Protecting Animals from Cruelty

“I remember in my little hometown of Russell seeing some things particularly how dogs were tied up in the hot sun and left there all day long. Those little impressions when you’re a kid sort of stick with you.”

–  Sen. Dole to the Associated Press, Feb. 28, 2008

“Our national morality and concern for other living creatures demand legislation to prevent needless suffering by the animals that provide such an important part of our food supply.”

With those words, Senator Dole introduced an amendment to the Humane Slaughter Act of 1958, which strengthened the original law and mandated methods of enforcement.

Prior to 1978, meat packing facilities were required to comply with humane standards for slaughter only when they were supplying meat to the federal government, leaving roughly 20% of meatpackers fully unregulated. The law only applied to domestic suppliers and included no methods for enforcement.

Unsatisfied with the current system Sen. Dole and Rep. George Brown sought to expand the law to include all meatpacking facilities supplying meat to American, both here and abroad, and established a system by which federal inspectors visit meatpacking facilities to ensure compliance with the law.

In 1986 Sen. Dole was recognized “for outstanding contributions to animal welfare” by the Animal Welfare Institute for his work on this legislation, as well as his leadership in later enacting the 1985 Improved Standards for Laboratory Animals Act.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has twice honored Sen. Dole for his work.  In 1984, he received the ASPCA Award for Humane Excellence, and in 2016, the society honored him with the Presidential Service Award.