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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

HSLF Launches TV Ads to Support Animal Welfare Leaders

The midterm elections are just two weeks away, and there are dozens of competitive races around the country that will have an impact on animal protection. The Humane Society Legislative Fund has endorsed more than 300 candidates in the upcoming contests, and today launched four television ad campaigns supporting congressional champions for the humane treatment of animals in key districts from the Inland Empire to the Great Lakes to the Bayou.

The HSLF ads showcase the leadership of two Democrats and two Republicans who are standing up for animals in a very determined way, and who have demonstrated effectiveness and skilled policymaking in advancing reforms to protect animals from cruelty and abuse. HSLF strives to be entirely non-partisan, and our endorsements reflect that approach. I hope you will watch each of the four TV ads, supporting David Vitter for Senate in Louisiana, Mary Bono Mack for California’s 45th district, Gary Peters for Michigan’s 9th district, and Betty Sutton for Ohio’s 13th district.

Vitter sponsored the Captive Primate Safety Act to stop the trade in dangerous primates as exotic pets, and the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act to establish better standards for the care of dogs at large-scale puppy mills. He has actively pushed a number of animal protection bills in the Senate, including the 2007 federal law establishing felony-level penalties for dogfighting and cockfighting, and he publicly supported a ban on cockfighting in Louisiana, the last state to outlaw the activity.

Bono Mack sponsored the Truth in Fur Labeling Act, to require accurate labeling of garments trimmed in animal fur so consumers aren’t deceived by unlabeled jackets falsely advertised as “faux.” And with her help, this animal welfare and consumer protection bill passed the House this year by a voice vote. She has actively supported a raft of other bills, on animal fighting, banning horse slaughter, and other issues.

Sutton sponsored the Dog Fighting Prohibition Act, and thanks to her work, many of the provisions from her bill were adopted as part of the Farm Bill passed by Congress in 2008. The legislation increased the federal penalties for dogfighting and cockfighting up to five years in prison, and banned the possession and training of animals for the purpose of fighting. She has supported a wide range of animal protection efforts in Congress, including efforts to crack down on puppy mill abuses and stop the inhumane treatment of “downer” cattle too sick or injured to walk.

Peters, in his first term in Congress, led the fight to ban the trafficking in obscene animal “crush” videos, after the Supreme Court invalidated a previous federal law on video depictions of animal cruelty. His new, more narrowly crafted legislation passed the House this year by a vote of 416-3. Peters, too, has supported a number of animal protection bills, on horse slaughter, chimps in research, fur labeling, and puppy mills.

HSLF took out TV ads in this suburban Detroit district two years ago, and helped to defeat then-Rep. Joe Knollenberg, who had one of the worst records on animal cruelty in the entire Congress. Knollenberg had voted time and time again opposing common-sense animal protection bills, and we exposed his record of siding with animal abusers. Peters’ opponent this time around, Rocky Raczkowski, voted to allow the target shooting of mourning doves for the first time in a century when he served in the Michigan Legislature, but thankfully Michigan citizens later rejected this attempt by Raczkowski and his allies to trample over 100 years of dove protection, voting 69-31 statewide against shooting doves.

We need all of these leaders back in Congress next year to continue their animal protection work, and HSLF is fighting hard to help them and other humane lawmakers around the country win reelection. We need every person who cares about animals to support humane candidates at the polls, and stand up for the people who are standing up for animals. Please send these TV ads to your friends and family, and consider making a donation to help HSLF keep the ads on the air and continue our critical work in elections around the country. And please visit our Voter Guide to find HSLF-backed candidates in your area.

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