Davis’ bipartisan bill calls for emergency animal preparedness plans

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) led 120 members of Congress in cosponsoring a bipartisan bill requiring that emergency preparedness plans be established by federally regulated animal facilities, such as zoos, research facilities and commercial animal dealers.

Rep. Davis and his colleagues are original cosponsors of the Providing Responsible Emergency Plans for Animals at Risk of Emerging Disasters (PREPARED) Act, H.R. 1442, which is sponsored by U.S. Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) to amend the Animal Welfare Act to require that covered persons develop and implement emergency contingency plans for safely evacuating and caring for animals during an emergency or disaster situation, according to the congressional record bill summary.

“When natural disasters strike, animals are put in danger the same as people and property, which is why it is imperative those caring for them have an emergency plan in place,” Rep. Davis said. “The bill that Rep. Titus and I are introducing will require USDA-regulated facilities to have a disaster emergency plan in place to ensure the welfare of the animals under their care.”

H.R. 1442 has been endorsed by the ASPCA, the Animal Welfare Institute, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

“Sadly, through countless disasters, we’ve witnessed that if animal facilities do not have a plan in place when emergency strikes, it is already too late,” said Rep. Titus. “I’m grateful for the support of Representative Davis and the many animal advocacy organizations that are helping advance this important legislation.”