This story originally appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Animal Action.
The 2019 legislative year has hit the ground running!
NAVS has been actively soliciting the introduction of legislation from legislators and through our many advocates, offering model laws that legislators can use to introduce bills in their own states. We’re also empowering advocates in states where hearings are being held to submit written—and sometimes in person, oral—testimony supporting these legislative efforts.
Last year was a successful one for legislation requiring the adoption of healthy dogs and cats used in research: Laws were passed in Delaware, Maryland and Rhode Island. “Retired” companion animals in these states now have a chance to live the remainder of their lives in loving homes. In just the first quarter of this year, NAVS has already helped to support or encourage the introduction of similar bills in Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
An upsurge in another piece of legislation promoted by NAVS, a ban on the use of animals for safety testing cosmetics, is also evident in this year’s bill introductions. Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland and Vermont are all considering humane cosmetics bills this year. New Jersey, New York and Virginia, which already have bans on animal testing, are now working to expand their laws to include a ban on the sale of animal-tested products, following California’s success last year.
One of the reasons for state actions such as these is Congress’ failure to make progress towards passing federal legislation on this issue. However, NAVS is once again working with animal advocates across the country to encouraging the reintroduction of the federal Humane Cosmetics Act, which will end the use of animals for cosmetics testing in the United States.
NAVS also continues to press forward with our CHOICE (Compassionate Humane Options in Classroom Education) campaign, to ensure that all students opposing the use of animals for dissection can opt-out of their classroom projects, without penalty, and be allowed to use one of the many alternatives available to learn the course material instead. Hawaii, Indiana and Maryland are currently considering this legislation.
NAVS Director of Legal and Legislative Programs Marcia Kramer recently testified before the Maryland House of Delegates Ways and Means Committee on this bill. While the committee voted not to go forward with this legislation, we are hopeful that the attention given to this issue will encourage the adoption of school board policies across the state.
Would you like to be part of our ever-growing advocacy efforts? Sign up for NAVS email alerts at www.navs.org/email so that you can take action when your voice matters most.