Animal Wellness Action, one of the nation’s leading public policy organizations devoted to animal welfare, is pleased to endorse Congresswoman Cindy Axne in her re-election campaign for the Third Congressional District of Iowa. She’s in a newly drawn district, and it’s important that voters understand that she’s one of the leading animal welfare advocates in the Congress. We cannot afford to lose a champion like her.
A member of the Committee on Agriculture, she is in a very important position to influence the formulation of the Animal Welfare Act and to drive new policies to protect animals from cruelty. She’s leading on legislation to crack down on puppy mills and animal fighting. She’s also cosponsored legislation to ban horse slaughter for human consumption, to ban greyhound racing in the U.S., and to create an Animal Cruelty Crimes section at the Department of Justice.
Animal fighting and Puppy Mills. Axne plans to soon introduce legislation to strengthen the federal law on animal fighting. She supported the last upgrade of the federal law against animal fighting, applying all prohibitions in the law (staging fights, attending a animal fighting event or bringing a minor to one of these spectacles of cruelty, or possessing animal for fighting) to the U.S. territories. Her new bill, which protects animals and agriculture, will fortify the law even more substantially. Last December, Axne introduced a bill to crack down on puppy mills. The bill is named “Goldie’s Act,” after a golden retriever who died under the care of Iowa puppy mill owner Daniel Gingerich, who operated in Iowa for two years and amassed over 100 violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
Animal cruelty and domestic violence. The Congresswoman was an early leader on the Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act, which expands federal domestic violence protection to include pets. She was also a stalwart supporter of the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, which establishes a national anti-cruelty law for the first time in our republic’s history.
Reducing needless and painful animal testing. The FDA Modernization Act would eliminate a Depression-era requirement for animal testing in the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act (21 USC § 355) and to allow for innovative 21st-century human-relevant test methods where appropriate. These modifications will allow drug sponsors to apply state-of-the-art tools to predict how humans will respond to their drugs in clinical trials, thereby reducing attrition, shortening time to market, saving millions of dollars, lowering drug prices, providing safer and more effective drugs for American consumers, and reducing the number of animals used for tests. The FFDCA expressly requires traditional animal testing based on the assumption that animal tests are predictive of safety and efficacy in humans. Test data show that the use of animals is not predictive of the human response to drugs, with 90 to 95 percent of drugs and vaccines found safe in animal tests failing during human clinical trials. The cost for developing a single new drug may be from $1 – $6 billion, while the average timeline of development of a potential drug and vaccine from the lab to market is 10—15 years. Still most diseases have no treatment available, and adverse drug reactions are the fourth highest cause of death in the U.S. Broader use of human biology-based test methods would better predict how humans will respond to drugs in clinical trials.
Banning shark finning. This bill expands upon the Shark Finning Prohibition Act of 2000 and the Shark Conservation Act of 2010. While those laws banned shark finning and the transportation of fins on U.S. vessels, this bill would strengthen current law by prohibiting the trade of shark fins. Shark populations are in crisis because of the demand for fins. The measure passed the House with 310 votes in 2019 and cleared the Senate Commerce Committee (Roll Call #634). It has been included as an amendment to a larger economic development bill and stands a strong chance of being enacted.
Horse soring and other horse abuses: Axne has also been the long-time leader to ban the barbaric practice of horse soring, which involves injuring the front feet and legs of Tennessee Walking horses to cause them so much pain when they put their feet down that they have an exaggerated high-stepping gait. It’s the equivalent of walking on hot coals. She’s also been an original cosponsor of legislation to ban the export of live horses to Canada and Mexico for slaughter. She was an early supporter of efforts to pass the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act to ban race-day doping of horses.
The animals have never had a better friend than Cindy Axne!
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