I always look forward to receiving the Humane Scoreboard put out by the
legislative branch of the Humane Society of the US (HSUS) re the animal
issues before Congress. It clarifies for me the issues as well as gives me
information on how- in this case, the Senators of the US voted on them.
Not surprisingly, I found out something I always believed to be true --that
basically the Democrats as a group vote more compassionately re animal
issues than the Republicans. I eagerly looked up the scores for Senators
Obama and Biden. Both showed compassion with a score of 75 out of 100.
McCain, on the other hand, only scored 25.
As there are 100 Senators versus 435 Representatives, I thought
my first scrutiny and analysis of the scoreboard would be with how the
Senators voted on 5 animal issues contained in the Midterm Report of the
110th Congress: Horse Slaughter, Class B Dealers, Animal Fighting,
Funding Letter, and Leadership.
1. S.311- THE AMERICAN HORSE SLAUGHTER PREVENTION ACT seeks
to bar transport (including export) possession, purchase, or sale of horses
to be slaughtered for human consumption. Despite barring foreign-owned
slaughter plants in the U.S., the horse slaughter industry continues to haul
thousands of American horses to be butchered in Mexico and Canada. (Transporting them in crowded and stifling quarters is inhumane as well as the slaughtering practice itself in these countries.) So far this bill has 39 cosponsors:
Independents: 2 .
IT IS MY PROFOUND HOPE THAT THE BLM GETS BUSY AND FINDS WAYS
TO USE CONTRACEPTIVES TO CONTROL THE NUMBER OF HORSES ON THE
RANGE. AS WITH THE OIL CRISIS WHERE IT SEEMED NO ONE WAS WORKING FOR ALTERNATIVES, IN MY OPINION, WE ARE NOT ADDRESSING HORSE OVER-POPULATION AS WE SHOULD. I DON'T BUY THAT IT'S TOO DIFFICULT TO DEVELOP AND USE CONTRACEPTIVES. WHERE THERE'S A WILL THERE'S A WAY. WHY HAVE A MANAGEMENT BUREAU IF THE ONLY WAY THEY CAN MANAGE AN OVERPOPULATION PROBLEM IS TO SHOOT THE OVERFLOW OR SEND THEM TO FOREIGN MARKETS FOR SLAUGHTER? THESE BEAUTIFUL ANIMALS DESERVE BETTER.
2. CLASS B DEALERS - The Pet Safety and Protection Act seeks to prohibit the use in research of dogs and cats obtained from Class B dealers through random sources, which can include pets acquired through theft and in response to 'FREE TO GOOD HOME' ads. Both the House and Senate PASSED nearly identical versions of this legislation as amendments to their respective Farm Bills.
14 Democrats and 2 Republicans voted favorably for this bill before it was ADDED as an amendment to the Farm Bill.
3. THE ANIMAL FIGHTING PROHIBITION ENFORCEMENT ACT TO CREATE
FELONY-LEVEL PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE FEDERAL LAW ON
DOGFIGHTING, COCKFIGHTING, AND OTHER ANIMAL FIGHTING VENTURES
AND TO BAN INTERSTATE/FOREIGN COMMERCE IN COCKFIGHTING
IMPLEMENTS. THE SENATE BILL HAD 45 COSPONSORS AND THE HOUSE
COMPANION BILL HAD 304 CO-SPONSORS
This bill was SIGNED into law on May 3, 2007.
Democrats voting for this measure: 31
Republicans " " " " : 13
Independents " " " " : 2
4. FUNDING LETTER: a letter to the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee
seeking funds for enforcement of the AWA (Animal Welfare Act), Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, and Federal animal fighting law, as well as for new programs to address the needs of animals in disasters and to ease a shortage of veterinarians in rural and inner-city areas and public health practice through student loan forgiveness. NEARLY ALL THE FUNDING SOUGHT WAS PROVIDED IN P.L.110-161. (WHAT A BLESSING IN VIEW OF THE OFTEN WASTEFUL EARMARKS LIKE THE BRIDGE TO KNOWWHERE IN ALASKA - ONLY ONE OF MANY WASTEFUL EXAMPLES OF USING TAXPAYERS MONEY BADLY.)
5. LEADERS: in being prime sponsors of pro-animal legislation
REFLECTION ON SCORES: I am happy to have counted 13 DEMOCRATS and
4 REPUBLICANS scoring 100 on the five issues. My Senator - Sherrod Brown of Ohio is among them. Thank you Senator!
AT THE BOTTOM END - SCORING 0 are 24 REPUBLICANS and 7 DEMOCRATS.
Sadly the other Senator from Ohio -George Voinovich scored a zero!
SCORING 100 - 13 DEMOCRATS: Boxer and Feintein of California
Dodd of Connecticut
Akaka of Alaska
Durbin of Illinois
Kennedy and Kerry of Massachusetts
Levin of Michigan
Lautenberg and Menendez of New Jersy
Brown of Ohio
Reed of Rhode Island
Cartwell of Washington
4 REPUBLICANS: Collins and Snowe of Maine
Ensign of Nevada
Specter of Pennsylvania
SCORING 0 7 DEMOCRATS: Lincoln of Arkansas
Baucus and Tester of Montana
Nelson of Nebraska
Reid of Nevada
Dorgon of N. Dakata
Webb of Virginia
24 REPUBLICANS: Sessions and Shelby of Alabama
Martinez of Florida
Isakson of Georgia
Craig and Crapo of Idaho
Grassley of Iowa
Brownback of Kansas
Bunning and McConnel of Kentucky
Bond of Missouri
Sununu of New Hampshire
Domenici of New Mexico
Voinovich of Ohio
Coburn and Inhofe of Oklahoma
Demint of S. Carolina
Thune of S. Dakota
Alexander and Corker of Tennessee
Cornyn and Huchison of Texas
Hatch of Utah
Enzi of Wyoming