People walk outside the U.S. Capitol on Monday in Washington. Credit: Mariam Zuhaib / AP

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The recently introduced Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act is not only a dangerous step backward for animal welfare, but an unconstitutional affront to states’ rights and American society at large. I urge my fellow Mainers and animal lovers to speak out against the EATS Act and to thank U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree and U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King for opposing the EATS Act.

The EATS Act violates the 10th Amendment principle that provides that Congress cannot prohibit states from creating legislation to protect public health and welfare. The vague language in the EATS Act would raise countless questions that would need to be settled in the courts. All kinds of regulations, from puppy mills to commercial fishing operations, could be eliminated if this legislation were allowed to pass.

A letter recently sent to members of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture by 169 members of the U.S. House of Representatives echoed these concerns, noting that the bill would “threaten many other state laws” and “drastically broaden the scope of federal preemption and impede the ability of voters and elected officials to enact laws that address local concerns.”

Please join me in urging lawmakers to oppose the EATS Act and make sure it is excluded from the 2023 farm bill. We cannot allow Congress to years of hard-fought progress and hundreds of animal welfare laws and regulations around the country.

Kim Schwickrath

Old Orchard Beach