Tell Bernalillo County Commissioners Not to Drop Animal Cruelty Law

Posted by Stephen Wells, ALDF's Executive Director on November 20, 2012

The Animal Legal Defense Fund urges all New Mexico residents to tell the Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners not to drop their historic animal cruelty law–a dangerous precedent for all of New Mexico up for consideration when the Board meets on November 27, 2012.

The Board is under pressure by a notorious private laboratory, the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, which engages in cruel and harmful testing on helpless dogs, primates, and other animals. Tests include making animals inhale cigarette smoke and coal-burning exhaust. The laboratory wants Bernalillo’s law dropped because they know they are probably violating it. This could begin a dangerous trend that could spread across New Mexico, inviting cruelty as local animal laws disappear.

Some Commissioners mistakenly believe that because the laboratory is also regulated under federal laws like the Animal Welfare Act, Bernalillo County is free to drop their ordinance. The truth is that none of the federal laws cover the sort of cruelty addressed by the County’s ordinance–that is why Lovelace only needs the local law off the books. Attorneys at the Animal Legal Defense Fund, experts in the relevant federal laws, confirmed that the federal Animal Welfare Act is not a comprehensive anti-cruelty law and does not prevent cruel experiments like those conducted at Lovelace.

"Make no doubt about it–if the County repeals the ordinance it is taking the position that animal cruelty is now acceptable in the Albuquerque and the County," said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. "When the County passed this law it was saying–it’s cruel to treat animals in this way. Now they are saying, it’s OK, we made a mistake. What message does it send when government drops legal protection for animals because those that abuse the animals simply ask?"

Take Action!

Please call, email, fax, or write the Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners and ask them

  • not to throw away their animal cruelty law just because a notorious laboratory asks them to
  • alternatively, to delay a vote and work with ALDF to address the problems at Lovelace
  • please remind them that federal law–which is minimal and virtually unenforced–does not and was not intended protect Bernalillo’s animals.

Contact information:

Simon A. Kubiak, Commissioner District 1
One Civic Plaza NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102.
(505) 468-7027
Fax: (505) 768-4329
District1@bernco.gov

Art De La Cruz, Chair
One Civic Plaza, NW Albuquerque, NM 87102
(505) 468-7448
dherrera@bernco.gov

Maggie Hart Stebbins, Vice Chair
One Civic Plaza, NW Albuquerque, NM 87102
(505) 468-7108
District3@bernco.gov

Michael C. Wiener, Commissioner District 4
One Civic Plaza, NW Albuquerque, NM 87102
(505) 468-7010
ddady@bernco.gov


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