Committee Reviews Legislation to Amend Animal Welfare Act

Sep 13, 2000

Committee Reviews Legislation to Amend Animal Welfare Act
H.R. 1275 would prohibit interstate shipment of gamefowl

Washington, DC — Today, the House Committee on Agriculture, led by Chairman Larry Combest (R-TX), reviewed legislation (H.R. 1275) which would amend the Animal Welfare Act to prohibit the interstate movement of live birds with the intent of having the birds participate in fighting ventures.

"H.R. 1275 has generated a considerable degree of interest.  A number of my own constituents have taken the time to visit with me about this measure," Combest said.  "I know from discussions with my colleagues that other Members have heard from home, both favorably and unfavorably, about this legislation."

Witnesses testifying before the Committee today included representatives from law enforcement, the Humane Society of the United States, the United Gamefowl Breeders Association, the American Poultry Association, and the American Animal Husbandry Coalition.  At the hearing, which attracted nearly 300 supporters of the gamefowl industry, these witnesses testified both for and against H.R. 1275, as Members' questions ranged from the principle behind and the need for federal action to possible unintended consequences of the legislation.

Prior to today's hearing, the Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Horticulture reported H.R. 1275 on April 13, 2000.  In addition, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry passed a companion bill (S. 345) on April 13, 2000.