WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan earned a 100+ from the U.S. Humane Society for his record protecting wildlife and preventing animal cruelty, according to the group’s newly released 2019 legislative scorecard preview.
Among the 535 members of the U.S. House and Senate, Buchanan was one of only 34 members to earn a 100+ score. A score of 100+ indicates pro-animal positions on all scored items in addition to leadership on pro-animal issues.
Buchanan, who co-chairs the Animal Protection Caucus in Congress, is a leading advocate for protecting endangered species and ending animal cruelty. The Humane Society has praised Buchanan calling him “a tireless champion for animals.”
“Preventing animal cruelty and protecting threatened wildlife are bipartisan issues that we can all get behind,” Buchanan said. He was one of only four Republicans in the entire Congress to earn a perfect score.
Earlier this year the Congressman introduced the PACT Act to criminalize horrific acts of animal cruelty with Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), the bill has since passed both chambers of Congress and awaits the President’s signature. He also introduced an amendment to a government funding bill to protect endangered African lions and elephants by banning the importation of their dead carcasses into the United States to be mounted as trophies. Additionally, Buchanan introduced legislation to permanently ban the transport of horses to slaughterhouses in Mexico to be sold as a delicacy around the world with Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). Buchanan is the only member of Congress to lead on three or more of the Humane Society’s priority issues.
Buchanan is also a leader in animal welfare issues unique to Florida. He urged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to withdraw its decision to weaken protections for the manatee under the Endangered Species Act and called for the designation of a critical habitat for the endangered panther, Florida’s state animal. Buchanan also successfully lobbied the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to list the Gulf of Mexico whale on the endangered species list.
The list of issues highlighted in the group’s scorecard includes:
Introduced Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, H.R. 724 – makes it easier to prosecute individuals involved in the gruesome killing of animals to film and distribute so-called “animal crush videos.”
Introduced An Amendment to Protect Endangered Species – prohibits the importation of elephant or lion trophies from Zimbabwe, Zambia or Tanzania.
Introduced Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, H.R. 961 – permanently bans the shipment of horses to slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada for overseas export to countries like Japan where horse meat is considered a delicacy.
Co-Sponsored and Voted Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 693 – prevents the practice of deliberately and permanently maiming a horse’s foot, ankle or leg in order to make them perform better at horse shows and competitions.
Co-Sponsored Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act, H.R. 737 – bans the possession, sale and trade of shark fins, which are harvested by slicing off the fins of live sharks and casting the mutilated animals back into the ocean to die.
Co-Sponsored Welfare of Our Friends (WOOF) Act, H.R. 1002 – closes loopholes that could allow commercial breeders with a history of severe animal cruelty to continue to operate.
Voted to Protect Endangered Whales – opposed a measure that would have prevented the National Marine Fisheries Service from protecting the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale.