It's great when the blog basically writes itself, as was the case this morning. Just check out this article in The Hill, which includes some exceedingly wise words from Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) regarding animal legislation:
It is the duty of Congress to ensure that legislation is based on quality science and that it also holds those who use and care for animals to high ethical standards reflecting the values of responsibility and compassion that our society holds dear.
Animals add tremendous value to our lives as pets; as working animals in the military, on our farms and in our homes; and by contributing to our knowledge base through their use in educational programs and biomedical research. With animals’ service to us comes our undeniable responsibility to protect their health and well-being, and veterinarians are critical partners in ensuring that animals are cared for appropriately.
Reliance upon sound science and an animal-welfare ethic -- as opposed to rights -- in determining appropriate legislation is really the key here, as is the recognition of our duty to protect the health and well-being of animals in our care -- as opposed to courting the notion that keeping animals is simply an "absolutely abysmal situation brought about by human manipulation."
This is some conscientious, compassionate, level-headed advice if I've ever heard it, and something I can only hope catches on; it is the kind of thinking that lays the groundwork for real ethical and scientific advancements in the way we care for our animals.