Animal Rights

Sen. Bernie Sanders was a co-sponsor of the following animal rights legislation during 2014:

  • Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act- Would prevent the breeding and possession of big cats (cougars, lions, leopards, jaguars, cheetahs and lion/tiger hybrids), while still permitting accredited zoos and wildlife sanctuaries to operate in the important conservation and welfare role that they currently play in the United States.  Private citizens who currently own big cats will still be allowed to own them, but will be required to register their animals if this legislation is signed into law.
  • Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act- Would ensure breeders and pet store owners provide dogs with living spaces that are clean, spacious, and are free of infestation by pests or vermin. The legislation would also require that the health of these dogs be monitored by a veterinarian and would ensure that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has adequate authority to close loopholes that allow domestic puppy mills to continue operating in the United States.
  • Safeguard American Food Exports Act- Would permanently prohibit the slaughter of horses for human consumption in the United States, as well as the transportation of horses for slaughter overseas.
  • Captive Primate Safety Act- Would make it unlawful for a person to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase a live animal of any prohibited wildlife species in interstate or foreign commerce.
  • Egg Products Inspection Act- Would phase out the use of battery cages for egg laying hens in favor of enriched housing that allows chickens room to move, and includes perches, nesting boxes, and places to scratch. It would prohibit forcing new laying cycles by withholding food or water and making sure the ammonia levels from manure are kept low.
  • Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act- Would amend the Animal Welfare Act to impose criminal penalties for deliberately attending or encouraging anyone less than 18 years of age to attend an animal fighting venture.
  • Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act- Currently, under The Horse Protection Act, owners and caretakers who are found guilty of participating in soring may be disqualified from participating in any aspect of equestrian competitions for up to a year and can be fined up to $3,000. The PAST Act would ban the use of soring devices and strengthen penalties for violations of the Horse Protection Act.

Additionally, Sanders signed onto the Senate Horse Slaughter Defund letter that was sent to the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies during April of 2014. He also signed onto a letter to Director Collins about the Council of Councils Working Group on the Use of Chimpanzees in the NIH-Supported Research Report during this session of Congress.