Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sen. Brent Steele Named Indiana Legislative Leader 2013

The Sportsmen’s and Animal Owners’ Voting Alliance (SAOVA) – a nationwide nonpartisan organization of animal owners and sportsmen – named State Sen. Brent Steele (R-Bedford) Legislative Leader 2013. Steele, a Republican representing Senate District 44, was chosen for his efforts to protect the rights of Hoosier outdoorsman and animal owners.

“Indiana Beagler's and Sportsman's Alliance is proud of our affiliation with Indiana State Senator Brent Steele,” said Don LeCount, vice president of the Indiana Beagler’s and Sportman’s Alliance. “He has benchmarked his years of service by supporting and defending Indiana sportsmen and women. He stood strong when House Bill 1468 was introduced years ago to cripple our state’s commercial breeders. Steele has also introduced and worked hard for a constitutional amendment protecting hunting and fishing from the antis in our state.”

LeCount added that at every turn in Sen. Steele's tenure at the Statehouse, he has been a champion for sportsmen, agriculture and small business.

Susan Wolf, president of SAOVA, noted that Steele is an avid hunter and has clearly demonstrated his commitment to preserving and protecting the sporting heritage and traditions of Indiana sportsmen.

Wolf also noted that Steele understands that overzealous animal protection legislation not only will negatively impact responsible sportsmen, but animal owners and livestock producers as well.

“As a former hog farmer, lifetime hunter, outdoorsman and life member of the National Rifle Association and National Muzzleloader Association, ensuring and protecting the rights of Hoosier sportsmen and women and animal owners is a responsibility I take very seriously,” Steele said. “It gives me great honor to be recognized for the work we have done in Indiana to preserve these rights.”

Susan Wolf, President of Sportsmen’s and Animal Owner’s Voting Alliance

Brady Hagerty, Press Secretary for State Sen. Brent Steele

Senator Andrew Brock Named North Carolina Legislator of the Year 2013

The Sportsmen’s & Animal Owners’ Voting Alliance, a nationwide nonpartisan organization of animal owners and sportsmen, named Senator Andrew Brock Legislator of the Year 2013.  Brock, a Republican representing Senate District 34 which includes parts of Davie, Iredell, and Rowan Counties serves as co-chair of the Senate Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources and Appropriations on Natural and Economic Resources Committees; and Member of Appropriations and Base Budget, Ways and Means, and Senate Rules Committees.

Susan Wolf, President of SAOVA, noted that Senator Brock has deep respect for the agriculture, agribusiness, and hunting interests that drive our state’s economy.  All animal related sectors are faced with complex challenges today and demands for increased regulation. Brock understands that any regulatory changes, whether for livestock, pets, or hunting must always be based on sound science, not emotion or rhetoric.

Wolf continued, Senator Brock has clearly demonstrated his willingness to work alongside animal owners, sportsmen, and livestock producers to safeguard our traditions and heritage.

Senator Brock thanked SAOVA for honoring him as Legislator of the Year.  Brock added, "I am honored to receive this award from the premier animal advocacy organization in the country.  I look forward to working with SAOVA in the future to continue to uphold the values we share."

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Delegate Kelli Sobonya named West Virginia Legislator of the Year 2013

The Sportsmen’s & Animal Owners’ Voting Alliance, a nationwide nonpartisan organization of animal owners and sportsmen, named Delegate Kelli Sobonya Legislator of the Year. Sobonya, a Republican representing the 18th District which includes Cabell County serves as Minority Chair of the House Industry & Labor Health and Human Resources committee and member of House Rules and Judiciary committees.

Susan Wolf, President of SAOVA, indicated that Sobonya has been a consistent advocate for animal owners and sportsmen.  Her unwavering commitment to safeguard our rights to hunt, fish, own, and breed animals clearly established her as a leader. 

Beth Thaxton of West Virginia Animal Owners Alliance presented the award on SAOVA’s behalf. Delegate Sobonya thanked SAOVA for recognizing her as Legislator of the Year. Sobonya continued, “As West Virginians, our family loves the outdoors and are avid hunters and fishermen. I am honored to be recognized by a national organization like SAOVA that shares an appreciation for both sportsmen and animal owners. Having served twelve years in the West Virginia House of Delegates representing the Mountain State, I am a strong defender of the liberty and values that made America a great nation.”

SAOVA is a nonpartisan volunteer group working to protect U.S. citizens from the legislative and political threats of radical animal rightists. SAOVA's members hunt, fish and own livestock, dogs, cats and other pets. Visit our website at to review this program's goals and methodology.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Sportsmen Endorse Taylor Griffin for Congress

The Sportsmen’s and Animal Owners’ Voting Alliance (SAOVA) today endorsed Taylor Griffin for North Carolina congressional district 3. “Taylor Griffin is a candidate who could make a substantial difference in Washington for hunting sportsmen and animal owners,” said SAOVA Director Susan Wolf. “An avid hunter, Griffin will be a strong voice effectively advocating for the rights, livelihoods, and traditions of animal owners and sportsmen. North Carolina residents will be well represented by Taylor Griffin.”

Monday, April 14, 2014

Legislation Briefs and Updates April 14, 2014

SAOVA Friends,

Although it may seem early to be talking about the November 2014 midterm election, it is only seven months away.  There are 44 House open seats, 8 Senate open seats, and 11 open seats for Governor with primaries already underway.  If you would like to join SAOVA's core of hardworking volunteers helping to contact and evaluate candidates and analyze voting records, please send me an email. Since 2002, SAOVA's volunteers have interviewed politicians running for election to Congress for the first time. Each election cycle, we also review the voting records of incumbents standing for reelection. Our goal is to determine candidates' positions on threats to our sport, avocations and livelihoods by animal rightists.

Thanks for reading.  Cross posting is encouraged.

Susan Wolf
Sportsmen's & Animal Owners' Voting Alliance
Working to Identify and Elect Supportive Legislators

Chief Judge Sandra Lynch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that five animal rights activists were not entitled to declaratory and injunctive relief.  Although they have never been prosecuted or threatened with prosecution under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA), which criminalizes force, violence, and threats involving animal enterprises, the activists sued to obtain declaratory and injunctive relief that the statute is unconstitutional under the First Amendment.

The plaintiffs are five longtime animal rights activists who claim their advocacy work has been “chilled” due to fear of being prosecuted as a terrorist under the AETA.  Among the plaintiffs are Sarahjane Blum and Ryan Shapiro, co-founders of which protests primarily against the foie gras industry;  and Lauren Gazzola and J Johnson who are organizers and activists for Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC).  The suit was originally filed December 15, 2011. The Government moved to dismiss the case in 2012 and this was granted in 2013. First Circuit Court of Appeals has now affirmed the District Court's dismissal.

In her summary, Chief Judge Lynch stated, "[plaintiffs] in the present case present no concrete evidence to substantiate their fears, but instead rest on mere conjecture about possible governmental actions. In particular, plaintiffs' fear of prosecution under AETA is based on speculation that the Government will enforce the Act pursuant to interpretations it has never adopted and now explicitly rejects. Such unsubstantiated and speculative fear is not a basis for standing under Article III.

Introduced by Rep. Rick Crawford (R, AR) 3/6/14.
An ongoing suit filed by the National Pork Board and American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) against the Environmental Protection Agency involves the question of whether the EPA may release individual farm information to environmental groups making FOIA requests. Information released by EPA last year contained tens of thousands of lines in spreadsheets often including names, home phone numbers, home emails, home addresses, and other personal information of more than 80,000 farmers in 29 states.  According to AFBF reports, EPA stood firm in its position that it had no legal obligation under FOIA to keep most of the information private.

HR 4157 prohibits the EPA, or any EPA contractor, from disclosing the information of any owner, operator, or employee of a livestock operation provided to EPA by a livestock producer or a state agency in accordance with the Clean Water Act or any other law, including: names; telephone numbers; email addresses; physical addresses; GPS coordinates; or other information regarding the location of the owner, operator, livestock, or employee.  The bill prescribes criteria for such a disclosure, however, in a statistical or aggregate form without specifically identifying information.

Novartis AG (NOVN) won a court order restricting animal-rights demonstrations at its U.K. facilities or against any of its employees after lawyers for the drugmaker said they feared it may be targeted. A unit of the drugmaker, which already has an injunction against members of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, a U.K. activist group, won the extension today of restrictions to cover anyone protesting animal research. The order bars harassment or intimidation of Novartis employees, including abusive or threatening posts on websites or social media. The order also restricts demonstrations to six people or fewer, in designated protest zones, with no amplified sounds, and forbids costumes, face-coverings or “blood-splattered costumes.” Anyone breaching the injunction can be arrested.  Full story at Bloomberg Business Week

As part of the HSUS diamond anniversary celebration, Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb and HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle gave the first-ever Humane Governor award to California’s Jerry Brown.  During the first three years of his current term Gov. Brown has signed 24 animal welfare bills.  Pacelle wrote, “Brown has helped cement California’s place as the top humane state, signing bills to ban the shark fin trade, halt the hounding of bears and bobcats, phase out the use of lead ammunition in hunting, and create pathways for non-lethal approaches to human conflicts with mountain lions. In his remarks to the audience, Gov. Brown spoke about the web of life and caring for all of nature, making it clear that this was a big part of his motivation in signing the bills.”  Source: A Humane Nation

According to FEC reports last month, HSLF has distributed $127,000 to members of Congress.   House members receiving the highest donations were Jeff Denham (R-CA) $5,000; followed by Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA) $4,000; Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) $3,500; Julia Brownley (D-CA) $3,000; Jim Gerlach (R-PA) $3,000; Peter Roskam (R-IL) $3,000; Kurt Schrader (D-OR) $3,000.  Total donations to the House were divided $59,500 to Democrats and $32,000 to Republicans.   Top recipients in the Senate were Mary Landrieu (D-LA) at $6,000; Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) at $3,000; followed by Susan Collins (R-ME) $3,000; Jack Reed (D-RI) $3,000; Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) $2,500; Bruce Baley (D-IA) $2,000; Thad Cochran (R-MS) $2,000. Total donations to Senate members were divided $24,500 to Democrats and $11,000 Republicans.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Senator Joel Anderson Named California Legislator of the Year 2013

For Immediate Release
Date: April 12, 2014
Contact: Susan Wolf

Senator Joel Anderson Named California Legislator of the Year 2013

The Sportsmen’s & Animal Owners’ Voting Alliance, a nationwide nonpartisan organization of animal owners and sportsmen, today named Senator Joel Anderson “Legislator of the Year 2013."  Anderson represents California’s 36th District, serves as Vice-Chair of the Committees on Public Safety, Judiciary, Health, and Elections and Constitutional Amendments; and as a member of the Committee on Budget & Fiscal Review and the Budget Subcommittee on Corrections, Public Safety & Judiciary.

Susan Wolf, President of SAOVA, revealed that what sets Anderson apart is his seven year track record of working across the aisle in the legislature to support California’s hunting and fishing heritage and the rights of animal owners.

Senator Anderson thanked SAOVA for recognizing him as Legislator of the Year.  “It is truly an honor to be named as the Sportsmen’s & Animal Owners’ Voting Alliance Legislator of the Year for 2013. The volunteers at SAOVA commit their time and treasury to advocate on behalf of their members and influence important policy in California and across the nation. It’s gratifying to be on the SAOVA team and to work alongside them to protect the rights of sportsmen and animal owners.”

SAOVA is a nonpartisan volunteer group working to protect U.S. citizens from the legislative and political threats of radical animal rightists. SAOVA's members hunt, fish and own livestock, dogs, cats and other pets. Visit our website at to review this program's goals and methodology.