facebook page. “I’m choosing action through the SAVE Right Whales Act and an amendment to increase funding for right whale research.”

The North Atlantic right whale is one of the world’s most endangered large whale species. Fewer than 400 survive today, with only 95 females of breeding age. Once hunted by generations of European and New England whalers, the North Atlantic right whale continues to face human-caused dangers along the eastern seaboard of Canada and the United States.

“We are grateful that representatives on both sides of the aisle and from across our nation recognize the North Atlantic right whale’s dire situation and are responding with action. However, funding is only half the battle,” Jane Davenport, senior attorney at Defenders of Wildlife, said in a statement. “We urge Congress to pass the SAVE Right Whales Act, allowing the government, fishing and shipping industries, and nongovernmental organizations to organize and protect the right whale from extinction.”

Even when entanglements are not fatal, they often maim whales or prevent them from building adequate fat stores, limiting females’ ability to birth calves.

Females and calves are also uniquely vulnerable to vessel strikes. Out of 10 right whale calves born in the 2019-20 calving season, two have already been killed by vessel strikes and their mothers have not been resighted since.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post U.S. House Of Representatives Passes Amendment Increasing Funding By $1.5 Million For The Protection Of Critically Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales appeared first on World Animal News.

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