SACRAMENTO ‘s Praised for his legislative initiative in ensuring greater animal protection, Assistant Majority Leader Paul Krekorian (D-Burbank) was honored Wednesday by two groups as the 2008 Legislator of the Year.
The Humane Society of the United States and the California Animal Association praised Krekorian for his work on Assembly Bill 2098, a bill Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into last year that prohibited the sale of meat from “downed” animals ‘s those who are too sick or injured to stand and walk. The two organizations also highlighted Krekorian’s continued effort to ensure that animals are treated ethically and humanely.
“Animal welfare is an issue to which I have devoted a great deal of energy toward during my time in the Legislature,” said Krekorian during the ceremony. “When the governor signed A.B. 2098 into law, we all had cause to celebrate, knowing that we put our best foot forward in standing up for the well-being of animals throughout the state. But, whatever happiness we derived from our victory is slowly being eroded by two meat industry special interest groups who have filed a lawsuit challenging the tenets of my bill.”
The National Meat Association and the American Meat Institute sued the state earlier this year to stop implementation of AB 2098 and, in February, a U.S. District Court Judge ruled in the special interest groups’ favor. But four organizations — the California and Humane Society of the United States, Farm Sanctuary, Humane Farming Association and Animal Legal Defense Fund — filed an appeal against the decision.
“I am hopeful the courts rule in favor of animal welfare and throw out this baseless lawsuit,” Krekorian said. “Just as I plan to continue fighting for the humane treatment animals on my end, I know that you will do the same on yours. Thank you for this honor and let us move forward with the best of intentions and even greater resolve.”
Jennifer Fearing, who lobbied for the HSUS in Sacramento, presented the award to Krekorian during the California Animal Association’s legislative reception Wednesday evening at the Capitol.
“Assemblymember Krekorian has been a true champion for animal protection since arriving in Sacramento,” Fearing said. “With his endorsement of Proposition 2, which phases out the use of crates and cages on factory farms, and his leadership in passing legislation to protect downed animals, he has demonstrated a true commitment to strengthening California’s farm animal welfare laws. We are pleased to honor him with this award.”
Assemblymember Paul Krekorian (D-Burbank) represents the cities of Burbank and Glendale, and the Los Angeles communities of Atwater Village, Los Feliz, North Hollywood, Silver Lake, Toluca Lake, Valley Glen, Valley Village and Van Nuys.