By Ianaré Sévi (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Elements of the Humane Scorecard
The 501 (c) (4) Humane Society Legislative Fund tracks Congressional voting on animal welfare issues, and publishes the results yearly in the Humane Scorecard. Monitored issues include:
1. Proposed banning of animal ‘crush’ videos depicting crushing, burning, impaling and torture of live animals; such videos are sold on the internet to users who enjoy watching them for sexual gratification.
2. Guns in Parks, the Coburn Amendment: A law now allows loaded guns in national parks and wildlife refuges.
3. ESA Rule repeal: This amendment failed, and has to do with the Endangered Species Act; in May of 2009, the Obama Administration rescinded Bush ESA rules.
4. Puppy Mills.
5. Horse Slaughter S. 727, concerning the transport, treatment and slaughter of horses for human consumption.
6. Truth in Fur Labeling was signed into law in 2010.
7. Antibiotics Overuse S 619, introduced by Senator Ted Kennedy, never signed into law, addresses reckless nontherapeutic antibiotic overuse in farm animals. Overuse is associated with unsanitary animal warehousing and diminished antibiotic effectiveness in humans.
8. Chimpanzees in research S. 3694, a bill to protect great apes from invasive research and associated inhumane warehousing.
United States President Barack Obama
The Obama Administration received a grade of C- on the Humane Scorecard in 2011.
…the Obama administration not only demonstrated that it has no problem with the fact that tens of thousands of pigs show up at slaughterhouses so injured, weak and sickened that they cannot walk, but also demonstrated that it thinks state laws protecting such animals should be overridden so that immobilized pigs can be forced to slaughter.
United States President Barack Obama general quotes on the environment here.
Former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Georgia)
Gingrich earned a 21 percent on the Humane Scorecard for the 103rd Congress, but did not have scores for subsequent sessions since the Speaker of the House typically does not vote. He did vote to allow sport hunting in the Mojave National Preserve, and to allow foreign aid dollars to be used to promote trophy hunting of elephants and other species. On the positive side, he cosponsored legislation to strengthen the Endangered Species Act, and when he was Speaker helped to prevent the weakening of endangered species protections. Gingrich is, so far, the only presidential candidate who has actively talked about the importance of the human-animal bond while on the campaign trail
Newt Gingrich quotes on the environment here.
Congressman Ron Paul (Texas)
Ron Paul’s voting record on animal welfare issues is consistently low and notable. Michael Markarian is the president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. Regarding Ron Paul, Markarian summarizes:
He has voted to allow the slaughter of American horses for food exports, the killing of Yellowstone National Park bison, the trophy shooting of bears over piles of bait on federal lands, the commercial sale and slaughter of wild horses from public lands, the import of sport-hunted polar bear trophies, and the slaughter of downer livestock too sick or injured to walk on their own. He voted to block EPA from collecting data on factory farm emissions and voted against conservation legislation to protect rare cats and dogs, cranes, marine turtles, and sea otters. He was one of only a handful of lawmakers who opposed legislation to ban commerce in animal crush videos, to provide for pets in disaster planning, to ban the trade in dangerous primates as pets, to make dogfighting and cockfighting a felony, and to fund the enforcement of the federal animal fighting law.
Ron Paul also takes a negative position on recycling.
Here are more Ron Paul quotes on the environment.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (California)
His term as Massachusetts governor from 2003 to 2007 was mixed, and Romney did not distinguish himself on animal issues. He appointed a raft of animal-unfriendly people to the state Fisheries and Wildlife Board, even though Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly passed a ballot measure calling for more balanced wildlife policy. He vetoed a bill that would have given students the right to choose alternatives to animal dissection in the classroom. He did, however, sign a number of animal protection bills into law, including measures to strengthen the animal cruelty and animal fighting laws and prevent a convicted animal abuser from getting the animal back.
Mitt Romney quotes on the environment here.
Former US Senator Rick Santorum (Pennsylvania)
Rick Santorum’s voting record reflects that he has sided with animal welfare more often than other contenders who have served in Congress. Again from Michael Markarian:
Of all the candidates who have served in Congress, Santorum was arguably the most active on animal protection issues. He earned a 60 percent on the Humane Scorecard for the 108th Congress, and an 80 percent for the 109th Congress. But more importantly, he was the lead sponsor of the Pet Animal Welfare Statute (PAWS)…
However, the League of Conservation Voters scores Rick Santorum at a 0%, indicating anti-environment votes in other areas. Here is more.
Jill Stein (Massachusetts) – Physician, progressive activist, author & ’02/10 Governor nominee.