Why Politics Matters to Animals: A Report from the frontlines by congressman Earl Blumenauer

US Congressman Earl Blumenauer (Oregon) will be speaking about how working within the federal government can benefit the cause of animal protection.  He will then participate in a Q&A session with the audience.  Blumenauer is a member of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, a long-time animal advocate, and has worked on a wide range of economic and social issues.

Congressman Blumenauer (OR-3) was Elected to the US House of Representatives in 1996, and has created a unique role as Congress’ chief spokesperson for Livable Communities: places where people are safe, healthy and economically secure.  From 1996 to 2007, he served on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where he was a strong advocate for federal policies that address transportation alternatives, provide housing choices, support sustainable economies and improve the environment. He was a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee from 2001 to 2007, and vice-chair of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming from 2007 to 2010.  He is currently a member of the Ways and Means Committee and the subcommittees on Health, Social Security and Trade.

Among his efforts for animals, Congressman Blumenauer was a prime sponsor of the Captive Primate Safety Act to prohibit the interstate commerce in chimpanzees and other primates in the exotic pet trade, which poses a danger to animal welfare and to public health and safety; co-sponsored the Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments to ban barren battery cages in the egg industry and improve the treatment of hundreds of millions of laying hens; led the effort to marshal the support of his colleagues on a group letter urging adequate funding for the enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act, Horse Protection Act, Humane Methods of Slaughter Act and federal animal fighting law, as well as for programs to address the needs of animals in disasters and to ease a shortage of veterinarians in rural and inner-city areas and at the U.S. Department of Agriculture through student loan forgiveness; authored a letter to the National Institutes of Health requesting implementation of its Council on Councils’ Working Group findings that nearly all federally owned chimpanzees should be retired and sent to federal sanctuary; and co-sponsored the Safeguard American Food Exports Act to prohibit the slaughter and export of horses for human consumption overseas.

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