Today, Representatives Joe Neguse (D-CO), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Steve Cohen (D-TN), and Buddy Carter (R-GA) introduced the Animal Cruelty Enforcement (ACE) Act, sweeping bipartisan legislation to protect animal welfare and keep our communities safe.
The bill would establish a dedicated Animal Cruelty Crimes Division at the Department of Justice to aid in the investigation, enforcement, and prosecution of felony animal cruelty crimes. Studies repeatedly show that there is a close link between animal cruelty and violence toward people. By bringing charges against perpetrators of animal cruelty, we can prevent individuals with a propensity for violence from further harming animals or turning that violence on people.
Congress has made important strides to prevent animal cruelty recently,” said Rep. Carter. “Now, we need to ensure the laws are enforced. This legislation will provide the resources necessary to combat animal-fighting and other barbaric practices.
A few weeks ago, Congressmen Neguse and Gaetz were also successful in passing two amendments to the House Appropriations Minibus to provide the USDA Office of the Inspector General and the Department of Justice with $1,000,000 each in funding to enforce animal cruelty laws. This is the 2nd year in row they have led amendments in the House to ensure robust funds for enforcement of animal cruelty crimes. They also secured language in the base Appropriations bill to encourage enforcement of animal cruelty crimes and to instruct the Department of Justice to study the creation of a dedicated animal cruelty crimes unit through a letter signed by 45 other Congressmembers.
USDA Animal Care has created a new, online form for members of the public to submit their concerns about animals that are covered under the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act.
The form is on our website here: It is a quick and efficient method to notify us of animal welfare concerns so we can look into those concerns. Complaints can be made anonymously; however, providing your contact information will allow us to contact you if we need additional information.
We will continue to take complaints by phone, email or regular mail. You can find contact information here.
We take all animal welfare complaints seriously and will continue to look into each one thoroughly, regardless of the method used to submit the complaint.
The Animal Welfare Act and its associated regulations set the federal standards for humane care and treatment that must be provided for certain warm-blooded animals that are: exhibited to the public; bred for commercial sale; used in biomedical research; or transported commercially. Facilities engaged in these regulated activities must provide their animals with adequate housing, nutrition, water and veterinary care, and they must protect the animals from extreme weather and temperatures.
The Horse Protection Act and its associated regulations seek to put an end to soring by preventing sored horses from participating in exhibitions/shows/sales/auctions. Soring is an illegal practice in which horses are subjected to chemical and/or mechanical irritants in order to enhance their gait. USDA Animal Care’s ultimate goal is to end this inhumane practice completely.
Source: USDA Animal and Plant Health and Inspection Service
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