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Oregon makes strides on animal protection legislation

The Oregon legislature recently passed several animal protection bills, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) reports. The Oregonian states that these bills protect the state's reputation as a "defender of our furry friends."

Closing its 2011 session, the legislature passed a law to protect pets during domestic violence cases, ban the possession, sale and distribution of shark fins, and improve the care process for abused or neglected animals. A law to allow hound-hunting of the state's cougars was defeated, as was the promotion of killing Oregeon's rivers' sea lions, the HSUS media outlet reported.

Sharon Harmon, executive director of the Oregon Humane Society, told The Oregonian that the bills are about fine-tuning current laws to catch up with developing social values.

One defeat was in the egg industry, HSUS reports. The organization had supported a bill to ban inhumane battery cages for egg-laying hens, but the egg industry changed it to allow only a bit more space in the cages and not to implement the full law until 2026. The HSUS is trying again for 2012, supporting a ballot measure by Oregonians for Humane Farms. The measure requires cage-free conditions that would go into effect in 2019, the news source reports.  
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