The 2013 Farm Bill continues to be debated by legislators in Washington as animal rights groups claim an amendment to the bill introduced by Republican congressman Steve King of Iowa undermines animal welfare laws passed in several states, including Indiana. Wayne Pacelle, the president of the Humane Society of the United States, said the organization strongly opposes the law.
“Any state law the imposes any standard or condition on agriculture could be vulnerable to a challenge because of Steve King’s amendment,” said Pacelle. “That’s why the Humane Society of the United States so vigorously opposes it.”
King has stated that he believes the wide variety of state animal welfare laws is restricting to commerce and creates obstacles that farm producers must hurdle in order to widely sell their products. Pacelle, however, said the King amendment could nullify hard-won rights for animals in 34 states.
Pacelle said animal welfare and health has an impact on the environment as well as food sfaety.
“Indiana is one of the biggest egg producing states in the country,” he said, “and the King amendment would really forbid the state of Indiana from adopting humane treatment standards for laying hens. It could nullify the state’s anti-puppy mill law as well.”
On top of that, Pacelle said the amendment could also hamper future efforts by Indiana to pass farm animal welfare laws.