Target: Representative John Kavanagh and Senator Steve Farley
Goal: Commend bipartisan efforts for animal rights
There has been much bipartisan collaboration recently in Arizona on animal welfare issues. State congressmen John Kavanagh and Steve Farley have introduced five bills to protect animals. According to State Senator Farley, “It’s in everyone’s self interest to stop animal cruelty where it begins.” We should commend Senator Farley and Representative Kavanagh for crossing party lines to prioritize animal rights.
The bills that Senator Farley and Representative Kavanagh have introduced include banning live animals as carnival prizes, prohibiting convicted animal abusers from owning animals, and including animal fighting offenses in Arizona’s current racketeering law. In February, the Humane Society of the United States presented the two congressmen with “Humane Legislator” awards.
Kavanagh authored HB 2022, which will prevent convicted animal abusers from keeping animals, after a constituent informed him that it was still legal for animal abusers to own pets. Kavanagh equates allowing animal abusers to own pets with allowing convicted child abusers to adopt children. He states, “You certainly wouldn’t allow a child abuser to stay around children, it seemed reasonable to also ban the possession of animals by people convicted of animal abuse.”
A bill authored by Senator Farley seeks to create an animal abuser registry that could be used by animal shelters and pet shops to prevent convicted animal abusers from obtaining pets. According to Farley, the registry would be useful because animal abusers are also more likely to be violent towards other people
The bipartisan collaboration recently demonstrated by Senator Farley and Representative Kavanagh is good for animals. The bills they have introduced will help to protect animals from abusive owners, increase penalties for those convicted of animal fighting crimes, and expand the definition of commercial pet breeders in order to protect animals. We should commend these congressmen for their exemplary efforts and encourage them to keep up the good work.
Governor Senator Farley and Representative Kavanagh:
I would like to thank you for your recent bipartisan efforts to protect animals. The legislation you have introduced to prevent animal abusers from owning animals can be appreciated by Democrats and Republicans alike. Your efforts at expanding the definition of commercial pet breeders and banning live animals as carnival prizes are also important for protecting animals in Arizona.
Your efforts have set a wonderful precedent for bipartisan collaboration on animal rights issues. I encourage you both to continue to cross party lines to protect animals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Newyorker10021 via Wikimedia Commons