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Public Statements

Amending the Animal Welfare Act

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CRAWFORD. Madam Speaker, I rise in support of the bill, S. 3666, and yield myself such time as I may consume.

S. 3666 is a simple regulatory relief measure which has been proposed to modify the definition of the term ``exhibitor'' under the Federal Animal Welfare Act. It has passed the Senate by unanimous consent and, in the last hours of the 112th Congress, I urge that it likewise be passed by the House of Representatives.

The legislation would relieve private pet owners who might make a few dollars on the side with their pets but who do not derive a substantial portion of their income from such activities from the licensure requirements under the Federal Animal Welfare Act.

An example where this might be an issue is in hiring somebody to serve as an extra in a film. These are the people who appear in the background of film scenes and may work on the film set for a couple of hours at a time or a day or two at the most. If that person has their pet with them during the filming, the current interpretation of the Animal Welfare Act is that the extra would be designated an animal exhibitor under Federal law and must therefore be licensed, inspected, and comply with all the administrative and record-keeping requirements of the act. This was not what the law intended nor is the administration of such a requirement a necessary or useful allocation of scarce Federal resources.

The Federal Animal Welfare Act was intended to regulate businesses, not private citizens. There are many examples across the government of regulatory overreach. While I regret that we have not been able to address all of those in the 112th Congress, certainly this is one we can agree needs fixing and should be fixed.

I urge my colleagues to support the legislation and reserve the balance of my time.

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