The Congressional Animal Protection Caucus (CAPC) is a bipartisan organization committed to raising awareness of animal welfare issues in Congress. CAPC was formed in February 2009 and replaced the Friends of Animals Caucus founded by former Representatives Tom Lantos (D-CA) and Chris Shays (R-CT).
About the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus
The purpose of CAPC is to highlight important issues affecting animals and to educate Members and their staff on the need for sensible animal protection legislation. Partnering with reputable animal welfare organizations, CAPC sponsors non-partisan briefings and tracks the progress of relevant legislation, providing Caucus members with dependable information on animal welfare issues. The goal of CAPC is to build broad coalitions in support of common-sense, humane animal welfare laws.
Congressman Blumenauer co-chairs the CAPC along with Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania.
Click here to learn more about Congressman Blumenauer's work on animal welfare.
More information about the bipartisan CAPC:
Legislation – Caucus Priorities
This bill would require federally conducted agricultural research to meet the minimum standards of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). All federal agencies, regardless of their mission, should ensure that taxpayer funds are appropriately used in a transparent and humane manner. Passage of the AWARE Act will require that research conducted at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) and other federally run facilities meet certain necessary benchmarks of other animal research.
Captive Primate Safety Act – H.R. 2920
This bill would amend the Lacey Act, which enforces civil and criminal penalties for the illegal trade of animals and plants, by adding nonhuman primates to the list of animals who cannot be traded and transported across state lines as pets. This legislation, which has passed both the House and Senate in previous Congresses, would accomplish for primates what the Captive Wildlife Safety Act – which Congress passed unanimously in late 2003 – did for big cats.
This bill would prohibit threats or acts of violence against a person’s pet under the offenses of stalking and interstate violation of a protection order. It would also provide compensation to the victims of domestic violence and their pets by covering the costs of veterinary services and supporting entities providing housing assistance.
This bill would strengthen the animal crush video law and prohibit those extreme acts of animal cruelty when they occur in interstate or foreign commerce.
Humane Cosmetics Act – H.R. 2858
This bill would make it unlawful for anyone to conduct or commission cosmetics animal testing in the United States. The bill would prohibit selling, offering for sale, or transporting any cosmetics in interstate commerce if the final product or any component was developed or manufactured using animal testing.
This bill would prohibit a person from transporting a horse in interstate commerce in a motor vehicle (except a vehicle operated exclusively on rail or rails) containing two or more levels stacked on top of one another. It would also prescribe civil penalties for people who knowingly violate this prohibition.
This bill would stop cruel soring of Tennessee Walking Horses and related breeds by amending the Horse Protection Act to end the failed industry self-policing system, ban the use of devices associated with soring, strengthen penalties, and make illegal the actual soring of a horse for the purpose of showing or selling the animal.
This bill would ban domestic horse slaughter and stop the export of horses for slaughter abroad, to prevent human health threats posed by the consumption of equines raised in the United States.
This bill would require the Secretary of Defense to use only human-based methods for training members of the Armed Forces in the treatment of severe combat injuries.
Global Anti-Poaching Act – H.R. 2494
This bill would support global anti-poaching efforts, strengthen the capacity of partner countries to counter wildlife trafficking, designate major wildlife trafficking countries, and for other purposes.
Big Cat Public Safety Act – H.R. 3546
This bill would amend the Captive Wildlife Safety Act to prohibit the private possession and breeding of big cats, with exemptions for larger facilities such as zoos, sanctuaries, state colleges, and universities.
The CAPC has sponsored several events in 2015, including briefings on topics such as:
- Domestic violence and pets, and the role of the Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act;
- The importance of criminalizing animal cruelty, and the role of the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act;
- Cosmetics animal testing, and the role of the Humane Cosmetics Act;
- The cost of care and rehabilitation for animal fighting victims;
- Animal abuses conducted in federal agricultural research facilities and the role of the Animal Welfare in Agricultural Research Endeavors (AWARE) Act.
The CAPC has also sponsored events to raise awareness and promote the goals of the Caucus, such as PAWS for Celebration event featuring former Senator Bob Dole and adoptable dogs and cats from Washington DC shelters.
In the 113th Congress, members of the Caucus hosted briefings on a diverse range of animal-related topics, including increased protections for African lions, the problematic use of antibiotics in industrial agriculture operations, and abusive soring techniques used on Tennessee Walking Horses. The Caucus also hosted, in partnership with the ASPCA, two annual shelter animal adoption events on the Hill, one on Valentine’s Day and another at the end of July. Combined, events helped place dozens of deserving animals in caring homes. Legislatively, the Caucus was very involved in successfully renewing the U.S. ban on horse slaughter facilities, strengthening penalties for spectators at animal fighting events, and fighting against unprecedented attacks on state-level animal welfare laws in the 2014 Farm Bill.