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SUPPORT FOR THE EATS ACT & OPPOSITION TO ANIMAL RIGHTS-DRIVEN FEDERAL LEGISLATION

ISSUE AND BACKGROUND: Animal rights organizations joining together under the

group, Animal Policy Alliance (APA), announced on May 13 aims to end “large-scale”

farming operations through policy changes. With 15 member organizations, the APA has

already influenced 40% of the egg industry to go cage-free. Their legislative strategies,

resources, and grants are designed to connect with legislators at all levels, advocating for

farmed animals, not farmers and ranchers. These groups include: Animal Protection

League of New Jersey, Animal Protection Voters, APEX Advocacy, Chilis On Wheels,

Connecticut Votes for Animals, Cultivate Empathy for All, DC Voters for Animals,

Humane Action Pittsburgh, Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation, Northwest Animal

Rights Network, Pasado's Safe Haven, Social Compassion in Legislation, Texas Humane

Legislation Network, Vegan Activist Alliance, and Voters for Animal Rights. And, not

listed under APA but active on Capitol Hill are: Animal Wellness Action, Humane

Society of the United States, Animal Welfare Institute, and others.


AMERICAN AGRI-WOMEN REQUEST: We are committed to advocating for federal

legislation that supports American agriculture and producers. As the landscape of

agricultural policy evolves, it is crucial to address both supportive and opposing

viewpoints regarding various legislative initiatives. This white paper outlines AAW's

positions on key legislative proposals, emphasizing the importance of policies that protect

the interests of American farmers and ranchers.


Support for the EATS Act

EATS Act (Exempting Agriculture from State Regulations):

Summary: The EATS Act aims to prevent states and local governments from imposing

regulations on the production and distribution of food products that are part of interstate

commerce.


Rationale: The EATS Act is essential for maintaining a consistent regulatory

environment across states. It prevents individual states from creating barriers that could

disrupt the national food supply chain, ensuring that American farmers can operate

without undue interference from state-specific regulations.


AAW Position: Strongly support. AAW believes that the EATS Act will protect farmers

and ranchers from fragmented regulations that could hinder their ability to produce and

distribute food efficiently. We support the inclusion of the EATS Act in the farm bill.

Opposition to Animal Rights-Driven Federal Legislation


Better Care for Animals Act (HR5041/S.2555):

Summary: This bill proposes modifications to the USDA's Animal Welfare Act,

allowing the Department of Justice to bring civil actions against violators.

Rationale: While ensuring animal welfare is important, the proposed changes could lead

to excessive legal actions against farmers, potentially jeopardizing their livelihoods

without clear definitions and safeguards.

AAW Position: Oppose. AAW believes that the current enforcement provisions are

sufficient and that additional legal burdens could harm agricultural producers.


Goldie's Act (H.R.1788/S.4033):

Summary: This legislation redefines violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act,

removes distinctions between minor non-compliance and serious violations, and

mandates the immediate seizure or euthanasia of animals suffering from undefined

"psychological harm."

Rationale: The vague definitions and stringent measures in Goldie's Act could lead to

unwarranted penalties and seizures, disproportionately affecting farmers without clear

guidelines.

AAW Position: Oppose. AAW urges Congress to reject this legislation due to its

potential to create unfair burdens on producers and the lack of clear definitions.

Save Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act (H.R.3475/S.2037):

Summary: This act would ban the transport of horses into Canada and Mexico for

processing.

Rationale: The SAFE Act could disrupt the equine industry by eliminating processing

options, leading to potential welfare issues for unwanted horses.

AAW Position: Oppose. AAW believes that humane processing options are necessary to

manage the equine population effectively and responsibly.


CONCLUSION: American Agri-Women remains steadfast in its mission to support

policies that enhance the viability of American agriculture especially during these critical

times for food production and national security. By advocating for the EATS Act and

opposing overreaching animal rights-driven legislation, AAW aims to protect the

interests of farmers and ranchers, ensuring a stable and secure food supply for the nation.

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