Pacelle & HSUS lobbyists set 2

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Humane Society to lobby state today

By Dave Ryan, Newszap

ANNAPOLIS - At least four bills that would have an impact on the welfare of animals are being considered in the Maryland legislature. The Humane Society of the United States has organized Lobby Day for Animals, set for today in Annapolis, to speak to lawmakers and express concerns about animal issues.

More than 50 animal advocates are expected to participate in the event, set to begin at 10 a.m. in the Lowe House Office Building.

The Humane Society favors two bills, HB377 Banning Steel-Jawed Leghold Traps and HB510 Closing Loopholes on Animal Fighting.

"We just feel we need stronger laws," Senior Vice President of the Humane Society of the US Wayne Pacelle said. Mr. Pacelle said though illegal, cock and dog fights still occur in Maryland. He said cock fighting especially is "very prevalent, unfortunately."

"It's a very big deal," he added.

The proposed legislation would make it illegal to be a spectator at an animal fight and to possess fighting equipment.

The society also backs banning leghold traps, which it says are an inhumane way to kill not only the furbearing species, but the animals sometimes inadvertently caught in them.

The group opposes HB10 Establishing a Black Bear Hunting Season. "This bill seeks to create a hunting season when Maryland already has an effective non-lethal bear management program in place," a prepared statement from the society said. The group fears that hunting would jeopardize the population of about 300 bears now in the state.

The Humane Society also opposes HB9 Allowing Sunday Hunting. "This bill would eliminate the one day of the week when people can safely enjoy outdoor activities without worrying about being an accidental target of a hunter," the statement said.

For information on the society's activities, call (202) 452-1100, logon at http://www.hsus.org.
 

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