HSUS wrings hands over regulatory failure

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1999:

unfortunate decision for animals whose care
falls under the auspices of the USDA, the
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
has removed the requirement [in proposed
new Animal Welfare Act enforcement regula –
tions] that solid resting surfaces be provided
for all animals kept in commercial breeding
facilities,” lamented assistant editor Scott
Kirkwood in the July/August 1999 edition of
Animal Sheltering.
Animal Sheltering is a publication
of the Humane Society of the U.S. ––and
Kirkwood either didn’t know or just didn’t
mention the background to the failed proposed
requirement, detailed in the September
1995 edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE.

Briefly, in August 1995, at request
of lobbyists representing several other national
humane groups, 110 U.S. Representatives
and three U.S. Senators rallied by Representative
Glenn Poshard (D-Illinois) jointly asked
Agriculture Secretary Daniel Glickman for
“strong support” in attempting to legislatively
add the solid resting surface provision and
nine other specific standards to the Animal
Welfare Act enforcement regulations.
Before the request could be
announced to media, however, it was
upstaged by a press conference convened by
Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania),
who with 14 other Senators merely asked
Glickman to enforce the existing regulations
––which are so vague that successful prosecutions
for inhumane caging are very rare.
Congressional aides told ANIMAL
PEOPLE that the Santorum statement was
jointly drafted by American Kennel Club lobbyist
Jim Holt, American Veterinary
Medical Association lobbyist Pamela Abney,
and HSUS director of legislative affairs
Wayne Pacelle, who appeared with Santorum
at the press conference.
The USDA eventually did propose
adding the resting surface requirement and
several others from Poshard’s list to the
AWA regulations through the non-legislative
amendment process––but by then the proposed
changes no longer had political
momentum behind them.

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