Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Legislation Briefs and Updates June 23, 2014

SAOVA Friends,

Our volunteers are already busy following primary elections and monitoring HSUS/HSLF political contributions.  To date contributions to Democrat federal candidates is $92,000 and to Republicans $45,000.  Top Senate recipients are Mary Landrieu (D, LA) with $8,000 followed by Senators Kelly Ayotte (R, NH); Thad Cochran (R, MS); Susan Collins (R, ME); and Jack Reed (D, RI) with $3,000.  Top recipients among House Members are Jeff Denham (R, CA) with $5,000; Michael Fitzpatrick (R, PA) with $4,000; Earl Blumenhauer (D, OR) with $3,500; and Julia Brownley (D, CA), Peter DeFazio (D, OR), Jim Gerlach (R, PA), Peter Roskam (R, IL), and Kurt Schrader (D, OR) with $3,000.  Planning ahead, HSLF contributed $5,000 to the Mikulski for Senate Committee for the 2016 primary.

Notable listing among HSLF independent expenditures is $41,799 supporting the Congressional campaign of Tony Strickland (R, CA).

Who funds HSLF? Many donors are from within the HSUS or from related organizations.  Largest donors to date are Carole Baskin (Big Cat Rescue) $10,000; Eric Bernthal, Esq (HSUS Chair of the Board) $10,000;  Jeanne and Ed Daniels (animal rights activists) $10,000; Mary Max (HSUS Board of Directors) $10,000; Marian Probst (Fund for Animals) $10,000; Jason Weiss  (HSUS Board of Directors) and Donna Weiss $10,000;  Peggy Kaplan (HSUS National Council Chair); Richard Kaplan $10,000; and Arthur Benjamin (HSUS National Council) $5,000.

The world not only belongs to those who show up, it's controlled by the best informed and most motivated.

Thanks for reading.  Cross posting is encouraged.

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

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill denied the IDA’s motion to join the suit. “The state and the IDA’s goals in this proceeding are identical, and the State can adequately represent those interests,” Winmill wrote. The law’s supporters say it protects the private-property rights of agricultural operators and shields them from having their businesses attacked unfairly by activists. Idaho is the seventh state to adopt these provisions to their agriculture protection laws which include prohibitions on falsifying employment applications.  Seventeen plaintiffs, including ALDF, PETA, ACLU, CFS, Farm Sanctuary, Farm Forward, Sandpoint Vegetarians, Western Watersheds Project, and journalist Will Potter filed suit against the law in March.

CHICAGO, Ill. (Reuters) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is gearing up with thermal imaging weapons to combat feral hogs. Department officials say they cause about $1.5 billion dollars of damage every year to farm communities and fields.  Now there are worries they may help spread a deadly pig virus as well.  As a result, the USDA wants to buy thermal scopes that snap onto high-powered rifles and will allow APHIS to make night time attacks on herds.  The thermal scopes are part of a $20 million nationwide project to combat the feral swine, which have gobbled down apples in New York, cleaned out cornfields in North Carolina and devoured calves in Mississippi.   Source:  Western Producer http://tinyurl.com/pkhcrmn

HSUS has petitioned the Department of the Interior to ban the use of lead ammunition when discharging a firearm on federal lands. The petition, signed by the HSUS, the Fund for Animals, Defenders of Wildlife, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and others, asks that the federal government mandate the use of non-lead ammunition for the taking of all species in areas managed by the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This would put one-fifth of the total land area of the United States off limits to hunters with traditional ammunition.

Last year HSUS successfully lobbied the California legislature to ban the use of lead ammunition.

Call Interior Secretary Sally Jewell today at 202-208-3181 and tell her to reject this scientifically baseless petition from HSUS to ban traditional ammunition. Let the Department of the Interior know that requiring the use of alternative, non-lead ammunition, is nothing more than a back-door way to ban hunting by raising the price of participating in an American sporting tradition.

- There is no sound science to support banning traditional ammunition used by hunters for centuries.
- There is absolutely no adverse wildlife population impact that warrants such a drastic measure.
- There is no evidence that consuming game taken with traditional ammunition poses a human health to hunters and their family.

June 22, 2014.  Friends of Animals and the Cloud Foundation petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list wild horses as threatened or endangered, which would trigger protections for herds in 10 Western states. The groups contend wild horses on the public range face extinction because of loss of habitat to cattle grazing, mining, energy exploration and urban expansion. The groups also blame BLM’s controls, which limit the horses to small herds on isolated ranges, require frequent roundups and are headed toward sterilization of horses. See petition

Robert Garrott, a Montana State University wildlife biologist who served on the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) research panel that spent two years studying the wild horse issue, disagrees. Today’s wild horses are “entirely different” from those that evolved in North America, says Garrott, director of fish and wildlife ecology at Montana State. Garrott sees the petition as a move to try to stop all horse population management by the BLM, and to remove livestock from the range to accommodate more horses.

The Bureau of Land Management says that as of March, there were 49,209 wild horses and burros on western ranges, 22,500 more than its management objectives allow, given the need for ecological balance with other species and uses.  Source: Salt Lake Tribune

The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to work to return grizzly bears to the Grand Canyon, the Gila/Mogollon complex and other areas of the Southwest. See petition.   The petition cited 110,000 square miles of potential bear habitat – in Arizona, New Mexico, the Sierra Nevada in California and Utah’s Uinta Mountains – that could allow the introduction of up to 4,000 grizzly bears in the West. Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association stated that reintroducing bears to Arizona would hurt the livestock industry, especially for ranchers near the Arizona and New Mexico border.  Source: Tucson Sentinel

Two years ago ALDF and PETA filed suit against USDA challenging their decision to renew Miami Seaquarium’s federal license.  Last year ALDF filed a complaint with OSHA claiming Miami Seaquarium is guilty of blatant violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.  ALDF also lobbied for California’s AB 2140 which would have banned the use of captive orcas for performance or entertainment or for breeding.

Now ALDF has carried the orca wars to Congress.  This month 38 members of Congress signed a letter to Tom Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, demanding updated regulations for captive marine mammals.  The letter notes that the release of the documentary film “Blackfish” calls into question the feasibility of humanely keeping orcas in captivity.  The letter urges USDA to publish the 2002 advanced notice of proposed rulemaking for captive marine mammals, allow public comment, and quickly finalize a the rule.  The letter is signed by Jared Huffman (D, CA); Adam Schiff (D, CA); Peter DeFazio (D, OR); Louise Slaughter (D, NY); Barbara Lee (D, CA); and Jim Moran (D, VA) among others.   Representatives Schiff and Huffman, who believe the American people want to see these regulations, added an amendment to the Agriculture Appropriations Act that will provide one million dollars to study the effects of captivity on orcas.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Radical animal rights movement' gets new foe

Iowa-based group led by longtime congressional aide forms super PAC

An Iowa-based organization dedicated to combating “the radical animal rights movement” and led by a former Missouri Republican senator’s chief of staff has launched a new super PAC, according to paperwork filed with the Federal Election Commission.

The Protect the Harvest Political Action Committee told the elections regulator that it “intends to raise funds in unlimited amounts” to call for the election or defeat of federal candidates.

Which politicos will be targeted, however, is still unclear.

Neither the super PAC’s treasurer, Brian Klippenstein, nor its attorney, Mark Roth, responded to requests for comment from the Center for Public Integrity.

Super PACs are legally allowed to solicit unlimited contributions to produce political advertisements — so long as their spending is not coordinated with any candidates’ campaigns.

Klippenstein currently serves as the executive director of Protect the Harvest, a 501(c)(4) “social welfare” nonprofit established in 2011 to educate the public about “the benefits of farming, ranching and hunting” and to advocate “for the right to conduct such activities.”

The nonprofit may engage in politics, although federal law mandates that influencing elections may not be its primary purpose.

On its website, Protect the Harvest warns that “the animal rights movement in America, led by the Humane Society of the United States, has evolved into a wealthy and successful attack group determined to end the consumption of meat, threaten consumer access to affordable food, eliminate hunting, outlaw rodeos and circuses and even ban animal ownership (including pets) altogether.”

Full article Center for Public Integrity

Thursday, June 5, 2014


The HSUS/McCrory plan to regulate dog breeders and transfer animal welfare from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Public Safety, Law Enforcement Division was written in the Governor’s Recommended Budget, Senate Bill 842 and House Bill 1208.

On May 31 the Senate passed their 2014 budget bill, SB 744, WITHOUT including this plan.  SB 744 has been sent to the House.

The proposed regulatory plan would license and inspect anyone possessing more than nine intact females regardless of ownership or breeding activity.  There are NO EXEMPTIONS for hunting dogs, co-ownerships, working, herding, or security dogs.

Indoor and outdoor kennels must meet standards in the NC Animal Welfare Act which are based on Federal regulations. Surfaces with which dogs come in contact must be constructed so that they are impervious to moisture and can be readily sanitized.

The plan would also transfer animal welfare enforcement from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Public Safety, Law Enforcement Division which has no experience in animal husbandry. It is a waste of precious resources to turn this Division's essential staff into puppy police.

Moving Animal Welfare to the Department of Public Safety is an attempt to start rewriting laws regarding animal welfare in accordance with the animal rights agenda.

The plan creates a state database available to the public of everyone who owns/co-owns more than nine intact female dogs.

If you thought HSUS only wanted to regulate "puppy mills" think again. Advocates are lobbying House members to have their plan added to the House Budget.

CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE IN THE HOUSE.  Ask them to OPPOSE the transfer of Animal Welfare and dog dealer regulations.  House Members: http://tinyurl.com/2b56d

Contact Appropriation Committee Chairs and ask them to reject the plan.

Rep. Nelson Dollar

Rep. Justin Burr

Rep. Bryan Holloway
Rep. Linda Johnson

Rep. Pat McElraft

For additional contact information, talking points, and updates visit SAOVA

Susan Wolf
Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance