Cantwell Receives Award for Animal Welfare Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC – Last night, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) received the Humane Society’s Legislative Leader award for her leadership in protecting animals. The Humane Society of the United States cited Senator Cantwell’s efforts to improve marine mammal rescue capability, including such challenges as disentangling marine mammals from fishing nets. The Society also noted Cantwell’s work on climate change.  
“It is an honor to accept this award from the Humane Society,” said Senator Cantwell. “Throughout my career in the Senate, I have worked hard to protect the welfare of animals, as well as address other issues facing the environment that ultimately impact its inhabitants, such as ocean acidification. I will continue fighting for comprehensive climate change legislation through my CLEAR Act, so that we can begin transitioning to a greener future.” 
Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society, said, “We commend Senator Cantwell for taking the lead in seeking to strengthen federal animal welfare policies. We’re lucky to have her powerful voice on behalf of the animals and the many citizens who care about their protection.”
In 2009, Cantwell sponsored legislation to strengthen the government’s efforts to protect and preserve marine mammals such as whales, seals, porpoises, sea lions, and sea otters. The pending legislation would reauthorize and amend provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) of 1972 relating to the John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Grant Program, which assists organizations that rescue and rehabilitate stranded mammals.
Each year, the Humane Society Legislation Fund creates a “Humane Scorecard,” which allows animal advocates to evaluate and track the performance of their Senators and Representatives on animal welfare legislation. This year, 25 Senators and 58 Representatives received the Legislative Leader award.