In terms of animal welfare legislation, the past few weeks have been progressive and exciting. In case you haven’t heard, here are some recent victories for animal welfare in the U.S.:
Ohio’s Animal Welfare Reforms
On June 30 Ohioans for Humane Farms and Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland's office reached an agreement to implement a number of significant animal welfare reforms in the state. These reforms, originally proposed in a WSPA-endorsed citizen-backed ballot measure will help to end some of the cruelest factory farming practices in the state of Ohio. Read more about the specific reforms
Hawaii’s Shark Finning Ban
The nation’s very first shark fin ban went into effect on July 1 in the state of Hawaii. Hawaii’s earlier laws were complicated, difficult to enforce and contained many loopholes that allowed the inhumane, wasteful practice of shark finning to continue. This new law, spearheaded by HSUS and supported by WSPA, closes these loopholes and prohibits the sale, possession, trade or distribution of shark fins and fin products. The law also prevents the landing or taking of any species of shark in Hawaii and its waters and represents a victory for native Hawaiians and animal protection advocates who have fought against this cruel practice. Read more about this victory for sharks
California’s Landmark Legislation for Egg-Laying Hens
In November 2008, 63.5 percent of California’s voters passed the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act (Proposition 2) with more votes than any citizen initiative in California’s history. Proposition 2 allowed farm animals more space and freedom to express their natural behaviors and ended some of the most cruel and inhumane confinement practices. On July 6, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill supported by WSPA – this bill requires that all whole (shelled) eggs sold in California for human consumption meet the same animal welfare standards as outlined in Proposition 2 for laying hens, regardless of where they were produced, by January 2015. This law will not only have a positive impact on the hens who produce the billions of eggs consumed in California each year, but will likely set a precedent for improving the welfare of laying hens throughout the U.S.
None of these victories would have been possible without the support of WSPA’s supporters and animal advocates around the U.S., and worldwide. So – on behalf of animals – thank you for your continued determination and generosity!