Illinois Congressman Calls For New Protections For Animals

Andy Dahn
August 30, 2019 - 8:33 am
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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A local congressman is pushing new legislation that he hopes will help keep animals safe.

"This is really something that all of us should be worried about," said U.S. Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi.

U.S. Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi has proposed a bill that would improve enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act, which he said is barely being enforced today.

"A lot of times, these suspensions or situations in which dealers and exhibitors have been sanctioned in any way, are not available for the public to inspect," he said. "We really have no idea, really, what their records are or if they're truly treating animals properly."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture would be forced to resume posting inspection records online and animal welfare groups would have more legal abilities under the proposal, which has the backing of groups like the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and PETA.

"We're putting teeth in the law," Krishnamoorthi said. "It's no surprise that all of these groups that actually pay attention to the issues are fully supportive. We're all scratching our heads as to why the USDA doesn't actually enforce the provisions of the act."

Krishnamoorthi said he's hopeful for a vote in the House once the legislation gains more support.