Animal Legal Defense Fund Denounces Repeal of Animal Cruelty LawNovember 28th, 2012
For immediate release
Lisa Franzetta, ALDF
Megan Backus, ALDF
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — ALDF is denouncing the decision of the Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners to drop their historic animal cruelty law. The Board voted Tuesday, November 27, 2012 to remove the local cruelty law under pressure from Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (LRRI), which tests on dogs, primates, and other animals. LRRI’s property, which was once located on federal land, now falls under Bernalillo County jurisdiction and the lab would have had to follow the county’s stricter animal protection law.
LRRI—which has been, in a rare instance, cited and fined for breaking federal laws like the Animal Welfare Act (AWA)—claims federal laws are enough to protect Bernalillo County’s animals, including those in its laboratories. However, federal laws such as the AWA do not adequately protect Bernalillo animals: 95% of animals in laboratories are not covered by the AWA. Painful tests at LRRI include forcing animals to inhale cigarette smoke and coal-burning exhaust. On the other hand, Bernalillo’s Animal Cruelty Ordinance required animals to be provided adequate food and water, space, and veterinary care.
With the repeal, animals in Bernalillo lose significant legal protection and are placed in harm’s way by LRRI. Significantly, the vote to repeal comes at the close of the Republican-led county commission, as Simon Kubiak will be replaced by Democratic Albuquerque City Councilor Debbie O’Malley in December.
“When the lame-duck council is replaced, the Animal Legal Defense Fund will come out with guns blazing to support New Mexico’s fight to protect animals from cruelty and reinstate this important law,” says Stephen Wells, executive director for the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “Politicians cannot simply drop animal protection laws to suit the agendas of industries that profit from abusing animals.”