Press Release

Senator Tammy Duckworth Wins Endorsement from Animal Wellness Action in Re-Election Campaign

Washington, D.C. – Animal Wellness Action announced its endorsement of U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois for her tremendous leadership on wildlife protection issues in the Congress. Duckworth is chairwoman of the Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife Subcommittee in the U.S. Senate.

With Senator John Kennedy, R-La., Senator Duckworth is the co-author of the Bear Poaching Elimination Act, S. 3472, to halt the killing of bears for their gall bladders and bile. The bipartisan legislation addresses two problems: 1) thousands of bears in Asia are cruelly confined in small cages while bile is extracted from their gallbladders to be used in cosmetics and Chinese medicine, and 2) and in the U.S., federal and state officials have revealed that poachers kill American bears for their viscera, putting species at risk and causing inhumane treatment to supply this illicit market. Of the eight bear species in the world, many are in peril, and the presence of any legal trade puts them all at risk because bladders are indistinguishable by species.

Duckworth is also the author of the Lead Endangers Animals Daily (LEAD) Act, S. 4157, to halt the use of lead ammunition on our country’s 570 National Wildlife Refuges, which are administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Shards of lead ammunition left behind in wildlife carcasses left behind in forests and or simply dispersed in streams and other wildlife habitats inadvertently poison millions of wild animals every year, from bald and golden eagles to loons to bobcats and wolves. In 1991, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service banned the use of lead ammunition in waterfowl hunting, and waterfowl hunting has continued uninterrupted, reducing lead poisoning, and protecting the species for a variety of wildlife uses, including hunting. Dozens of states have restrictions on lead ammunition, and California has eliminated its use entirely. The nation has taken steps to reduce human exposure to lead by phasing its use out in gasoline, plumbing, paint, and toys. Senator Duckworth’s legislation would be a major step forward in addressing its use in sport hunting. 

“Senator Tammy Duckworth is one of the leading wildlife protection advocates in the entire Congress,” said Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action. “She working to stop indiscriminate mass poisoning of wildlife with spent lead ammunition and also working to halt the trade in wildlife parts whose main byproducts are cruelty and scarcity.”

  • The Senator has cosponsored the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act to ban the trade in the fins of sharks destined for soup pots. This bipartisan legislation has cleared the Senate as an amendment to a larger legislative package and stands a chance of enactment before year’s end.
  • She is an original cosponsor of the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act and voted in support of the measure in July of 2019 that would end one of the most egregious abuses in the equine show world, the painful practice of ‘soring’ Tennessee Walking Horses. 
  • She is also a cosponsor of the Big Cat Public Safety Act to halt the breeding and trade in captive big cats for use as pets or as props in commercial cub petting operations. The companion bill, led by Illinois Congressman Mike Quigley, passed the House in July and is pending in the Senate.  
  • She was a cosponsor of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, that took effect in July of this year, signed into law to ban the use of race day doping in American horse racing. The measure created a uniform national standard for drug testing and track safety overseen by the private non-profit Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority. 

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