U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg dies at 89
From Animal People July-August 2013—
Frank R. Lautenberg, 89, the last World War II veteran serving in the U.S. Senate, died on June 3, 2013 from complications of viral pneumonia. A six-term U.S. Senator from New Jersey, Lautenberg had announced on February 15, 2013 that he would not seek re-election.
Recalled Humane Society Legislative Fund president Mike Markarian, in 2000, Congress adopted some provisions of Lautenberg’s Safe Air Travel for Animals Act. In 2006, Congress passed the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act, which Lautenberg co-authored with the late Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska. In addition,
Lautenberg co-authored the Horse Transportation Act, with Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, to prohibit the transportation of horses in double-decker trucks. He also introduced the Sportsmanship in Hunting Act, to ban interstate commerce in exotic mammals for the purpose of shooting them at trophy hunting ranches, and a resolution calling on Japan to stop drive hunts in which dolphins and small whales are chased into shallow waters and stabbed with long knives or trapped with nets to be sold into captivity. Quite recently he helped block legislation to allow the import of sport-hunted polar bear trophies from Canada, and measures designed to prevent federal agencies from restricting the use of toxic lead ammunition. Lautenberg in August 2008 asked the National Rifle Association
to disclose the details of espionage allegedly done within gun control groups by Mary McFate, also known as Mary Lou Sapone, whose work for the NRA had been exposed by Mother Jones. As Lautenberg was aware, McFate/Sapone in 1987-1988 infiltrated Friends of Animals, Earth First!, and the Connecticut Animal Rights Alliance on behalf of then-U.S. Surgical owner Leon Hirsch. In 1988 McFate/Sapone loaned fringe activist Fran Trutt the money to buy four pipe bombs, and introduced her to another operative who drove Trutt to place one of the bombs in the U.S. Surgical parking lot. Arrested at the scene, Trutt served a year in custody. Sapone’s role was disclosed days later by the late Animal Rights International founder Henry Spira, who interviewed Trutt in jail; Westport News editor John Capsis; and then-Animals Agenda editor and news editor Kim Bartlett and Merritt Clifton, now the president and editor of ANIMAL PEOPLE.