Wednesday January 04, 2012

Which Presidential Candidates are Animal Friendly?

Brandi Grubbs -

Brandi Grubbs

Topics: Elections, Current Affairs

With presidential elections coming up, it is important for animal advocates to know where the candidates stand on animal issues. Using the Humane Society Legislative Fund's Humane Scorecard (a score of 0 to 100, with 100 being the most animal-friendly which applies to members of Congress only), Michael Markarian has written a detailed summary of each GOP candidate's stance on animal issues.

According to the scorecard and a review of the candidate's actions, the most animal-friendly GOP candidate for the 2012 presidential election look to be Rick Santorum (score: 80 during the 109th congress).  Jon Huntsman and to a lesser-degree, Rick Perry, neither of whom have scores as they're not in congress, have both signed several animal-friendly bills into law in their states and therefore are both considered to be animal-friendly as well.

The rest of the GOP candidates are not as animal-friendly or are downright non-committal on the issues. Michelle Bachmann's most recent score (though she has now dropped out of the race) was a dismal 13 out of 100 while Ron Paul scored a whopping ZERO in the 110th congressional session, though he may manage to get a 25 for 2011. Newt Gingrich, the last time he was scored, got a measly 21. Mitt Romney, who has not been scored, has come under fire from animal advocates numerous times, not only for his public record with animal issues, but his horrible treatment of a family pet during a vacation. Even though he has recently signed some animal protection bills into law, let me just say: would you like to ride on top of a car in a carrier for twelve hours?

The Humane Society's President and CEO, Wayne Pacelle, gave President Obama a C minus in his blog. This negative score is highly due to stalling, indifference, and inaction on the part of the President, particularly in issues regarding horses, subsidies, and the protection of sensitive species. The few positives were in the President's push to increase funding for the Animal Welfare Act and his stance against puppy mills. Pacelle summed it perfectly by saying, "Despite campaign promises that he'd be strong on humane issues, the President has failed to pull together a coherent animal welfare strategy or to deliver any kind of message to our community of 20,000 animal protection organizations and millions of animal-loving Americans throughout the country."

So, as the 2012 elections draw near, let's make sure to do our research and get a candidate in office, no matter what party they may be from, that cares about protecting the welfare of animals as much as we do!

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