Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Lobbying for Animals
In the United States, animal welfare legislation comes into being the same way other laws are enacted...through state legislative process. States have the authority to create laws that don't conflict with federal law. Thus, each state may have differing regulations related to animals.
Since animals typically aren't high on the priority list for state representatives, some states have private lobbying groups that work toward the passage of laws that require humane treatment for animals. For example, a few years back, Missouri passed legislation that outlawed animal fighting. Instrumental in that effort was the Missouri Alliance for Animals, our state's only lobbying group that focuses specifically on animal welfare law. The Alliance is a nonprofit group that relies on donations and fundraisers to continue its work. They keep a finger on the pulse of what's happening in Jefferson City, and actively lobby for or against proposed legislation depending upon its impact on animals. What's more, the public is given information on legislative initiatives and how their own representative measures up in the area of supporting animal-friendly laws. Check out their website for legislative updates and more information on the important service they provide.
It's good to know that there's someone out there who provides a voice for those who can't speak for themselves.