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Public Statements

Amending the Animal Welfare Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. COSTA. Madam Speaker, I yield myself as much time as I may consume.

I want to thank the gentleman from Arkansas for his efforts with our colleagues in the Senate to pass this measure, S. 3666.

As was stated, this is a measure that involves common sense, and it attempts to relieve burdensome paperwork that frankly has no place under the current scheme in which movies are made in this country that require, without the relief of this measure, them to be included under the Federal Animal Welfare Act.

As was stated, movies and television shows often use animals as extras. We're used to seeing that. It's part of the way these movies are made. This bill amends the Animal Welfare Act to clarify that when pets are owned by individual citizens who are acting in that movie or in that television show that they should not be regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture when it comes to these animals being used as extras in films.

These animals should not be captured under the Animal Welfare Act regulations. The USDA, as we know, is spread pretty thin. It is using scarce resources to regulate personal pets, which now is required under the current law that this legislation will relieve that burden from. We think that the USDA should focus its resources on more cost-effective measures rather than regulating individual personal pets that are used in these movies or in these television shows as--the term of art is ``animal actors''; animals that play a key movie or television role will not be affected by this legislation. They will continue to be regulated by the Animal Welfare Act. This is, as I said at the outset, a commonsense regulatory relief of burdensome paperwork. I would ask my colleagues to support this measure.

S. 3666 is, I think, a well-thought-out measure. I want to thank, again, the gentleman from Arkansas and the committee for their efforts on this measure and ask their support for the bill.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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