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Animal Welfare

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As a member of the Congressional Friends of Animals Caucus, Rep. Castle has advocated for legislation to protect animals from cruel and inhumane treatment.  He led an initiative in Delaware to bring an end to the horrific practice of dogfighting, and organized a food drive which highlighted the recent increase in family pets that are being left behind as victims of foreclosure.  In Congress, Rep. Castle has consistently supported legislation promoting animal protection, earning a 100% on the Humane Society Legislative Scorecard.  Specifically, Rep. Castle has been actively supportive of;

  • Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act - Enacted into law in 2007, the Animal Fighting Prohibition Act increased the penalty for transporting or engaging in the illegal fighting of animals for sport or entertainment.  Individuals are now prohibited from selling, buying, or transporting any sharp instrument attached for use in an animal fighting venture.
  • The Federal Dog Protection Act - This legislation seeks to amend the Animal Welfare Act to prohibit dog fighting ventures.  This bill would place an emphasis on dog fighting prevention by expanding the definition for "dog fighting ventures" to include not only the transportation and delivery of animals and materials used for dog fighting, but also making it illegal to train and exhibit animals intended for fighting purposes.  This bill also seeks to expand the entities of confiscation and enforcement to include any animal control agency -- such as the Humane Society -- as well as the federal government.
  • The Horse Protection Act - Rep. Castle voted in favor of legislation to prohibit the slaughter or exportation of all horses with the intent of distributing the meat for human consumption.  Horses are an important part of America's history, having contributed to our way of life in areas of agriculture, transportation, and recreation.  Disturbingly, thousands of America's horses remain vulnerable to slaughter for the purpose of selling their meat in international markets.  This legislation would be enforced with criminal and civil penalties, including imprisonment and fines.  Rep. Castle also supports legislation that would amend the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act to restore the prohibition on the commercial sale and slaughter of wild free-roaming horses and burros.
  • The Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act - Rep. Castle voted in favor of this bill, which was signed into law by the President in 2006 in response to reports that thousands of pets were left behind in the wake of Katrina's devastation, and that many people did not evacuate because they would not leave their beloved pets.  Rep. Castle believes that we cannot refuse to help people who are insistent in protecting their pets.
  • The Downed Animal and Food Safety Protection Act - This important legislation seeks to end the use of nonambulatory livestock animals too sick or injured to stand or walk on their own in human food. 
  • The Dog and Cat Fur Prohibition Enforcement Act - This bill would outlaw the import of fur from raccoon dogs and requiring all garments trimmed with fur to be labeled, regardless of value.
  • The Polar Bear Protection Act - This legislation would close a loophole in the Marine Mammal Protection Act which currently allows American trophy hunters to bring the heads and hides of polar bears into the United States.