Companion federal bills, Senate Bill 3220 (S3220) and House Bill 5999 (HR5999), are “traveling animal act” bans that mislead as to the intention. The bill text is nearly identical to state bills (North Carolina and Oregon) from 2021. It is obvious that animal rights groups are pitching this text not only from state to state but also to Congress. S3220/HR5999 would prohibit using certain animals (list below that even includes tortoises and small monitors) in traveling animal acts, which will include the educational outreach programs provided by many animal keepers. These bills would amend Section 13 of the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. 24 2143) to include this ban on animal programs.
S3220 and HR5999, titled “Traveling Animal and Public Safety Protection Act of 2021″ (full texts at bottom of alert), include introductions rife with misinformation with the intent to spark emotion while misleading the reader. The animal rights groups always fight with emotion over fact and they target legislators who fall for their games or sympathize with the animal rights agenda to remove all animals from our lives. This is an animal rights written bill! A legislator did not author this bill. Animal rights is a radical ideology against keeping any animals under human care (i.e. no pets, no livestock, no zoos, etc.). It is far different than animal welfare which supports animals being kept humanely.
PLEASE think about this bill! With all of the problems in our world, we actually have to fight a bill that could make you a federal criminal because you took a tortoise to a classroom to talk about reptiles. This is the state of our government and also displays how deep the pockets and connections of the animal rights movement are in our society.
Regardless of what species are involved, this bill is unnecessary, redundant, and a waste of tax dollars. Animal welfare laws are already in place and measures like this bill only punish responsible citizens instead of actually penalizing criminals.
The unintended consequences are many. It is a ban on educational programs in classrooms, public libraries, at Scout Troop meetings, and more. This is essentially a ban on taking certain animals anywhere besides the veterinarian.
The definitions allow for broad interpretation (this is intentional). “Traveling animal act” covers any transportation of animals for a “performance.” Performance is defined to cover any exhibition or display where animals are used as “entertainment, amusement, or benefit” to an audience. Learning about and enjoying interactions with animals are “benefits.” Many people are “entertained” simply by seeing animals in person.
The only exemptions are facilities with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), or the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums, and certain licensed wildlife sanctuaries and rehabilitation centers (with a long list of cannots including any photos). Please note that “environmental education programs” are only exempt if you qualify with an entity included in the above exemption list. This bill will carry over into 2022 for the second year of the 117th Congress (two-year sessions).
Species included in the bill are below (reptiles in bold text). REMEMBER: This is just the initial list. Species can be added each session if it passes! STOP it now even if your species is not included! This is just the beginning.
(I) canidae (except domestic dogs);
(II) cetartiodactyla (except alpacas, bison, cattle, deer, elk, goats, llamas, reindeer, swine, and sheep);
(VI) felidae (except domestic cats);
(X) nonhuman primates;
(XI) perissodactyla (except horses, donkeys, and mules);
(XVII) testudinidae ;
(XIX) varanidae; and
The SB3220 sponsor is New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez. You can email his office at Email Bob | Senator Robert Menendez.
The HR5999 sponsor is Arizona Representative Representative Raúl M. Grijalva. You can email his office at Contact Raul - Raúl Grijalva.
NOTE: It does not matter what legislators state as the intent of the bill. Laws are not enforced by legislators!
Remember to be civil and professional at all times! Please personalize/edit your letters, if possible.
Find Your U.S. Senators (two): U.S. Senate: States in the Senate
- Simply go to the link above and click on your state. Your two Senators and their office contact information will appear. Just click on “Contact” to send them emails through their websites.
S3220 was referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. You can find those members at Committee Membership | About | The United States Senate Committee On Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry.
Find your U.S. Representative: Find Your Representative | house.gov
- Simply go to the link above and enter your zip code. Your Representative will appear. Just click on his/her name to send them emails through their websites.
HR5999 was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. You can find those members at Ways and Means (117th Congress) | Ways and Means Committee - Democrats.
NO to S3220 and HR5999
Dear Member of Congress,
As a dedicated advocate for animal welfare, I implore you to STOP Senate Bill 3220 and House Bill 5999. The U.S. already has extensive animal cruelty and welfare laws at the federal and state levels. Enforce those current laws! S3220/HR5999 is yet another superfluous law that will not accomplish its stated purpose and is nothing more than a solution looking for a problem. Are you aware this bill makes someone a federal criminal for conducting an animal education program with a tortoise to a school class? Is this really how legislators should be spending their time and my tax dollars?
S3220/HR5999 lacks research. The bill is based on emotional propaganda rather than science and fact. For example, the bill would ban educational programs including any tortoise or monitor lizard. For both of these, some species weigh less than one pound as adults. On the other end of the size spectrum, programs with larger tortoises and monitor lizards provide education about the various species, some small and some large, and their biology and natural history.
The fact is that this legislation is unnecessary. Punish the “bad actors” and the criminals. No new law is needed to protect animals as federal and state authorities can already prosecute animal abusers.
Superfluous and redundant laws are becoming commonplace. Tax dollars and legislative resources are continually being wasted to propose duplicative laws. Even worse, collective punishment is becoming an accepted practice in our government. Instead of focusing on criminals, many new laws choose to punish good citizens.
Among other overreaching measures, this bill bans many educational outreach programs before students and Scout troops, classifying such beneficial programs as inherently cruel. Those who would travel with their animals to teach schoolchildren about tortoises or certain lizards will be made into criminals!
This bill is far-reaching and rife with unintended consequences, including making criminals out of those dedicated individuals who responsibly conduct educational programs with animals. Thank you for your time and consideration on this matter. Please realize that S3220/HR5999 is illogical and unjust. Have a good day.
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