Friday, October 01, 2004


Special Alert--- September 30, 2004
A Project of The Humane Society of the United States and The Fund for Animals

In the past few days, significant legislative victories have been won on behalf of animals at both the state and federal level.

On Wednesday (9/29), California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law Senate Bill 1520, legislation to ban the cruel force feeding of ducks and geese to produce pate de foie gras-- the fatty, pathologically-enlarged liver of force-fed ducks or geese. The passage of SB 1520 is a landmark, since it marks the first time in the U.S. that a legislature has completely banned an egregious farming practice based on its cruelty. The law will take effect in 71/2 years, in 2012.

It is hoped that SB 1520's passage signals a greater willingness of lawmakers to examine abusive agricultural practices and to establish some basic standards for raising animals in food production.

With the signing of SB 1520 into law, California joins at least 13 countries throughout Europe that prohibit foie gras production. Additionally, the California legislation goes one step beyond other existing foie gras bans by prohibiting the sale of foie gras in the entire state. In doing so, SB 1520 does more than just affect animals within California; it affects foie gras production overall and resonates throughout the foie gras industry.

Also on Wednesday, Governor Schwarzenegger signed into law AB 1857, legislation that prohibits the declawing of big cats kept in captivity. AB 1857 will discourage misguided people from seeking to keep these animals as "pets."

Congratulations to everyone who wrote and called in to California legislators and Governor Schwarzenegger to promote this groundbreaking legislation. Tremendous public interest in and support for this bill has most certainly been the decisive factor in its ultimate passage.

For more information on the cruel foie gras industry and ongoing legislative efforts to ban foie gras production elsewhere, see

FEDERAL ANIMAL FIGHTING BILL APPROVED BY KEY COMMITTEE! H.R. 4264, the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act, was approved this morning (9/30) by the House Judiciary Committee. The bill will establish felony penalties for those who violate the federal animal fighting law (covering dogfighting and cockfighting) and will ban interstate/foreign commerce in the sharp knives and gaffs that cockfighters strap to birds’ legs. H.R. 4264 is now poised for consideration by the full U.S. House of Representatives and then the Senate.

Please call your Representative TODAY and urge him/her to vote for the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act (H.R. 4264). Please also call your two Senators and urge them to vote for this legislation and get it done this year. It’s already passed the Senate twice in similar form, but got dropped both times in conference with the House. Let’s make the third time the charm!

To reach your federal legislators, call the congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121. To identify your U.S. legislators, visit The Fund for Animals' action site, or call The HSUS at 202 955-3668.

To receive directly, call 202-955-3668 or email For more information on legislation, how to find your legislators, or past HUMANElines, go to or