House passes second funding package with welcome news for chimpanzees, right whales and farm animals

A committee report directs the National Institutes of Health to
promptly transfer approximately 40 retired chimpanzees now
languishing at the barren Alamogordo Primate Facility in New
Mexico, as well as chimpanzees at two other research centers, to
retirement at Chimp Haven, a federal sanctuary based in Louisiana.
Photo by Brandon Wade/AP Images for the HSUS and Chimp Haven

The U.S. House has just approved additional help for animals,
including right whales, chimpanzees and farm animals, as it
continues the process of appropriating funds for federal agencies
and departments for FY2021.

The provisions that passed the full floor today by a vote of 217
to 197 are included in the House’s second minibus, a package of
appropriations bills, and they build on wins we helped secure in
the first such package that
passed last week
for wildlife, companion animals and wild
horses and burros. The minibus approved today funds departments
including Commerce, Health and Human Services, Transportation and
the U.S. Postal Service.

Following are some of the reforms in this package addressing key
animal welfare issues:

More funding for research on North Atlantic right
whales:
These critically endangered
animals
are just a step away from extinction, with fewer than
400 individual whales left in the seas off the U.S. and Canadian
coast. House members approved an amendment that would provide an
additional $1.5 million to the Department of Commerce (on top of
the $5 million already in the base bill) for research and
monitoring of these whales to help reduce entanglements and vessel
collisions, both among the chief causes of mortality. Reps. Seth
Moulton, D-Mass., Jared Golden, D-Maine, Bill Posey, R-Fla., and
John Rutherford, R-Fla., offered this amendment.

Retiring chimpanzees to sanctuaries: The
committee report accompanying the appropriations bill funding the
Department of Health and Human Services directs the National
Institutes of Health to promptly transfer approximately 40
retired chimpanzees
now languishing at the barren Alamogordo
Primate Facility in New Mexico, as well as chimpanzees at two other
research centers, to retirement at Chimp Haven, a federal sanctuary
based in Louisiana. Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif.,
successfully prevailed on the appropriations committee to include
this humane and cost-effective provision.

Continuing a crucial funding source for wildlife
conservation efforts:
To date, sales of the Save Vanishing
Species first class stamp have raised more than $5.9 million for
the conservation of some of the world’s most imperiled species,
such as elephants, tigers and sea turtles, and supported 99
conservation projects in 35 countries, at no cost to U.S.
taxpayers. Although 50 million more of these stamps remain in
stock, they will no longer be sold past 2020 unless Congress
approves an extension. The House already passed H.R. 1446
(introduced by Reps. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo., and Jeff
Fortenberry, R-Neb.) to authorize the USPS to continue selling
these stamps, but the Senate has not acted on it or the companion
bill, S. 652 (introduced by Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Tom
Udall, D-N.M.), so the minibus provides an alternate path to fix
the problem. Appropriations subcommittee chairman Mike Quigley,
D-Ill., championed inclusion of this language to permanently extend
sales of the stamp for as long as copies remain, with support from
Rep. José Serrano, D-N.Y.

In other good news, the House Rules Committee, under the
leadership of Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass., prevented floor
consideration of a harmful amendment that would have worsened
transport conditions for farm animals. The amendment, filed by
Reps. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., and Collin
Peterson, D-Minn., would have imposed a one-year delay on the
implementation of a Department of Transportation rule to ensure
that livestock haulers take adequate sleep breaks. Truck driver
fatigue and resulting crashes are a major public health and safety
problem, and this amendment would have drastically expanded already
excessively long driving shifts and increased the risk of crashes.
Longer trips without rest periods could also increase disease risk
because there’s evidence that animals packed closely together
under such difficult conditions can easily get and spread pathogens
like influenza and salmonella.

We are excited about these wins. Along with the reforms
announced last week, they help ensure that our country continues to
make progress on key animal welfare issues that the Humane Society
of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund have been
fighting for over a long time. We now urge the Senate to quickly
take up, and approve, these crucial reforms. As the appropriations
process continues in coming months, we’ll keep you informed on
these issues and more.

Sara Amundson is president of the Humane Society Legislative
Fund.

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House passes second funding package with welcome news for
chimpanzees, right whales and farm animals
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Source: FS – Pets – A Humane Nation
House passes second funding package with welcome news for
chimpanzees, right whales and farm animals