Animal Wellness Action
Congressman Kurt Schrader,
Animal Protection Champion
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Please spread the word about animal protection champion Kurt Schrader!
Voting in the primary ends on May 17th – please send in your ballots!
Animal Wellness Action, one of the nation’s leading public policy organizations devoted to animal welfare, is pleased to endorse Congressman Kurt Schrader in his re-election campaign. He faces a primary in a newly constituted 5th Congressional District in Oregon on May 17th. Vote by mail starts in mid-April and runs through election day.
If you are a Democrat and live in the 5th Congressional District, please cast your ballot and vote for Congressman Schrader. He is one of the most effective leaders on animal protection issues in Congress. He’s in the thick of many of the biggest debates in Congress for animals and plays a decisive role on these policy debates. So many other lawmakers look to him because he’s a veterinarian and speaks with special credibility and force on these issues.
He’s played an instrumental role in helping pass a number of major animal welfare reforms into law:
Animal fighting. Kurt was in the forefront of efforts to ban cockfighting and dogfighting throughout all of the U.S., including in the U.S. territories. He has supported a series of upgrades to the federal law against cockfighting and dogfighting, making it a crime to attend an animal fighting event or to bring a minor to one of these spectacles of cruelty (2014) and banning animal fighting in all parts of the U.S. (2018) (Roll Call #202). These statutes have withstood court challenges from the cockfighting community and they are the law of the land. Now we are working on enforcing those laws. To that end, Kurt has cosponsored the Animal Cruelty Enforcement Act to create an Animal Cruelty Crimes section at the Department of Justice to root out animal fighting and other federal crimes against animals.
Animal cruelty and domestic violence. The Congressman was an early leader on the Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act, which expands federal domestic violence protection to include pets.
National anti-cruelty law. A veterinarian by profession before being elected to represent a larger portion of the Willamette Valley, Kurt was a 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.
He is also poised in this Congress to help get at least two more measures over the finish line.
Reducing needless and painful animal testing. The bills 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.
Watch Rep. Schrader at the FDA Modernization Act of 2021:
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: Kurt 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. His original legislation, the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act bans the use of action devices and stacked shoes on horses in competition, seeks to eliminate a failed industry self-regulation program, and establishes felony-level penalties for violators. That legislation has been blocked by several Senators from the South, and Kurt fashioned a compromise to bring relief to horses. He’s working on getting that legislation done and over the finish line.
Read our press release here.
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