The results are in! Our final 2023 Humane Scorecard is now available, providing a snapshot of where federal legislators stood on our core priorities for the first session of the 118th Congress.
Among the bills we scored for 2023 was a new one, the Better Collaboration, Accountability, and Regulatory Enforcement (CARE) for Animals Act (S. 2555/H.R. 5041). We view this as a serious priority because of our ongoing concern with lax enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Better CARE for Animals Act will give the Department of Justice more tools to strengthen enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act and deter violations at commercial breeding facilities, research labs, roadside zoos, and other facilities. The bill empowers DOJ to seek meaningful penalties and it also encourages greater collaboration with the USDA to ensure that DOJ has access to evidence needed to initiate cases. The scorecard incentivized 29 Senators and 176 Representatives to join this new bill quickly.
The other four bills included in the scorecard garnered over 200 House cosponsors in 2023. Each one enjoys strong bipartisan support, and those high co-sponsorship levels make it clear that members of both parties know their constituents want to see action on these measures. The Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act (H.R. 3090), which seeks to end notorious training barn cruelty that plagues Tennessee walking horses and related breeds, has 239 House cosponsors. The Puppy Protection Act (H.R. 1624), which addresses gaps in welfare standards for tens of thousands of breeding dogs and puppies, has 228. The Save America’s Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act (H.R. 3475), which prohibits both the reopening of horse slaughter plants in the U.S. and the export of American horses for slaughter, has 214. The fourth measure, the Humane Cosmetics Act (H.R. 5399), to phase out testing of cosmetics on live animals and the sale of cosmetics newly tested on animals in the U.S., has 203.
As we move into the second session of the 118th Congress, we’re optimistic about our chances to enact these and other measures, and to prevent passage of legislation that would undercut animal protection.
This is where we need your help. Please use the 2023 scorecard to inform your request that your U.S. representative and two U.S. senators join our priority bills if they are not yet cosponsors. In addition, please encourage them to take the pro-animal position on future votes and to step up as leaders on new efforts. You can find their contact information here.
Your dedicated advocacy is the engine that drives our campaign to secure the passage of humane and lifesaving animal protection measures at the federal level—thank you for your commitment to the cause of animal protection!