Press Release

Rep. Jan Schakowsky Wins Animal Wellness Action Endorsement for Congress

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – Today, Animal Wellness Action, a Washington, D.C. non-profit focused on promoting legal standards to halt cruelty and to enforce those laws, formally endorsed U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., for re-election to the U.S House of Representatives. 

“The animals have no stronger ally and advocate than Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky,” said Wayne Pacelle, president at Animal Wellness Action.  “She is not only fighting to stop the slaughter of horses for human consumption throughout the United States, but she’s fighting for animals on every major policy initiative at work at the federal level.”

“We are proud to endorse Jan Schakowsky for Congress and applaud her tireless work to end horse slaughter, horse soring, and doping in American horse racing,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action, who has testified on two different occasions before Congress in support of Schakowsky-backed horse protection measures. “There’s been no member of Congress who’s done more to help horses in the past decade than Jan and we applaud her tireless work and dedication.” 

Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Marty Irby at a 2020 House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act in Washington, D.C. 

Rep. Schakowsky has been a leader on numerous animal protection measures in the U.S. House:

  • Schakowsky has long been a leader the SAFE Act that would permanently end the slaughter of equines on U.S. soil, and the transport of equines across state and federal lines for that purpose. 
  • Schakowsky has long been a leader the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act that would amend the 1970 Horse Protection Act to end the painful practice of soring – the intentional infliction of pain to Tennessee Walking Horses front limbs to induce an artificial pain-based gait known as the ‘Big Lick’ that’s prized at horse shows in Tennessee and Kentucky. The measure passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee in September.
  • Schakowsky championed the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act that was signed into law in December of 2020. The measure created a uniform national standard for drug testing and racetrack safety under the new Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority and banned the use of race day medication in Thoroughbred racing in the U.S.  
  • Schakowsky joined in leading a letter calling on the USDA to crackdown against the painful practice of soring at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, the event where most of the abuse occurs in the showring.

Rep. Schakowsky has cosponsored and backed a broad range of other important reforms:

  • Schakowsky is working as a cosponsor of the FDA Modernization Act to stop needless, costly, and inhumane animal testing. The measure recently passed the U.S. Senate and would end animal testing mandates at the FDA by amending the 1938 statute – a Depression-era requirement for animal testing for all new drug development protocols, allow for alternative methods when validated, and help reduce drug costs and time to market for voters.
  • Schakowsky joined as an original cosponsor of the MINKS Are Superspreaders Act to end mink farming in the U.S. as mink have proven to be the number one superspreader of COVID besides humans and have already spawned at least one new variant in the U.S;
  • Schakowsky cosponsored and voted for the Big Cat Public Safety Act, that would bar private citizens from keeping dangerous carnivores like lions and tigers in our communities;
  • Schakowsky joined a letter to the U.S. Postal Service Inspector calling on the Inspector to crackdown against illegal animal fighting shipments to Guam and other countries throughout the world. Dogfighting and cockfighting, are often bound up with illegal gambling, narcotics trafficking, and human-on-humane violence.
  • Schakowsky cosponsored the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act that would ban the trade in shark fins in the U.S;

Animal Wellness Action is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) whose mission is to help animals by promoting laws and regulations at federal, state and local levels that forbid cruelty to all animals. The group also works to enforce existing anti-cruelty and wildlife protection laws. Animal Wellness Action believes helping animals helps us all. Twitter: @AWAction_News