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  • Writer's pictureBeltsville News

Kitty Post: Help Stop Animal Cruelty! by Bobbie Deegan

Updated: Sep 1, 2022

By the time you read this issue of the Beltsville News, Maryland’s primary election will be over and campaigning for the general election will be underway. Beltsville Community Cats is a Politics-free zone! If you are looking for a respite from all the ads, calls and texts, consider becoming a volunteer with Beltsville Community Cats. Spending a little time with kitties needing your help will raise your spirits!

There’s one other thing you can do to help all of America’s animals. The current Congress is considering H. R. 1016, the Animal Cruelty Enforcement Act of 2021.

There are a number of Federal laws that address cruelty to animals. But those laws didn’t allocate federal resources specifically to enforce those laws. As a result, federal crimes against animals often aren’t prosecuted or have prosecution significantly delayed. (Local news agencies touched on this problem during their follow-up coverage on the sad story of Upper Marlboro’s “runaway” zebras.)

H. R. 1016 would address this problem by establishing an Animal Cruelty Crimes Section within the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. The new section would coordinate with the Department of Agriculture, the FBI, the U. S. Marshals Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and other agencies to enforce Federal laws prohibiting animal cruelty and vigorously investigate and prosecute suspected offenders.

This bill has sponsors from both political parties, but it hasn’t been voted out of committee yet. If it isn’t passed before the 117th Congress adjourns this year, proponents will have to start all over when the 118th Congress convenes in January.

Help protect America’s critters! Contact our Congressman, Steny Hoyer, and ask him to work for the passage of H. R. 1016, the Animal Cruelty Enforcement Act of 2021.

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