Q&A With Our 1st District Congresswoman
U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace represents Congressional District 1 in South Carolina, which runs up and down the coast between Georgetown and Beaufort. Mace took time out of her busy schedule in her first term in Congress to answer these important questions from Carolina Tails involving animals.
Carolina Tails: Tell us about the animals in your life.
Rep. Nancy Mace: Our animals are family to us. Literally. I grew up with three dogs, three cats and a parrot. So, from a very young age I’ve always had animals in my life. Today our family has two adopted cat children named Tyler and Tiger and much to their dismay, a new addition to our family, a puppy named Liberty. Liberty is a Havanese. I wanted a dog small enough to travel with back and forth to DC easily and her breed won’t bother the dog allergies of anyone in the family.
CT: The WOOF Act will amend the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) to prevent the issuance or renewal of a license to breeders (and their family members) who have not demonstrated compliance with animal care standards. Will you support or co-sponsor this legislation?
NM: I’ve heard my share of horror
stories about bad breeders that left me heartbroken. In fact, in my search for a puppy for the kids, I ran into breeder after breeder that was more than likely a puppy mill. It’s so sad to read the experiences of these horribly treated animals. I’m always looking for ways to use my platform in Congress to bring positive change. So far this Congress the WOOF Act has not been filed as it was in previous sessions but I look forward to tackling this issue with my colleagues in other ways.
CT: The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act would prohibit the slaughter
of horses for human consumption in the U.S. and end their export for slaughter abroad. The Prevent All Soring Tactics Act would eliminate the abusive act of soring horses. Will you support or co-sponsor this legislation?
NM: It makes me sick to my stomach to think about using horses for the purposes of eating them. I do not support this at all. Full stop. As a supporter and cosponsor of this bi-partisan bill, the SAFE Act is an important avenue to put a stop to this cruel, absolutely vile practice.
CT: As many as 73-million sharks are killed each year to supply the global trade in shark fins. The Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act, H.R. 737, would ban the possession of and commerce in shark fins in the United States. Will you vote for or cosponsor the bill?
NM: As a conservationist and lifelong resident of the Lowcountry, I will always stand by preserving our coastal ecosystems. As a Lowcountry native who avidly uses
our beloved beaches, waterways and wilderness I both respect and revere all our coastal areas have to offer. That includes the marine life found within. I totally agree we must ban the sale of shark fins to put
an end to the barbaric practice of catching, de-finning, and then releasing the shark to die back in the waters. I am proud to join my colleagues as a cosponsor.
CT: Dozens of animal organizations are worried that climate change is impacting wildlife in a negative way and they’re asking courts to intervene. Do you believe laws need to be implemented regarding climate change to protect animals?
NM: I believe conserving our environment, both inland and offshore, is crucial to
maintaining the overall health of our ecosystem. I’m a proud cosponsor of the Trillion Trees Act and I support a moratorium on offshore drilling, sponsoring legislation in that vein. I’ve supported, cosponsored and voted for conservation and environmental protection measures multiple times since coming to Congress. I’ve even done so when it was against my own party, like the Protecting America’s Wilderness and Public Lands Act which banned drilling on federal land.
CT: Will you be a leader in animal protection legislation? What specific actions will you take?
NM: Animal protection has become a priority of mine since I’ve come to Congress and I feel it’s important for Republicans to lead on this issue. I’m a sponsor of the Animal Welfare Act, which ensures animals, in the event of an emergency or during a natural disaster, are humanely cared for in research facilities, zoos, handler facilities and more. This summer I also introduced legislation to outlaw all mink farming in the United States with Congresswoman DeLauro, a Democrat colleague of mine. The factory farming of mink threatens public health, especially as we continue fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic. The evidence is clear: mink operations can incubate and spread new COVID-19 variants and pose a unique threat of extending the pandemic. Not to mention, mink farming is inhumane. I’ve co-sponsored the Big Cat bill which protects and governs the trade of big cats. We all saw “Tiger King,” and know we have tremendous challenges we need to correct when dealing with animals large and small.