The Congressional Animal Protection Caucus (CAPC) is a bipartisan organization committed to raising awareness of animal welfare issues in Congress. CAPC was formed in February 2009 and replaced the Friends of Animals Caucus founded by former Representatives Tom Lantos (D-CA) and Chris Shays (R-CT).

The purpose of CAPC is to highlight important issues affecting animals and to educate Members and their staff on the need for sensible animal protection legislation.  Partnering with reputable animal welfare organizations, CAPC sponsors non-partisan briefings and tracks the progress of relevant legislation, providing Caucus members with dependable information on animal welfare issues.  The goal of CAPC is to build broad coalitions in support of common-sense, humane animal welfare laws.

In the 111th Congress, the Caucus supported the enactment of legislation prohibiting the sale of gruesome animal crush videos, requiring accurate labels on fur products, and banning the practice of “shark finning.”  In the 112th, the Caucus focused efforts on the passage of legislation to prohibit horse slaughter for human consumption, extend penalties for spectators at animal fights, and implement production standards for egg-laying hens.

So far in the 113th Congress, members of the Caucus have hosted briefings on a diverse range of animal-related topics, including increased protections for African lions, the problematic use of antibiotics in industrial agriculture operations, and abusive soring techniques used on Tennessee Walking Horses.  The Caucus also hosted, in partnership with the ASPCA, two shelter animal adoption events on the Hill, one on Valentine’s Day and another at the end of July.  Combined, these two events helped place about a dozen deserving animals in caring homes.  Legislatively, the Caucus has been very involved in renewing the U.S. ban on horse slaughter facilities, strengthening penalties for spectators at animal fighting events, and fighting against unprecedented attacks on state-level animal welfare laws in the Farm Bill.