Legislative Calendar

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2002:

U.S. President George W. Bush on August 12 vetoed a $17.9
million Congressional appropriation of emergency funding to combat
Chronic Wasting Disease. Similar to “mad cow disease,” CWD attacks
deer and elk. Identified among captive deer and elk herds in
Colorado as far back as 1966, it was long regarded as an isolated
curiosity –but within the past year it has been detected as far east
as Wisconsin, as far north as Alberta and Manitoba, and as far
south as the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Suspicions are
growing, meanwhile, that like “mad cow disease,” it has begun
attacking and killing humans who eat the diseased portions of
infected animals. Part of a $5.1 billion anti-terrorism package,
the appropriation would have allocated $14.9 million to the USDA
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, $2 million to the
Agricultural Research Service, and $1 million to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention. The federal agencies were in turn to
grant the money to their state counterpart agencies. Bush said he
vetoed the appropriation because the $5.1 billion bill included too
many other unrelated riders, such as funding for AIDS prevention and
aid to Israel and Palestine.

New York Governor George Pataki on July 23 signed a bill
strengthening the 1981 and 1998 New York state legislation banning
the transport of horses in double-decked cattle and hog trailers.
Often used by “killer buyers” to haul horses from Pennsylvania
auctions to slauighterhouses in Quebec, the double-decked trailers
force horses to stand for many hours in an unnatural position. Some
haulers have repeatedly flouted the ban, according to Christine
Berry of the Equine Protecton Network, including Arlow Kiehl of
Watertown, New York, who was convicted in 1998, 200, and 2001,
and David Karper, of Frank Carper & Sons in Cranbury, New Jersey,
who still has not paid a fine of $11,000 levied in 1994.

Pataki in early August also signed a bill which requires
nuisance wildlife control personnel to be licensed and to pass a
training course to be started by the New York Department of
Environmental Conserv-ation. The course is to include information
about nonlethal ways to resolve common nuisance wildlife problems.

Illinois Governor George Ryan on August 6 signed a bill
creating a misdemeanor penalty for either selling or producing for
sale videotapes of illegal cruelty to animals. Offenders may be
jailed for a year and/or be fined up to $2,500. American SPCA
attorney and regional legislative representative Ledy Van Kavage told
ANIMAL PEOPLE that the bill exempts news reporting and documentation
of cruelty by representatives of humane organizations for the
purposes of achieving prosecution or prevention of the acts depicted.

Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating on August 20 signed an
executive order placing a ballot initiative seeking to ban
cockfighting on the November 5 state ballot, ending two years of
delay while the Oklahoma Gamefowl Breeders Association pursued legal
appeals to keep the initiative from going before the voters. The
Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled against the gamefowl breeders in
November 2001, July 2002, and earlier in August 2002.
“Cockfighting is cruel, it promotes illegal gambling, and it is
simply embarrassing to Oklahoma to be seen as one of only a tiny
handful of locations outside of the Third World where this activity
is legal,” Keating told reporters. “I will vote yes for State
Question 687,” as the initiative is officially called, “and I
encourage all Oklahomans to do the same.”

California Governor Gray Davis is expected to soon sign a
bill to increase regulatory supervision of animal use in veterinary
blood banks. The bill cleared the state assembly on August 25 and
the state senate on August 29.

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