What is the National Law Enforcement Council?
The National Law Enforcement Council (NLEC) is a group of current and former local and state prosecutors, attorneys general, and other law enforcement professionals who support fortifying the legal framework against animal cruelty and seeing that all of our animal welfare laws are robustly enforced at all levels of government. The goal of the group is to put law enforcement professionals in the forefront of the nation’s work to combat animal cruelty. It is chaired by former Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson and former Clatsop County (Ore.) District Attorney Josh Marquis and has 27 members.
The NLEC is an affiliate of the Animal Wellness Foundation (AWF) and Animal Wellness Action (AWA) — sister organizations working to help animals through aligned but distinct channels. AWF, formed in 2009, conducts campaigns for a wide variety of animals and it also provides hands-on veterinary care for animals in need. Formed in 2018 by some of the most experienced people in the animal welfare movement, Animal Wellness Action (AWA) is the political arm of the duo, seeking to promote legal standards against cruelty. There are literally tens of thousands of animal groups, and so many of them do critical, life-saving work. But only a handful conduct political and lobbying campaigns, leveraging the power of government to set minimum standards for the treatment of animals and calling everyone to observe the rule of law.
AWA believes that decency toward animals is a universal value and it can attract people of every political stripe.
High-profile campaigns include efforts to combat dogfighting and cockfighting, the injuring of Tennessee Walking horses to cause an exaggerated gait (horse “soring”), and the killing of wild animals just for small parts of their bodies (e.g., shark fins, bear gall bladders, and elephant ivory.
Since December 2018, AWA has been instrumental in passing these five federal bills that have been signed into law:
- The Parity in Animal Cruelty Enforcement (PACE) Act — to ban on cockfighting and dogfighting everywhere in the United States, including in the five major U.S. territories.
- The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act — to create, for the first time ever, a federal anti-cruelty statute.
- The Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act — a measure to ban any sale of dog and cat meat in the U.S.
- The Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act — to create criminal penalties to broaden the definition of stalking to include conduct that causes a person to experience a reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury to his or her pet.
- Rescuing Animals With Rewards (RAWR) Act — a program to provide rewards for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of people involved with illegal wildlife trafficking.
AWA was instrumental in passing the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act to create, for the first time ever, a federal anti-cruelty statute.The NLEC will work to see that these laws are strengthened as needed and to see that they are enforced.
The formation of the NLEC has been enabled by the support of the Kirkpatrick Foundation, based in Oklahoma City.
Other NLEC News
AWA was instrumental in passing the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act to create, for the first time ever, a federal anti-cruelty statute.