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Humane Society Legislative Fund Endorses Richard Carmona in Arizona U.S. Senate Race

WASHINGTON (Oct. 3, 2012) -- The Humane Society Legislative Fund, the nation’s leading political advocacy organization for animal welfare, announces its endorsement of Richard Carmona, M.D., D-Ariz., in the open Arizona U.S. Senate race.

Responding to the HSLF candidate questionnaire, Carmona stated, “Animals are a crucial part of the lives of many Americans, and our people have a long, if not always positive, history with both domestic and wild animals. I believe that bond should be recognized by the federal policymakers, and due consideration given to the impact of our laws and regulations on domestic and wild animals.”

The 17th U.S. Surgeon General, Carmona was senior editor of the 2010 reference manual for emergency medical response personnel, “Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response: Principles & Practice,” which includes a section on planning for the needs of household pets and service animals as part of the mass care/sheltering responsibilities of emergency managers, as required by the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act of 2006.

Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., was part of a rogue group of lawmakers, in a vote of 349 to 24, to oppose efforts to include pets in disaster planning – this vote, coming in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in the Gulf Coast, after so many people stayed behind and put themselves and first responders at risk because there were no plans to care for pets. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and was signed into law by President George W. Bush in October 2006.

“Arizona voters have time and time again approved common-sense animal welfare reforms, banning cockfighting, steel-jawed leghold traps on public lands, and inhumane confinement of animals on factory farms,” said Sara Amundson, executive director of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “Jeff Flake has opposed nearly every animal welfare reform in Congress, and we urge Arizona voters who care about the humane treatment of animals to support Richard Carmona for Senate.”

Rep. Flake has opposed numerous common-sense animal protection policies throughout his tenure in Congress. Among his votes, Rep. Flake has:

  • Voted against requiring state and local authorities to consider the needs of people with pets and service animals in their disaster planning (H.R. 3858/P.L. 109-308)
  • Voted against establishing a program at Veterans Administration medical centers in which patients with post-deployment mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder would train service dogs as a form of therapy, and the trained dogs would assist veterans with disabilities (H.R. 3885)
  • Voted against strengthening the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s enforcement of the federal law against dogfighting and cockfighting (H.R. 2673, Blumenauer Amendment)
  • Voted to allow the use of bait to lure and shoot bears for trophy hunting on federal lands, even though Arizona prohibits bear baiting (H.R. 2691, Gallegly Amendment)
  • Voted to spend millions of taxpayer dollars on the use of aerial gunning, toxic poisons, steel-jawed leghold traps, and other inhumane methods of killing predators as a subsidy for private livestock ranchers (H.R. 2112, Campbell Amendment)
  • Voted for a devastating “extinction rider” that would have weakened the Endangered Species Act by preventing the listing of imperiled species and designation of critical habitat (H.R. 2584, Dicks Amendment)
  • Voted to allow the slaughter and processing of downer livestock, too sick and injured to walk on their own, for human consumption (H.R. 2673, Ackerman Amendment)
  • Voted to allow the long-distance transport (including export) of American horses for slaughter for human consumption in other countries where horse meat is considered a delicacy (H.R. 503)
  • Voted twice to allow the interstate commerce in chimpanzees and other primates for the exotic pet trade, which poses a danger to animal welfare and to public health and safety (H.R. 80 and H.R. 2964)
  • Voted twice to allow American trophy hunters to import the heads and hides of polar bears killed for sport in the Arctic, even though polar bears are listed as a threatened species (H.R. 2643, Inslee Amendment and H.R. 4089, Peters Amendment)

Media contact: Heather Sullivan, (301) 548-7778, hsullivan@hslf.org

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HSLF is a nonpartisan organization that evaluates candidates based only on a single criterion: where they stand on animal welfare. HSLF does not judge candidates based on party affiliation or any other issue.

The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. Visit us on all our channels: on the web at hslf.org, on our blog at animalsandpolitics.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/humanelegislation and on Twitter at twitter.com/HSLegFund.

Paid for by Humane Society Legislative Fund and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. HSLF, 2100 L Street NW, Suite 310, Washington, D.C., 20037.