Monday, October 25, 2004

Hunting and Puppy Mills

I know I'm a little late on this, but voters should be aware that Humane USA, a political action committee advocating strong animal protection laws, last week endorsed the presidential candidacy of Sen. John F. Kerry.

Humane USA said in the endorsement:

President George W. Bush has gone out of his way to attack animal advocates on his presidential campaign website! That’s right, in their bid for reelection to the White House, the Bush-Cheney 2004 team posted a report for hunters titled "John Kerry on Hunting," which attacked not only the Democratic nominee, but also the entire animal protection community!

Based solely on the positions that animal advocates take against the recreational shooting of animals, the President’s campaign took aim at groups that work on a broad range of animal issues –- from pet overpopulation to animal fighting to protecting habitat. He’s slamming two organizations that work to protect animals from cruelty, and he’s belittling his opponent for having a strong record on matters relating to the humane treatment of animals. [...]

In truth, we are disappointed that John Kerry is also a hunter, and that his campaign has pandered so much to hunting groups. We need to look toward a day when all politicians recognize that the animal-friendly vote is much more crucial to political success that the hunting lobby.

But in terms of public policy, if not in personal participation, John Kerry is the clear choice for people who care about animals. He has been a strong advocate and supporter of pro-animal legislation throughout his political career. He has regularly scored high ratings on the Humane Scorecard, most recently scoring 100+ during the 108th Congress.

More important, from my own perspective, Humane USA notes the importance of animal protection issues in the years ahead: "Next year, we expect the Congress to consider bills that would crack down on 'puppy mills' -- where dogs are housed in squalid, overcrowded conditions and bred relentlessly to supply the pet trade, even though there are thousands of healthy and adoptable animals at shelters."

I don't expect many congressional Republicans, let alone the Bush-Cheney administration, to take a strong lead on puppy-mill legislation. And that's just one reason this bulldog supports John F. Kerry for president.

~ Mildred

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