The Humane Society of the United States is honoring U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., as its legislator of the year, the first time a member of the Florida delegation has received the honor.
Buchanan received a 100 score from the Humane Society last year and fought for some of the group’s top priorities. Last year, Buchanan brought out the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act which bans exporting horses to Mexican slaughterhouses. Buchanan has also led the charge on Capitol Hill to stop domestic slaughterhouses from creating horse meat for human consumption. The Bradenton congressman has also been active in trying to keep manatees covered under the Endangered Species Act. Earlier this week, Buchanan protested the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to downgrade manatees from “endangered” to “threatened.”
Wayne Pacelle, the president of the Humane Society of the United States, praised Buchanan “a tireless champion for animals on so many fronts” on Thursday.
“We are so lucky to have his extraordinary compassion and commitment," Pacelle said of Buchanan.
“Safeguarding threatened wildlife and promoting animal welfare should be a nonpartisan issue important to everyone,” Buchanan said. “Whether it’s protecting Florida’s beloved manatees from extinction or ending the cruel and inhumane treatment of horses, I’m proud to fight in Congress on these important issues.”
The Humane Society will present the award to Buchanan at a ceremony on Tuesday at the Capitol.
First elected to the U.S. House in 2006, Buchanan serves on both the Budget and the Ways and Means Committees. Buchanan’s name has garnered buzz as a possible U.S. Senate candidate in recent cycles but he’s opted to continue in the House.
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