Legislative Efforts

 Omnibus Bill Bars U.S- Based Horse Slaughter, Provides Further Protection for Wild Horses Under BLM Management.

 The Omnibus spending bill agreed upon by the United States Congress last night, December 15th, 2015, included defund language that will keep horse slaughter plants CLOSED in the United States in 2016. The bill also placed a prohibition on the BLM's sale of wild horses for slaughter.

Specifically mentioned under section 767 of the Final Omnibus:

"None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act shall be used to pay the salaries and expenses of personnel- (1) to inspect horses under section 3 of the Federal Meat Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 603); (2) to inspect horses under section 903 of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 1901 note; Public Law 104-127); or (3) to implement or enforce section 352.19 of title 9, Code of Federal Regulations (or a successor regulation).This division may be cited as the ''Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016''.

In regards to the language included about the sale of wild horses for slaughter (Section 714):

"Appropriations herein made shall not be available for the destruction of healthy, unadopted, wild horses and burros in the care of the Bureau or its contractors or for the sale of wild horses and burros that results in their destruction for processing into commercial products."

Click HERE to read the entire bill.


Pet owners in Illinois can now face charges for leaving their pets in extreme hot & cold weather.  

Effective January 1st, 2016, cat & dog owners in Illinois could face charges for leaving their pets outdoors in extreme hot or cold weather. Owners found in violation of this law can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a $2,500 fine or up to one year in jail if they are found guilty. SB125 was introduced by Senator John J. Cullerton on January 28th, 2015, and after passing both houses, was signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner on August 7th, 2015. Specifically,

"No owner may abandon any animal where it may become a
public charge or may suffer injury, hunger or exposure.
No owner of a dog or cat that is a companion animal may
expose the dog or cat in a manner that places the dog or cat in
a life-threatening situation for a prolonged period of time in
extreme heat or cold conditions that results in injury to or
death of the animal."

Here's a news article on the Bill:

Here's the full text of the Bill:

 Stop the Slaughter of "Downed" veal calves (FSIS-2014-0020):

The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) requires slaughterhouses to promtly euthanize adult cattle who are sick, weak, or injured (known as "downed" cattle), but currently does not provide the same relief to downed veal calves. A loophole allows slaughterhouses to "rest" such calves to see if eventually they can be made to walk. If so, they can be slaughtered for food.  

The FSIS is now proposing to close this loophole, which prolongs suffering for terminal downed calves, who are left to languish rather than being promptly euthanized, and for downed calves generally, who are often subject to abuse in an effort to get them to stand and walk. Two undercover investigations of slaughterhouses graphically illustrate the severe abuse this loophole encourages. Workers were documented using electric prods, kicking, dragging, and spraying water at downed calves in order to get them on their feet.

Under new regulations proposed by the FSIS, slaughterhouses will be required to quickly euthanize downed calves-the same as they must do for downed mature cattle. This rule would significantly reduce the kind of cruelty documented in these investigations.

Source: Animal Welfare Institute


Senate Bill 1559, the Pets & Women Safety Act (PAWS)

A letter from our Executive Director: 

Dear HAHS Supporter: 

As the Executive Director of the Hooved Animal Humane Society (HAHS), I urge you to support United States Senate Bill 1559 (S. 1559) by contacting your United States senators. S. 1559, known as the Pet and Women Safety Act (PAWS), would help programs provide shelter and housing assistance for the companion animals of victims of domestic violence. S. 1559 would also include pets in federal law pertaining to interstate stalking, protection order violations, and restitution, and urge states to allow pets to be included under protection orders; a crucial step.

Victims of domestic abuse often fear not only for themselves and their family, but for their pets as well. Unfortunately, domestic abuse knows no bounds and is frequently directed at all parties in the home, including pets. Domestic violence shelters indicate that 85 percent of women coming to their facilities spoke of incidents of pet abuse, with 48 percent of the battered women reporting that they had delayed leaving a dangerous situation out of concern for their companion animals' safety. Many manipulators use threats of harm to their victim's pets as a means of control, often leading to deadly consequences.

HAHS is willing and able to provide assistance through this program, by taking in hooved animals that have been subjected to domestic abuse situations. In fact, HAHS played a crucial role in helping a young stallion escape this terrible type of situation in 2009. On a blustery December morning in 2009, a small humane society in Michigan received a phone call from a woman pleading for help with her young stallion. The woman had recently taken her children and fled from her abusive husband. She had managed to move her two mares from the property, but was unable to rescue her stallion. Her husband threatened to shoot the horse if his wife did not remove him immediately. After much pleading, the husband allowed his wife 24 hours to find new lodging for the stallion. The horse, later to be named Lance, was left without food or water as the husband refused to care for him.

A woman from the small Michigan humane society was able to run food and water to Lance several times during that 24 hour period, and then trailered him from the property. Although Lance was skinny and had no previous experience with halters or handling, he allowed the woman from the humane society to halter him and lead him onto the trailer. It was later discovered that Lance would need expensive corrective surgery on his pastern. The small Michigan humane society was unable to provide that level of care and called HAHS for assistance. We readily agreed to take him and immediately transported Lance to the University of Wisconsin- Madison for his pastern surgery & castration. We are happy to report that Lance has since been adopted by a loving home.

Yet, too many animals remain in unsafe situations similar to Lance's. Everyone deserves safety from domestic abuse. The PAWS act would provide sanctuary for pets, and allow victims of domestic abuse the security of knowing that their pets will be safe as they flee. We just need you to put the PAWS act in motion. Please contact your United States senators today!


Tracy A. McGonigle, Esq.

Executive Director


You can contact your U.S Senator by clicking HERE 

 Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015 (H.R 3084)

An update from the American Horse Council on new legislation that would impose stricter regulations on medications used for horse racing:

"The Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015 (H.R. 3084) was introduced on July 16, 2015.  This is the third bill introduced in this Congress to regulate horseracing at the federal level.  The bill was introduced by Representatives Andy Barr (R-KY) and Paul Tonko (D-NY) and referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, on which Mr. Tonko sits.  The bill applies only to Thoroughbred racing.  To review a copy of the bill please see the AHC website at: http://www.horsecouncil.org/thoroughbred-horseracing-integrity-act-2015-hr-3084 

 The bill would:

  • Authorize the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to organize an independent anti-doping authority to be in charge of the use of drugs, medications and other practices in Thoroughbred horseracing.
  • Designate that organization as the Thoroughbred Horseracing Anti-Doping Authority (THADA or the Authority), which will be composed of eleven members, including the chief operating officer of USADA, five individuals representing USADA, and five individuals appointed by USADA from the Thoroughbred industry.  USADA has discretion in making these appointments.
  • Give THADA the authority to draft, adopt and enforce regulations applicable to racing with respect to medications and other practices in Thoroughbred racing.
  • Require all sectors of Thoroughbred racing to recognize the anti-doping oversight authority by THADA as a condition precedent to participating in interstate simulcasting, Internet wagering on horseracing, and interstate common pool wagering under the Interstate Horseracing Act (IHA).  The bill would not directly amend or change the structure of the consents currently required in the IHA for interstate wagering.
  • Require the racing industry to bear the costs of programs initiated by the Authority and enforcement.


The findings to the bill note that "because the various states have been unable to adopt a national uniform anti-doping program" for Thoroughbred racing, this legislation provides that "such rules, procedures and enforcement policies should be implemented, consistent with internationally accepted best practices, by an independent anti-doping organization authorized by an act of Congress."  The legislation designates THADA as the organization and gives USADA the authority to organize this independent authority. 

THADA will develop and administer the anti-doping program for Thoroughbred racing.  The program will become effective January 1, 2017.  THADA's anti-doping program will apply to all Thoroughbred races subject to an interstate off-track wager under the IHA and to owners, trainers, veterinarians, etc. who race horses in such races.

While the bill would not explicitly amend the IHA, THADA's jurisdiction and authority over all involved in interstate Thoroughbred wagering would be made a condition precedent to the privilege to accept, receive, or transmit wagers on races subject to the IHA. 

Composition of THADA

THADA will be a non-profit corporation initially governed by a board composed of (1) USADA's chief executive officer; (2) five USADA board members; and (3) five individuals from different constituencies in the Thoroughbred industry, who shall be appointed by USADA. 

Authority and Powers of THADA

After opportunity for industry and public comment, the Authority shall develop and administer the anti-doping program, which shall include, among other things:


  1. Lists of permitted and prohibited substances and practices;
  2. Schedule of sanctions, including a lifetime ban from horseracing; and
  3. Laboratory standards for accreditation and testing requirements, procedures, and protocols.


Effective Date

The anti-doping program shall take effect on January 1, 2017.  The Authority and state racing commissions shall work together with respect to doping conduct, sanctions, and investigations prior to that date.  All rules called for in the bill shall be in place 120 days prior to January 1, 2017.  All rules shall be subject to industry and public comment before being adopted.


The bill does not provide for any federal funding to set up the Authority and anti-doping program or its subsequent operation.  Funds for the establishment and administration of the anti-doping program shall be paid entirely by the Thoroughbred racing industry."

Source: http://www.horsecouncil.org/thoroughbred-horseracing-integrity-act-2015-hr-3084


FY2016 Agriculture Appropriations Bill:

 An update from the American Horse Council on the 'Horse Slaughter Bill':

"On July 16, 2015, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its version of the FY2016 Agriculture Appropriations bill. This bill provides funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the 2016 fiscal year (October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016). An amendment was adopted by the committee during mark-up of the bill that would prohibit funding for USDA inspections at U.S.horse slaughter facilities.

During full committee mark-up of the bill Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) offered an amendment to prohibit funding for USDA inspections at U.S. horse slaughter facilities. Such a prohibition would prevent horse slaughter facilities from operating in the U.S.This amendment passed by a voice vote.

A similar amendment was offered by Congressman Sam Farr (D-CA) when the House Appropriation Committee marked-up the House version of the bill on July 8. That amendment was defeated in a 24-24 vote.

Because this amendment is not in both the House and Senate versions of the bill its inclusion in any final bill that is eventually passed will be determined during a Conference Committee that will reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill.

Currently, No horse slaughter facilities are operating in the U.S and a prohibition on funding for inspectors at such facilities from last year’s FY 2015 USDA bill remains in effect until September 30, 2015. If that prohibition expires, USDA will be required to provide inspectors and horse slaughter facilities if any were to open.

Both the full Senate and House must now debate and approve their respective versions of the bill."

Source:  http://www.horsecouncil.org/senate-appropriations-committee-approves-horse-slaughter-amendment

House Bill 3768

On December 5th, 2013, Illinois Representative Daniel J. Burke introduced House Bill 3768 to the 98th Illinois General Assembly. House Bill 3768 amends the Humane Care of Animals Act by including that,

"No person may knowingly beat, cruelly treat, torment,
starve, overwork, or otherwise abuse any animal in the presence
of a minor." (Illinois General Assembly 2014)

If convicted of violating this act, the penalty would automatically become a class 4 felony, with subsequent violations elevating to class 3 felonies. This alteration is pivotal as it protects minors from being exposed to animal cruelty crimes, which studies show is often detrimental to development and hinders the growth of empathy in children, by providing steeper consequences for violations of animal cruelty in the presence of a minor. (American Humane, n.d) It should also be noted that there is an increased correlation between the presence of both animal abuse and child abuse in homes where animal abuse is existing. One study concluded that in 88% of homes where animal abuse is prevalent, there are also incidents of child abuse. (American Humane, n.d)

House Bill 3768 goes further to define in the "presence of a minor" as,

"means in the physical presence of a person under 18
years of age or knowing or having reason to know that a person
under 18 years of age is present and may see or hear an act
constituting a violation." (Illinois General Assembly 2014)

House Bill 3768 is moving quickly through the state's legislature. It was co-sponsored by Representative Laura Fine on April 3rd, 2014, and Representative Anthony DeLuca was added as Chief Co-Sponsor on May 16th, 2014. House Bill 3768 has already been through several debates, including one with the Executive Committee, has been referred and re-referred to the Rules Committee, and is currently scheduled for a Third Reading. This bill is on the short track to being passed.

The Hooved Animal Humane Society looks forward to following House Bill 3768's progress through the state legislature.

Update: Although HB 3768 died in session, HB3231, which also addressed committing acts of animal cruelty in front of a minor, was sent to governor Rauner for signature on June 29, 2015.


Additional information on House Bill 3768, including the full text of the bill, can be found at, http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=3768&GAID=12&DocTypeID=HB&SessionID=85&GA=98

Further information on the link between animal cruelty and its repercussions on child development can be found at the following location, https://awionline.org/sites/default/files/uploads/legacy-uploads/documents/DV-CommonBond-040811-1302285421-document-39019.pdf

House Bill 3767

On December 5th, 2013, Illinois Representative Daniel J. Burke introduced House Bill 3767 to the 98th Illinois General Assembly. House Bill 3767 amends the Humane Care of Animals Act and the Humane Euthanasia in Shelters Act to prohibit anyone, including a licensed veterinarian, from using carbon monoxide as a means of euthanasia for companion animals. Furthermore, the euthanasia of a companion animal shall only be induced via the use of approved injectable euthanasia agents. The use of other unapproved methods of euthanasia would be considered aggravated animal cruelty, a class 3 felony. House Bill 3767 was read and referred to the Rules Committee on January 13th, 2014.

Update: H.B 3767 Died in Session on December 3rd, 2014.

You can find more information on House Bill 3767, including the full text, at http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=3767&GAID=12&DocTypeID=HB&SessionID=85&GA=98

Senate Bill 3337

On February 14th, 2014, Senator David Koehler submitted Senate Bill 3337 to the Illinois 98th General Assembly, of which Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins became Chief Co-Sponsor of on March 5th, 2014, proposing that we redefine "adequate shelter" under the Illinois Humane Care for Animals Act, by adding Sections 2.01i and 2.01j and changing Section 3 to the following;

"Sec. 2.01i. Adequate Shelter. "Adequate shelter" means a
shelter that (1) is suitable for the species, age, condition,
size, and type of each animal, (2) provides adequate space for
each animal, (3) is safe and protects each animal from injury,
rain, sleet, snow, hail, direct sunlight, the adverse effects
of heat or cold, physical suffering, and impairment of health,
(4) is properly lighted, (5) is properly cleaned, (6) enables
each animal to be clean and dry, except when detrimental to the
species, and (7) for dogs and cats, provides a solid surface,
resting platform, pad, floormat, or similar device that is
large enough for the animal to lie on in a normal manner and
can be maintained in a sanitary manner. "Adequate shelter" does
not include a shelter whose wire, grid, or slat floors (1)
allow an animal's feet to pass through the openings, (2) sag under an animal's weight,
or (3) otherwise do not protect an animal's feet or toes from injury." (Illinois General Assemby 2014)

In summary, Illinois House Bill 3337 proposes redefining what constitutes " adequate shelter" under the Illinois Humane Care for Animals Act (510 ILCS 70/). Presently, the definition for "adequate shelter" required to be provided by an owner for an animal, under the Illinois Humane Care for Animals Act (IHCAA), can be found under section 70, subsection 3, and is defined as, "adequate shelter and protection from the weather." (Illinois Compiled Statuses n.d.)

The Hooved Animal Humane Society fully supports this addition and expansion of the definition of adequate shelter given by the Illinois Humane Care for Animals Act.
We, at the Hooved Animal Humane Society, feel that this proposed expansion of the Illinois Humane Care for Animals Act adequately defines "shelter" in a manner that is reasonably enforceable by law enforcement as well as employable by licensed investigators. The aforementioned expansion will provide humane societies and their licensed investigators with the language necessary to administer citations when appropriate, effectively aiding their mission in preventing mistreatment and protecting hooved animals in Illinois.

Update: S.B 3337 Died in Session on January 13th, 2015.

 Works Cited
Illinois Compiled Statuses. n.d. http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1717&ChapterID=41 (accessed November 10, 2014).

Illinois General Assemby. Full Text of SB3337. February 14, 2014. http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=85&GA=98&DocTypeId=SB&DocNum=3337&GAID=12&LegID=&SpecSess=&Session=(accessed November 10, 2014).

 Senate Bill 3050

Senate Bill 3050 was introduced to the 98th Illinois General Assembly on February 7th, 2014, by Sen. Michael W. Frerichs. Senator Ira I. Silverstein was added as Chief Co-Sponsor on March 26th, 2014, and Senator William Delgado was added as Co-Sponsor on May 15th, 2014. Senate Bill 3050 proposes an amendment to the Veterinary Medicine and Surgery Practice Act of 2004, in which a licensed veterinarian or veterinary technician, certified in another state, can practice veterinary medicine in the state of Illinois if it is in connection with an investigation of an alleged violation of federal or state animal cruelty or fighting law(s). In order to be eligible for this exemption, law enforcement must determine that the services of the veterinary medical professionals are appropriate, needed, and that their abilities cannot immediately be found elsewhere within the state. The law enforcement must then provide a formal invitation to the veterinary medical professionals.

Furthermore, Senate Bill 3050 provides that qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations may, for the purpose of preventing cruelty to animals, in connection with an investigation by law enforcement of an alleged violation of federal or state animal cruelty or fighting laws, may erect a temporary facility or shelter to receive animals related to the investigation. These measures are only granted if acting law enforcement determine that these measures are necessary. The law enforcement must extend an official invitation for a nonprofit organization to qualify for this exemption.

Update: S.B 3050 Died in Session on January 13th, 2015.

 Additional information, including the full text of the bill, can be found at http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=3050&GAID=12&GA=98&DocTypeID=SB&LegID=79414&SessionID=85


   Subject: Stop the Cruelty to Horses --Help Us Contact Congress to Protect Tennessee Walking Horses

If you love horses, and would do anything to stop cruelty to them, if you read Black Beauty and cried, now there is something you CAN do RIGHT NOW with a click of your mouse. Send a message to your Representative and Senators to support a bill that actually has a good chance of being enacted this year, with enough support from the public. It is the PAST Act - -H.R.1518 and S.1406 -- an Amendment to the Horse Protection Act, to save Tennessee Walking Horses from torture. We've included a suggested message below.

Even if you don't know who your Representative and Senators are, it is easy to find them at www.ContactingtheCongress.org, and clicking on the US map showing your state. Then it's easy to fill in the blanks and send a message to your Representative.
Cut and paste the message below, or create your own. But do it NOW, before one more horse is tortured!

Dear .....: Please support H.R.1518 and S.1406, the Past Act, which would save the lives of Tennessee Walking Horses, which are now being tortured to show their performance gait, through the use of harsh chemicals to "sore" their hooves, making them so painful they lift their feet quickly when they touch the ground, horrible padded devices, heavy chains, and other cruel treatments. Under H.R. 1518 and S. 1406 these devices and techniques would be prohibited.

The padded TWH horse enthusiasts are mounting a huge attack to keep this act from being passed. After all, there is a lot of money at stake for them. If you love animals, and love horses, pleases voice your support for H.R.1518 and S. 1406, by contacting your representative TODAY!