For Pets' Sake is working with state and national groups to make you aware of upcoming legislative issues, relative to animals.

How can you make a difference? Start by writing your elected officials to ask them to support particular initiatives. Many of them have email, to make it even easier. For FEDERAL bills, if you don't know your congressional representative, visit the Humane Society's governmental affairs site at http://www.hsus.org to get that information. The Humane Society also has sample letters, addresses, bill numbers and descriptions to help you. Check out their site and use them as a resource.

To express support or opposition, write a brief letter or postcard to the legislators listed under the bill, especially to your own legislator if s/he is on the committee hearing a bill. Write on one bill per letter. Several letters to the same legislator may be enclosed in one envelope. Please send the Fund for Animals the responses you receive; the feedback is very important. If you represent an organization, send the Fund your letters of support or opposition and they will distribute them for you, if you like.

Fort Mason Center
San Francisco, California 94123
415/474-4020 fax: 415/474-5323
e-mail: vhandley@fund.org


DOG/CAT FUR BAN ONE STEP CLOSER: Almost two years after undercover investigators exposed a thriving underground dog and cat fur industry, garments and toys made with the skins of cats and dogs are still being sold to unwitting U.S. consumers, and a federal bill to ban dog and cat fur products has yet to pass. However, on Tues. 9/19, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Bill Roth (R-DE) moved his committee to unanimously approve a tough ban on trade of dog and cat fur products in this country, as part of a much larger trade package (H.R. 4868). Roth's ban is even stronger than the version of H.R. 4868 that passed the House in July – the Senate version contains tougher enforcement provisions, stiffer penalties for violators, and a requirement that all fur products, regardless of their price, be labeled so that consumers and retailers know what they're getting (current law exempts fur products valued at below $150). The legislation must now be passed by the full Senate and then differences worked out with the House.

What can you do?
Contact your two Senators (U.S. Senate switchboard: 202-224-3121/ www.senate.gov) and ask them to do all they can to get H.R. 4868 passed quickly by the Senate. Make sure they know that this trade package contains Senator Roth's ban on dog and cat fur products, and that this is why you're calling!


LAB ANIMAL BILLS MOVE FORWARD: For years, animal activists have been clamoring for more humane conditions for laboratory animals and, ultimately, the complete replacement of animal-based product and medical testing. The main hindrance to progress in establishing more practical, humane, and valid non-animal-based testing has been reams of bureaucratic red tape and agency foot-dragging. On Wed. (9/20), two important federal bills were unanimously approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee with the great help of Chairman Jim Jeffords (R-VT) and Ranking Democrat Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA). Both bills now head to the floor for full Senate approval: S. 2725, to establish sanctuaries for chimpanzees who are no longer used in medical research but languish in expensive, inhumane lab cages, and S. 1495, the "ICCVAM" bill, to encourage federal agencies to accept non-animal product testing methods instead of animal tests. (For more info on these bills, see http://www.hsus.org/programs/government/leglineup.html.)

What can you do?
Urge your two Senators (call the switchboard at 202-224-3121 or visit www.senate.gov) to cosponsor these bills, if they haven't already done so, and help put them over the finish line. Also contact your U.S. Representative (switchboard: 202-225-3121 or visit www.house.gov/writerep ) and urge him/her to cosponsor the House companion bills: H.R. 3514 (chimps) and H.R. 4281 (ICCVAM).


DON'T FORGET FARM ANIMALS: On October 2nd, animal activists everywhere will observe the 18th annual "World Farm Animals Day" to spotlight the suffering of the millions of animals who are raised on factory farms across the country. This year's theme, Putting Farmed Animals Into Politics, hopes to raise public and political awareness of the massive suffering of factory-farmed animals. Although the cruel factory farming practices using veal crates, sow gestation stalls, hen battery cages, and forced molting of laying hens, have already been abolished in many European countries, they persist in the U.S. largely because of legislative indifference and public ignorance. Currently, the Downed Animals Protection Act, which requires the humane disposal of crippled or terminally ill farm animals, languishes in Congress, awaiting action in both the Senate and House. The Humane Slaughter Act, the only federal law in place that provides even a modicum of protection for farm animals, suffers from lack of funding and enforcement. And the government continues to subsidize large factory farms, notorious for the rampant pollution and ecological devastation they wreak. Learn more about farm animal welfare at: www.hsus.org/programs/farm or visit www.farmusa.org or call 1-888-FARM-USA.


COCKFIGHTING BILL FACES NEXT HURDLE: Legislation to close the federal loophole on cockfighting needs constituent support to keep it moving through Congress. The House version, H.R. 1275, will be the focus of a hearing in the House Agriculture Committee on Sept. 12th. However, cockfighters are organizing strong opposition, which may spell defeat for the bill before it has a chance to be voted on by Congress. We must secure the support of members of the Agriculture Committee if H.R. 1275 is to pass that Committee and move on to the full House. The fate of the Senate version of the bill, S. 345, is resting in the hands of Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, who controls which legislation gets voted on in the Senate.

What can you do?
Please contact the following three KEY legislators in support of the federal cockfighting legislation. In the House, contact Rep’s. Combest and Stenholm, thank them for holding a hearing on H.R. 1275, and urge them to do all they can to get the bill passed into law this year! 1) Honorable Larry Combest, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515 / tx19@legislators.com / Ph: 202- 225-4005 2) Honorable Charles Stenholm, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515 / tx17@legislators.com / Ph: 202- 225-6605. 3) In the Senate, contact Majority Leader Lott and urge him to allow a vote on S. 345! The Honorable Trent Lott, U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510 / senatorlott@lott.senate.gov / Ph: 202-224-6253


STATE ANIMAL PROTECTION BALLOT MEASURES!: This November, voters in nine states will have the chance to cast their votes on vitally important animal protection issues. Citizens in each of the states listed below have the opportunity to invest in the future of animal protection legislation simply by voting and by urging their friends & family to do the same. As the battles heat up, we need everyone's support and energy to encourage pro-animal votes!

ALASKA: Measure 1- OPPOSE - Would bar all citizen ballot initiatives relating to the protection of wildlife. For more information, contact: Alaska Conservation Voters, 750 W. 2nd Ave., Suite 109, Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Ph: 907-258-6171 / Fax: 907-258-6177 / E-mail: www.akvoice.org Measure 6 - SUPPORT - Would retain the prohibition of same-day airborne ("land-and-shoot") hunting of wolves, which Alaska voters banned in 1996. For more info., contact: Alaskans for Wildlife, P.O. Box 202022, Anchorage, AK 99520 / Ph: 907-276-9453 /Fax: 907-276-9454 / email: alaskansforwildlife@hotmail.com, www.akwildlife.org.

ARIZONA: Proposition 102 - OPPOSE - Would require a two-thirds supermajority to approve any ballot initiative relating to the protection of wildlife. For more info., contact: No on 102, P.O. Box 36436, Phoenix, AZ 85067 / Ph: 602-906-1628, Email: webmaster@no102.com or www.no102.com.

FLORIDA: Measure to limit pig confinement on factory farms - SUPPORT - Would ban the use of “gestation crates,” which confine pregnant pigs in tiny, 2 foot-wide metal boxes. For more info., contact: Animal Rights Foundation Florida, PO Box 841154, Pembroke Pines, FL 33084 / Ph: (954) 917-ARFF / Fax: 954-979-6415

MASSACHUSETTS: Question 3 - SUPPORT - Would prohibit dog racing and meetings at which betting or wagering on dog racing occurs. For more info, contact: Grey2K, P.O. Box 1606, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 / Ph: 617-666-3526, email: grey2kcarey@yahoo.com or www.grey2k.org.

MONTANA: Initiative 143 - SUPPORT - Would impose a moratorium on new game farm licenses and would ban “canned hunts.” For more info, contact: Montanans Against the Domestication and Commercialization of Wildlife (MADCOW), P.O. Box 5841, Helena, MT 59604 / Ph: 406-273-7862 / Fax: 406-449-8946, email: grhusmc@aol.com or www.macow.org.

NORTH DAKOTA: Question 1 - OPPOSE - Would create a new section of the North Dakota Constitution relating to the right to hunt, trap, and fish. For more info, contact: Jeff Leitner at The Fund for Animals / 8121 Georgia Ave., Suite 301, Silver Spring, MD 20910 / Ph: 301-585-2591 ext. 316 / Fax: 301-585-2595 / email: jleitner@fund.org.

OKLAHOMA: (Pending Certification) - SUPPORT - Would ban cockfighting and make it illegal to keep birds for fighting purposes. Contact: Oklahoma Coalition Against Cockfighting, P.O. Box 780378, Oklahoma City, OK 73178 / Ph: 405-528-0079 / email: ocac2000@aol.com.

OREGON: Measure 97 - SUPPORT - Would ban the use of steel-jawed leghold traps & other body-gripping traps for recreation and commerce in fur, and would ban the use of Compound 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) and sodium cyanide. For more info, contact: Protect Pets and Wildlife (ProPAW), P.O. Box 40372, Portland, OR 97240, Ph: 503-872-9623 / email: crueltraps@aol.com or www.bancrueltraps.org , or those of you with “Realplayer” installed on your computer can see: http://www.realimpact.net/g2hurl.html?file=realimpact/hsus/video_features/hs us_feature_leg-hold.rm

VIRGINIA: Question 2 - OPPOSE - Would amend the Virginia Constitution to establish "a right to hunt, fish, and harvest game." For more info, contact: No on Question 2 Committee, c/o The Fund for Animals / 8121 Georgia Ave., Suite 301, Silver Spring, MD 20910 / Ph: 301-585-2591 / Fax: 301-585-2595 /email: noquestion2va@yahoo.com.

WASHINGTON: Initiative 713 - SUPPORT- Would ban the use of steel-jawed leghold traps and other body-gripping traps for recreation & commerce in fur, and would ban the use of Compound 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) and sodium cyanide. For more info, contact: Protect Pets and Wildlife (ProPAW), 5200 University Way NE, #201, Seattle, WA 98105 / Ph: 206-526-0949 OR 206-526-0989 / email: bantraps@seanet.com or www.bancrueltraps.org.


VICTORIA’S SHAMEFUL SECRET: The Victoria’s Secret Fall 2000 catalog features two pages of models clad in fur & fur-trimmed garments. In past catalogs, Victoria's Secret has featured only faux fur products, including items from the “Evolutionary Fur” collection. The decision to carry real rabbit fur products is a slap in the face to the company’s many compassionate customers who don’t wish to fund animal cruelty & suffering.

What can you do?
Contact the Victoria’s Secret company and voice your concerns over their insensitive and offensive decision to peddle fur garments. You may need to reference product # M4-141-067 (the fur-lined jacket) and product # M4-140-979 (the rabbit fur vest). Tell them that you will cease your patronage of their company until they STOP SELLING FUR PRODUCTS! Call Customer Service at: 1-800-888-1500 or write to Victoria's Secret, North American Office, PO Box 16589, Columbus, Ohio 43216-6589. You may also send them your comments electronically through: http://www.victoriassecret.com/vsc/html/custsrvc/getintouch/index.html


EPA PLANS MASSIVE ANIMAL TESTS: The Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) is an ill-conceived testing plan proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to evaluate the effects of industrial chemicals on the human hormonal (endocrine) system. The EPA plans to kill 600,000 to 1.2 million animals for every 1,000 chemicals it tests through its EDSP. If the EPA proceeds with its plans to test an estimated 5,000 - 87,000 chemicals, this will make the EDSP the largest U.S. government-sponsored animal-testing plan ever. The "high- throughput pre-screen" (HTPS) is a non-animal screening procedure that could screen out many chemicals from the need for further testing and thus spare the lives of countless animals. Unfortunately, the EPA has put the HTPS on the back burner and plans to begin its EDSP animal testing without it. To make matters worse, the EPA does not plan to require the rigorous validation of its animal tests that it requires for all of its non-animal tests. This not only creates a bias against non-animal tests, but also compromises the reliability of resulting data.

What can you do?
Please contact your U.S. Rep & your two U.S. Senators immediately (for names & contact info call the Congressional switchboard at 202-225-3121 or visit www.vote-smart.org). Ask them to conduct oversight hearings on the EPA's Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program in order to: 1) push for the replacement of animal testing with non-animal alternatives, 2) ensure that no tests are conducted prior to the completion of the HTPS, 3) correct the difference in validation standards between animal and non-animal tests by requiring all tests to be validated by the Interagency Coordinating Committee for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM).