This article provides an overview of 2001 state and federal animal related legislation.
REVIEW EDITOR’S NOTE
The year 2001 marks the third annual edition of Animal Law ’s Legislative Review Section. In recent years, animal welfare issues have consumed the media and, in turn, the public. The effects of an expanding public ethic which recognizes the value of our nonhuman animal co-habitants is driving state and federal legislatures to respond with new laws which afford animals greater protections and guarantee more humane treatment. However, not all citizens and politicians embrace the same ethic. The public’s struggle to define its relationship with animals is reflected most vividly in the use of the citizen initiative process, and is reflected in the passage and defeat of several controversial bills by the 106th Congress.
This year’s edition of Legislative Review reports the passage and defeat of several state and federal, administrative and legislative actions driven by this struggle. For example, Ms. Laurie Fulkerson has researched and written on four major pieces of federal legislation which include: an Animal Welfare Act amendment to ban the interstate transport and breeding of birds for cockfighting; the Great Ape Conservation Act, which offers financial assistance for the conservation of Great Apes in their natural habitat; the CHIMP Act, which establishes a federal sanctuary program to retire surplus research chimpanzees; and the Safe Air Travel for Pets Act, the purpose of which is to ensure safer air travel for animals. In addition, Mr. Chris Brown has researched and reported the lawsuit settlement which compelled the United States Department of Agriculture to include rats, mice and birds under the Animal Welfare Act’s protections; the proposed federal Downed Animal Act; a congressional resolution acknowledging the link between animal cruelty and juvenile crime; and a review of state initiatives which both advance and undermine animal welfare. Ms. Amy Baggio has reviewed the passage of state anti-cruelty statues. Finally, I have reported on the United States’ Pelly Amendment certification of Japan for violating the International Whaling Commission’s resolution to cease its illusory “research whaling” for minke, sperm and Bryde’s whales. We hope this section provides a useful review of the legislative and administrative actions which articulate the legal relationship between human and nonhuman animals. We welcome all suggestions for the publication of future legislative reviews.
Legislative Review Editor