By Peter Muller
That could be a headline you'll see in papers from sea to shining
sea - if a bill introduced by New York Representative Nita Lowey
passes the House of Representatives and the Senate and is signed
into law by our beloved President William Jefferson Clinton. Representative
Lowey introduced H.R. 1581 in the House on April 27, 1999. The
bill is currently in committee and we'll be watching and reporting
on its progress.
So far, 62 additional representatives have signed on as co-sponsors.
The Bill starts out:
SECTION 1. DECLARATION OF POLICY.
It is the policy of the United States to end the needless maiming
and suffering inflicted upon animals through the use of steel-jawed
leghold traps by prohibiting the import or export of, and the shipment
in interstate commerce of, such traps and of articles of fur from
animals that were trapped in such traps.
The penalty provided for in this bill is a fine and a prison
term of not more than two years for each violation.
C.A.S.H, as well as many other organizations, has been struggling
to encourage various legislative bodies to pass local or state
laws outlawing or restricting trapping. In some states that have
ballot initiatives, they have succeeded in banning trapping.
If H.R. 1581 passes, then trapping will be prohibited nationwide
overnight. This may well the most important animal protective legislation
Let's all urge our federal representatives to support this
Incidentally, Representative Lowey is considered by many observers
of the New York political scene to have the "inside track" as
the Democratic Party nominee for senator if Hillary Clinton decides
not to run for that position. Best news we've had in a long time.