Friday, November 28, 2014

News Briefs and Updates November 28, 2014

Dear SAOVA Friends,

Have you visited the SAOVA website recently?  We would like to remind you that our website has a variety of information, data, and tools to assist your research and work on legislation.  Each year we track and analyze a number of bills at both the Federal and State level.

As part of the effort to monitor and expose the animal rights agenda, we have the HSUS TAFA Conference Special Report posted as a page which can be shared or downloaded as a PDF file.  The HSUS Timeline not only outlines the history of HSUS and its many radical campaigns, but includes links to samples of the propaganda aimed at our children, court cases including the Feld Entertainment RICO lawsuit, and other documentation of the HSUS agenda.

Extensive information is posted exposing the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), their non-stop lawsuits and long campaign to establish animal abuser registries.

The site includes a “Hound Hunting Fact Sheet” and a new 2-page handout “HSUS – The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” for your use and distribution.

In the SAOVA Archives, we have tracked the history of HSUS federal legislation to license in-home, retail dog breeders and sellers, beginning with former Senator Rick Santorum’s Puppy Protection Act 2001 and continuing through the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act (PUPS) 2013.

We plan to make a number of additions to the site in the coming year.  SAOVA works for you; remember to visit the site occasionally to see what is new.

Thank you for reading.  Best Wishes to you and your families for a Happy Thanksgiving weekend.

Susan Wolf
Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance
Working to identify and elect supportive legislators

There are new rules in place for importing live dogs from any part of the world into the continental United States or Hawaii for purposes of resale, research, or veterinary treatment. The dog must be accompanied by an import permit issued by APHIS and be imported into the continental United States or Hawaii within 30 days after the proposed date of arrival stated in the import permit. The final rule went into effect Nov. 17, 2014. USDA Animal Care posted a new factsheet that explains the requirements for individuals seeking to import live dogs into the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also has regulations on the importation of dogs and cats into the United States. Importers who bring dogs to the United States must make sure that their dogs are adequately vaccinated against rabies before arrival. In general, dogs must be vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days prior to entry, except for dogs originated or located for 6 months in areas considered to be free of rabies. Puppies must not be vaccinated against rabies before 3 months of age, so the youngest that a puppy can be imported into the United States is 4 months of age.  Importers may need to obtain a confinement agreement from the CDC, for puppies prior to U.S arrival.  Entry may be refused if dogs/puppies arrive without this agreement or vaccination.  Visit the CDC web site at for more information on their regulations.

A report on the Red Wolf Recovery Program in eastern North Carolina is highly critical of various aspects of the nearly 30-year old effort to re-introduce the endangered animal into the wild. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) contracted out the report to evaluate the program. Currently about 100 red wolves live in a five-county area in and around the Alligator River National Wildlife refuge. The USFWS spends more than $1 million per year on the Red Wolf Recovery Program. The report is part of a larger effort to evaluate it and determine its future. Coyotes have interbred with the wolves and some wolves, mistaken for coyotes, have been shot. A ban on hunting coyotes in the five-county area was recently lifted. A decision on the fate of the program is expected in early 2015.  Report:

The ALDF, Center for Biological Diversity, Project Coyote, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Animal Welfare Institute, and a local Mendocino resident filed a lawsuit against Mendocino County in the Superior Court of California, County of Mendocino, for violating the California Environmental Quality Act. The lawsuit challenges the county’s failure to conduct the legally-required environmental review of its $142,356 taxpayer-funded contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Wildlife Services. The contract authorizes use of the Wildlife Services lethal predator control program to address livestock-predator issues.

When a kid in Malibu, California forced the rest of her classmates to miss out on a day at SeaWorld because she was misled by Blackfish, it made national news.  Awesome Ocean, a group of educators, Marine Mammal veterinarians and trainers, are learning that children of all ages are rejecting the radical agenda being shoved in their faces and asking for alternatives. Not only are they analyzing the source material the school is presenting to them, they're demanding they be allowed to think critically by hearing both sides of the issue, which is a victory for anyone interested in education.

Their website has stories of kids who are standing up to radical activists and demanding that they hear the full story and learn the truth. 

AUSTIN, TX.  When one of Austin's teachers announced that they would be required to watch Blackfish in school, Austin stood up and demanded that they allow a SeaWorld trainer from SeaWorld San Antonio to come in afterwards to comment about the film. The teacher responded, "We don't have time for that." Austin quickly countered, "Then we don't have time for Blackfish." The teacher agreed and the class was spared 80 minutes of out-of-context YouTube clips and propaganda.  Read more at Awesome Ocean

An independent investigation into Kentucky Representative Ed Whitfield found there is “substantial reason to believe” that the legislator unethically facilitated the lobbying efforts of his wife, who is a registered lobbyist for the legislative arm of the Humane Society of the United States.

The House rules prohibit this brand of spousal scheming, explicitly forbidding lawmakers’ staff “from making any lobbying contact…with that individual’s spouse if that spouse is a lobbyist…for the purpose of influencing legislation.” But accusations against Rep. Whitfield contend that the Congressman and his wife violated these guidelines.

According to a report by the Board of the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), Connie Harriman-Whitfield allegedly contacted her husband’s congressional staff “on numerous occasions,” scheduling “as many as 100 meetings with other congressional offices” through his staff. The 26-page OCE report quotes email exchanges in which Harriman-Whitfield appears to use her unique access for calculated professional gain. In one such email, for example, Harriman-Whitfield details the legislative advantages of her marital situation: “Neither HSUS or HSLF [the legislative arm of HSUS] will be able to do well setting up meetings with Republican offices…That is why Ed’s office was so crucial in setting up meetings between Republicans and third parties.” According to the Board Report, this use of “Ed’s office” was particularly important in gaining Republican support for HSUS-backed anti-horse soring legislation—a bill sponsored, incidentally, by Rep. Whitfield. More at Humane Watch

Whitfield’s chief of staff Cory Hicks, who navigated the delicate ethics issue involving his boss' wife, resigned to take a communications and public affairs position at a Fortune 500 company. Hicks left Whitfield's office this month amid the probe over interaction between the office and the congressman's wife, a registered lobbyist. He had served as chief of staff since January 2013 and moved up through the ranks of Whitfield's office starting with an internship in 2003. (Source: Legistorm)

The Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) reported total contributions of $125,500 to House Democrats and $74,000 to House Republicans this election cycle.  Recipients receiving the highest donations were Jeff Denham (R, CA) and Tony Strickland (R, CA) with $10,000 each.  Strickland did not win election.  Second highest donation of $7,500 went to Nancy Pelosi (D, CA).   Direct campaign contributions to Senate Democrats were $63,000 and to Senate Republicans $17,000.  HSLF Independent Expenditures to date total $1,018,108 with an amazing $640,923 going to support the campaign of Gary Peters (D, MI) and $133,301 to Jeff Merkley (D, OR).

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