WASHINGTON – Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today introduced the Better Collaboration, Accountability, and Regulatory Enforcement (CARE) for Animals Act to protect livestock and other animals from abuse by strengthening law enforcement’s ability to penalize abusers.
“Far too often, researchers, breeders and dealers mistreat animals. I’m proud to help introduce the Better CARE for Animals Act to ensure that law enforcement has the authority to punish people who have a hand in the mishandling of animals and rescue these creatures from dangerous environments,” said Kennedy.
“This bipartisan measure gives DOJ the tools it needs to hold animal abusers accountable. Civil penalties and suspensions of abusers’ licenses will give the Animal Welfare Act the strength and enforcement it needs to protect animals and keep them out of harm’s way. Mistreatment and neglect has no place in our society. I’m proud to join my colleagues in this bicameral effort,” said Blumenthal.
Reps. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.) and Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) are leading the legislation in the House of Representatives.
“The Better CARE for Animals Act provides for important animal protections, encourages stronger collaboration between departments, and empowers our law enforcement to combat abusers. As a member of the Animal Protection Caucus, I’m proud to support this legislation and advocate for the better treatment of innocent animals,” said Reschenthaler.
“When shocking AWA violations at the Envigo breeding facility came to light, DOJ acted. In the process, they helped thousands of animals avoid further mistreatment. As we saw with the Envigo case, DOJ has proven their effectiveness and should be provided equal authority to USDA to hold bad actors accountable. This legislation will support them in their mission of protecting innocent animals and enforcing the Animal Welfare Act,” said Quigley.
The Better CARE for Animals Act would:
- Strengthen the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) ability to enforce the Animal Welfare Act by clarifying that the DOJ has the same authority that the U.S. Department of Agriculture wields under the Animal Welfare Act, including the ability to seek license suspensions, revocations and civil penalties.
- Expand on the Animal Welfare Act by granting the DOJ forfeiture authority to seize and remove animals experiencing harmful treatment.
Full text of the Better CARE for Animals Act is available here.