06/18/2013 10:30 am ET Updated Aug 18, 2013

Big Week in Congress for Animals

One of the most effective ways to protect animals is through legislation, and right now we have a key opportunity to help shape some of our country's federal laws that relate to animals.

This week, the Farm Bill is scheduled for floor action in the House of Representatives and the Humane Society of the United States is working diligently to have three animal welfare amendments brought to the full House for consideration.

Anyone concerned about animal welfare should call the House switchboard at (202) 225-3121 and ask for your representative's office. Here are the points you should make:

• Say that you want your representative to vote "yes" on the egg industry amendment to the Farm Bill introduced by Reps. Denham and Schrader. This amendment, H.R. 1731, the Egg Products Inspection Act Amendment, aims to ban the barren battery cages for laying hens and drive a transition in the egg industry toward more humane housing systems. It would also replace the destructive Farm Bill amendment introduced by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), which would nullify state and local laws that place any standards or rules on agriculture.

• Explain that The HSUS and the United Egg Producers, which represents more than 90 percent of the nation's egg industry, were long-time adversaries, but they have come together and identified a solution for housing 280 million laying hens that balances animal welfare and economic realities. Under Denham and Schrader's amendment, the amount of space a hen receives would nearly double and labeling on egg cartons would let consumers know how the birds were raised.

• Ask for support for the Whitfield-Cohen amendment, which would amend the Horse Protection Act to strengthen penalties for illegal soring of horses, make it a crime to place stacks or chains on horses' feet, and eliminate the industry self-regulation enforcement program.

• Say that you support another amendment which would ban interstate transport of horses for slaughter for human consumption and prohibit live export of horses for slaughter.

For additional information, visit It is important that our voices be heard on behalf of animals.

Legislation is absolutely vital for bringing about change in the way we treat animals and protecting our food supply. It is critical that you call this week and lend your support to this important effort.