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Thirty-nine senators and 54 representatives scored big fat zeros for their “efforts” to protect animals in 2009, according to the latest Humane Scorecard . Every year, the folks at the Humane Society Legislative Fund  provide a neat and tidy breakdown of the action on animal welfare measures in the U.S. Congress, which in 2009 included (but wasn’t limited to) lifting the ban on loaded firearms in national parks, phasing out chimpanzees for use in research, and species-labeling for fur. There was no federal legislation relating directly to dogs specifically or companion animals, in general, other than HR 80, which prohibits interstate and foreign commerce in non-human primates for the pet trade—which passed the house last February and was moving through senate committee last summer.
The scorecard is an excellent opportunity to bone up on animal welfare issues at the federal level and to gauge the efforts of your legislators before 36 senators and 435 representatives ask for your vote this fall.