Drew Edmondson Aligns With Wayne Pacelle Group in Promoting Passage of Anti Animal Cruelty BillFri, 25 Oct 2019 08:30:41 CDT
The Animal Wellness Action group was founded by former HSUS Exec Wayne Pacelle. On their webite, they explain what they are about- "To prevent cruelty, we promote enacting good public policies and we work to enforce those policies. To enact good laws, we must elect good lawmakers, and that’s why we remind voters which candidates care about our issues and which ones don’t."
One Oklahoman that is involved in their leadership is former Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondon. Edmondon is the Co-Chair of their National Law Enforcement Council, which serves to promote appropriate enforcement of anti-cruelty statutes and works to strengthen the legal framework against animal abuse.
In the bio on their website, Edmondson's pedigree speaks of his tenure as the Attorney General of Oklahoma- "e successfully defended the state’s anti-cockfighting ballot initiative, which went into effect in 2003. The Navy veteran and former school teacher was also a state legislator and, for a decade, the District Attorney for Muskogee County. In 2016, Edmondson led an effort to defeat an over-reaching “Right to Farm” measure on the November 2016 ballot in Oklahoma." Edmondson served as the face of the Opposition to State Question 777(Right to Farm), largely funded by the Humane Society of the US.
In an email from the Executive Director of the Animal Wellness Group, he highlighted the role of Edmondson in a legislative win that the group is claiming credit for. Marty Irby writes "Edmondson was instumental in helping move the legislation with the support of his new Animal Wellness National Law Enforcment Council.
"The bill, led by Reps. Ted Deutch (D-FL), Vern Buchanan (R-FL), and Sens. Pat Toomey (R-PA), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), passed the Senate in 2016 and again in 2017, but the House previously failed to act, so we’re now extremely encouraged the hard part is over. This bill should easily pass the Senate again and will likely soon be signed into law by the president."
Here is the news release on the passage in the House of the proposal detailed above- the release includes a quote from Edmondson:
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, H.R. 724, by a voice vote. The measure would establish a federal anti-cruelty statute, filling a hole in our legal framework to protect animals. The legislation has been heavily lobbied and advocated for by members of the Animal Wellness Foundation and Animal Wellness Action team for years. The measure would make it a federal crime to torture an animal “in the special maritime time and territorial jurisdiction of the United States” and in cases where acts of intentional cruelty affect interstate or foreign commerce.
“Most people are shocked to know that the U.S. does not have a federal animal cruelty law,” said Holly Gann, Director of Federal Affairs at Animal Wellness Action and the Animal Wellness Foundation. “Enacting this bill sends a signal that our nation has no tolerance for intentional cruelty toward animals.”
“A society should be judged by how it treats its most vulnerable,” said Drew Edmondson, former Oklahoma Attorney General and co-chair of the Animal Wellness Law Enforcement Council. “Prevention of animal cruelty and torture will help define us as a society and it is altogether fitting that Congress make this a national priority. The PACT Act complements state and territorial anti-cruelty laws, just as the federal government’s ban on staged animal fighting fortifies state-based anti-dogfighting and anti-cockfighting laws."
“Our animal friends and companions do not deserve to be tortured and killed for the amusement of sick and twisted individuals and we support the effort to criminalize these activities,” said Patrick Yoes, National President, Fraternal Order of Police.
"Today’s vote is a significant milestone in the bipartisan quest to end animal abuse and protect our pets,” said U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch. "This bill sends a clear message that our society does not accept cruelty against animals. We’ve received support from so many Americans from across the country and across the political spectrum. Animal rights activists have stood up for living things that do not have a voice. Law enforcement officers have sought a federal overlay to help them stop animal abusers who are likely to commit acts of violence against people. And animal lovers everywhere know this is simply the right thing to do. I’m deeply thankful for all of the advocates who helped us pass this bill, and I look forward to the Senate’s swift passage and the President’s signature.”
“The torture of innocent animals is abhorrent and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” said U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan. "Passing the PACT Act sends a strong message that this behavior will not be tolerated. Protecting animals from cruelty is a top priority for me and I will continue to work with Congressman Deutch to get this important bill signed into law.”
The PACT Act, led by U.S. Reps. Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL), would prohibit extreme acts of cruelty when they occur in interstate commerce or on federal property and cracks down on widespread sexual abuse of animals (bestiality). While current federal law bans the sale of videos showing illegal acts of cruelty, it does not prohibit the underlying conduct. Law enforcement agencies across the country, the National Sheriffs’ Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, and the Animal Wellness National Law Enforcement Council, have endorsed the PACT Act because of the well-documented connection between animal cruelty and violence against people, including the distinct correlation between sexual abuse of animals and children.
The Senate companion bill, S. 479, with 38 cosponsors and led by U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), previously passed the Senate by unanimous consent in the 114th and 115th Congress. But it was blocked in the House by former House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) despite the overwhelming bipartisan support. The current chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerold Nadler (D-NY), is a cosponsor of the legislation.
Animal Wellness Action and the Animal Wellness Foundation have treated movement of the PACT Act in Congress among its top priorities on Capitol Hill. The bill recently obtained 290 cosponsors in the House, triggering its” placement on the “Consensus Calendar” and expedited action on the House floor. (The House Problems Solvers Caucus negotiated the terms of the provision to allow broadly supported, bipartisan bills a pathway for floor action). The PACT Act is the second animal protection bill to hit the 290 mark this year, and one of only nine in the 116th Congress out of over 4,500 bills that have been introduced.
The Animal Wellness Foundation (Foundation) is a Los Angeles-based private charitable organization with a mission of helping animals by making veterinary care available to everyone with a pet, regardless of economic ability. We organize rescue efforts and medical services for dogs and cats in need and help homeless pets find a loving caregiver. We are advocates for getting veterinarians to the front lines of the animal welfare movement; promoting responsible pet ownership; and vaccinating animals against infectious diseases such as distemper. We also support policies that prevent animal cruelty and that alleviate suffering. We believe helping animals helps us all.
Source- Animal Wellness Action
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