AWI has been a leader, at both federal and state levels, in securing landmark laws aimed at shielding animals from cruelty and needless suffering. When AWI was established in 1951, only two federal laws to protect animals existed: the 1873 “28-Hour Law” to protect livestock shipped by rail, and a 1948 law authorizing US Customs to prosecute those who fail to maintain modest standards when shipping animals. We worked diligently for the adoption of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act in 1958, then played a significant role in the successful passage of the vast majority of federal laws passed to protect animals, including the Animal Welfare Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, the Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act, and more. While passing federal legislation is one of our primary goals, our work also includes combating measures detrimental to animal welfare, and pushing for sound regulations to implement existing laws, as well as strong funding to enforce beneficial government programs.
We send action alerts to individuals and organizations interested in animal protective legislation, informing them of ways in which they may help—often by writing to legislators and administration officials to advocate for stronger animal protections. Our Action Center keeps you informed on key bills, provides contact information for all your federal and state legislators, and offers an easy way for you to contact these and other policy-makers on animal protection matters. Our Compassion Index even tracks the voting records of members of Congress on important animal protection measures. With the Compassion Index, you’ll know whether your elected officials are truly representing YOU on animal protection matters! The best way to stay in the loop and ensure your voice will be heard is to sign up for emailed action alerts—so don’t delay, sign up today!