The Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal protection organization, and its affiliate, the Humane Society Legislative Fund, have announced the recipients of the congressional Humane Awards for 2010.
Top honors as 2010 Humane Legislators of the Year will go to:
? Congressman Elton Gallegly, R-Calif., for his leadership on a bill enacted in December 2010 to ban the creation and distribution of obscene animal torture (“crush”) videos, as well as introduction of a bill to require federal agencies to buy pork, egg, and veal products only from those who raise animals without intensive confinement; and
? Congressman James Moran, D-Va., for his leadership on a bill also enacted in December 2010 to require accurate labeling of fur apparel regardless of dollar value, along with his work as Chairman of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee to protect wild horses and to allow the EPA to collect greenhouse gas emissions data from the largest factory farms, and his assistance on the crush video legislation.
Reps. Gallegly and Moran are co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, working to organize animal advocates in Congress to become a more powerful political force. They both have longstanding records as animal protection champions, including Rep. Gallegly’s winning enactment of animal fighting legislation in 2007 and the original crush video bill in 1999, Rep. Moran’s strong voice opposing horse slaughter and commercial trapping on National Wildlife Refuges, and the two jointly introducing legislation in 2003 to end bear baiting on federal lands.
“We commend Congressmen Gallegly and Moran for their tremendous skill, compassion and tenacity in advancing key animal protection laws,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. “They have been in the forefront of so many of the most pressing issues affecting animals, and we are enormously grateful for their extraordinary work.”
Every year, the Humane Society Legislative Fund compiles a federal Humane Scorecard to provide a snapshot of animal protection issues considered by the U.S. Congress and give animal advocates a tool to assess the performance of their Senators and Representatives. The scorecard tracks key votes as well as co-sponsorship of important pro-animal bills and support for adequate funding needed to enforce key animal welfare laws. For 2010, in addition to the top awards for Reps. Gallegly and Moran:
- Humane Champion awards will go to 20 legislators who took the lead on animal welfare legislation and also received a perfect score on the 2010 Humane Scorecard.
- Legislative Leader awards will go to 99 legislators for their leadership as prime sponsors of pro-animal legislation.
- Humane Advocate awards will go to 25 legislators who received a perfect score on the 2010 Humane Scorecard.
In total, 146 legislators – more than one-third of the Senate and one-quarter of the House (representing 38 states and two U. S. territories) – will receive awards for their work in 2010. To see the complete list of 2010 awardees, please click here.
“Time and again, we see animal protection issues bringing Members of Congress together and bridging partisan divides,” said HSLF President Michael Markarian. “We thank these leaders for their compassion and determination to ensure that our animal welfare laws reflect our basic values and attitudes shared by people across the country.”
Previous recipients of the Humane Legislator of the Year Award include Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., in 2009, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., in 2008, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., in 2007, Rep. Chris Shays, R-Conn., in 2006, and Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., in 2005.
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