State Rep. Patricia Serpa, D-27, and U.S. Rep. Raymond Gallison, D-69, are being recognized as Rhode Island’s Humane State Legislators for 2013. The Humane Society of the United States applauds Reps. Serpa and Gallison for their efforts to crack down on wildlife poaching and advance protection for elephants.
Rep. Serpa’s sponsorship was instrumental in the passage of H. 5764, which cracks down on illegal wildlife poaching by allowing Rhode Island to become a member of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact. The national law-enforcement network prevents people who have lost their hunting, trapping or fishing privileges due to committing wildlife crimes, such as poaching, in member states from circumventing those license revocations in Rhode Island.
Rep. Gallison sponsored H. 5853, which would have banned the use of bullhooks and chains on elephants used in traveling shows and circuses. These elephants are trained to perform unnatural and difficult tricks with inhumane methods including bullhooks, which resemble fireplace pokers and are used to poke, prod and hit elephants on their sensitive skin. Although this bill did not pass, Rep. Gallison’s efforts brought much needed attention to these abusive training techniques.
Each year, The HSUS recognizes select state lawmakers across the country who pursue path-breaking animal protection legislation and demonstrably advance reform in the policy-making arena.