Humane Lobby Day kicks off in Columbia
South Carolinians converged on the state capitol for Humane Lobby Day in Columbia on April 17 to lobby for animal protection laws. Humane Lobby Day 2013 is sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States.
Humane Lobby Day participants met with their state legislators to lobby in support of measures to ban the private possession of dangerous wild animals, increase penalties for cockfighting (H. 3068; S. 529), protect human and animal survivors of domestic violence through pet protective orders (H. 3361), and to oppose a bill that would adversely impact animal shelters (H. 3492; S. 194).
Kim Kelly, South Carolina state director for The Humane Society of the United States said: “It is thrilling to see so many South Carolinians come to Columbia to speak up for animals. With South Carolina having some of the weakest animal protection laws in the country, we hope state legislators heard us loud and clear. Make animal welfare a high priority and pass these bills.”
State Reps. Deborah Long, R-Lancaster, and Gilda Cobb-Hunter, DOrangeburg received The HSUS’ Humane State Legislator Award for their continued commitment to pass laws that would strengthen animal fighting statutes and protect people and animals from wanton cruelty.
Rep. Long said: “By protecting animals and people, these bills link quality of life to the understanding that we are supposed to be good stewards of God's gifts, which includes animals.”
South Carolina ranks 47th in The Humane Society of the United States’ 2012 “Humane State Rankings” which grades each state and the District of Columbia based on a wide range of animal protection laws dealing with pets, animal cruelty and fighting, wildlife, animals in research, horses and farm animals. The state’s lack of felony penalties for cockfighting and weak laws regulating the private possession of dangerous wild animals hurt its ranking.