Updates for Nebraskans from The Humane Society of the United States

By on February 26, 2015

The Humane Society of the United States provides updates on animal issues each month and makes them specific to people in different areas of the country. Below are some things they want YOU to consider as an animal advocate in Nebraska. For more information, visit humanesociety.org, the national site for the Humane Society.


2015 Bills to Support and Oppose–Call your state Senator today!  See below for details.

Now is the time to contact your Senator regarding animal welfare legislation.  Not sure who your Nebraska State Senator is?  Click here to find out!  Call your Senator regarding the following legislation.


Ask your Senator to support:

  • LB127: Eliminate provisions relating to hunting mountain lions:  Introduced by Senator Ernie Chambers on January 9, 2015. This bill will eliminate open season hunting of mountain lions and was referred to the Natural Resources Committee on January 12, 2015 and will be heard on February 26, 2015, 1:30PM in Room 1525.
  • LB128: Repeal the Black-Tailed Prairie Dog Management Act:Introduced by Senator Ernie Chambers on January 9, 2015. This bill will remove black-tailed prairie dogs from being poisoned through management programs of the Director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. This Bill was referred to the Agriculture Committee on January 12, 2015 and was be heard on February 3th. I am pleased to announce that this bill has already advanced to General File and will be debated on the legislative floor very soon.
  • LB360: Change provisions of the Commercial Dog and Cat Operator Inspection Act:  Introduced by Senator Jerry Johnson on January 15, 2015. This bill provides additional inspection standards including those for shelter, injuries, proper food and water, abuse, and sanitary living conditions. This Bill was referred to the Agriculture Committee on ­­­­­ January 16, 2015 and was heard on February 17th. We fully expect this bill to advance to General File and will keep you posted on its progress.
  • LB377: Change provisions and procedures relating to the disposition, care, custody, and costs associated with the impoundment of dogs or cats:  Introduced by Senator Mark Kolterman on January 16, 2015. This bill requires the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Inspectors to file complaints with local law enforcement when an animal is seized, requires impounding by the NDA and specifies cost of care. This bill was referred to the Agriculture Committee on January 20, 2015 and was heard on February 17th. This bill was introduced with Amendment 376, which removed language that would have allowed the Department of Ag to dispossess itself of the animals by “sale at public auction.” There was overwhelming support for this bill and we expect it to advance to General File.

Ask your Senator to oppose:

  • LB106: Adopt the Livestock Operation Siting and Expansion Act and change powers of counties relating to zoning:  Introduced by Senator Dan Watermeier on January 8, 2015. This bill will increase in the number of animals fed, confined, maintained, or stabled and was referred to the Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee on January 15, 2015 and was heard on February 12th. Opponents of the bill provided clear testimony that that this type of legislation will remove the ability for Counties to control the expansion of large-scale CAFOs in their communities.
  • LB175: Adopt the Livestock Growth Act and change provisions of the Nebraska Advantage Rural Development Act:  Introduced by Senator Ken Schilz on January 12, 2015. Creates the Livestock Growth Act and would provide grant funding only to those counties designated as “Livestock Friendly”. This Bill was referred to the Agriculture Committee on January 14, 2015 and was heard on February 10th. Livestock Friendly means CAFO friendly and this bill discriminates against counties that oppose the expansion of factory farms in their communities.
  • LB394: Change provisions relating to interference with a person hunting, trapping, or fishing:  Introduced by Senator Ken Schilz on January 16, 2015. This bill specifies that: “No person shall knowingly and intentionally interfere or attempt to interfere by intimidation using a telephone or other electronic method of communication with another person who is not trespassing and who is lawfully hunting, trapping, or fishing or engaged in activity associated with hunting, trapping, or fishing.” This Bill was referred to the Natural Resources Committee on January 20, 2015 and was heard on February 18th. This bill was brought to Senator Schilz by National Sportsman’s groups. The hunters who won permits to kill mountain lions during Nebraska’s 2014 open season were publicly ridiculed through social media and this legislation seeks to limit this type of online interaction.


Wayne Pacelle Provided the Opening Keynote Address at the 2015 NSAS Healthy Farms Conference in Omaha

The Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society’s Annual Healthy Farms Conference was held in Omaha on February 6th & 7th. We were so pleased to have HSUS President & CEO Wayne Pacelle join us as we continued to celebrate the progress of our local farmer friends. Wayne provided a thought-provoking address regarding our collective responsibilities in preserving the future of humane and sustainable farming.  He even blogged on his experience!


Federal Response to US MARC Experiments

In response to the atrocious experiments being conducted at the US Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, on February 5th, federal lawmakers introduced bills to require much needed protections for farm animals used for agricultural research at all federal facilities. The bills (S. 388 and H.R. 746) would amend the Animal Welfare Act to remove current exceptions that exclude animals used in agricultural experiments at federally-run facilities from certain protections under the Animal Welfare Act.  We encourage you to keep informed on the movement of the Federal bills and ask your elected officials to support and even co-sponsor these bills. While you are familiar with research at the US MARC, you may not know that is only one of 40 USDA Research Facilities.  They are located throughout the nation and these federal bills apply to them as well. We are still watching U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s actions closely as they relate to the updated Animal Welfare Strategy plan he promised to provide by late March.

Also, if you’d like to find out just what the biggest animal advocates in the state are working towards, check out the Nebraska Rescue Council. You can find it on the web at www.nerescue.org.

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