At midnight on July 11, at the end of a 13-hour markup session by the House Agriculture Committee, Rep. Steve King, of Iowa, slipped in a last-minute amendment to the Farm Bill that could be the greatest threat to animal protection legislation in history. The amendment would wipe out long-standing and important state laws created to protect animals — from horses to puppies to pigs to chickens to sharks. Even more miserable is the fact that King’s language is so imprecise that experts believe worker safety, food safety and environmental protection state regulations could also be erased.
Perhaps the best word to describe King’s amendment is scary. Given the potpourri of controversies revolving around this year’s Farm Bill, no one knows when or if the bill will pass. But one thing is certain: The King Amendment must go, or the consequences will be devastating. I am counting on Rep. Glenn Thompson, who is expected to be a member of the bill’s deciding conference committee, to work hard to eliminate King’s harmful language.
Diane Cielo, Punxsutawney
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