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Humane Society Legislative Fund Calls Out Debate Lie Made by Steve King

Animal Welfare Group Calls on King to Release Records of His Supposed Financial Support for Local Humane Societies

WASHINGTON (Oct. 30, 2012) -- In response to a question posed by a moderator at last week’s candidate debate hosted by Iowa Public Television about the Humane Society Legislative Fund’s campaign against him, Congressman Steve King represented to his constituents that he’s a donor to local humane societies, in an apparent attempt to indicate that he does care about the well-being of animals. Given that King has taken dozens of votes on animal protection issues as a state lawmaker and then as a congressman and opposed just about every one of them, his claim struck a false note. HSLF subsequently surveyed the leaders of several local humane organizations throughout Iowa, and by all accounts, King has never been a donor or supporter to any one of these groups. HSLF is calling on King to release records of his supposed donations to local humane organizations.

“Steve King, as a state legislator and now as a congressman, has gone out of his way to oppose and even attack the most modest efforts to help animals,” said Sara Amundson, executive director of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “Now we know that Steve King is prepared to misrepresent his philanthropic record on this subject. He hasn’t given an inch on animal welfare reforms, and he apparently hasn’t given a dime to any kind of animal welfare group – local or national.”

The Humane Society Legislative Fund has identified King as the number one opponent of animal welfare in Congress, getting scores of zero in a number of congressional sessions, with dozens of opportunities through the years to demonstrate support for legislation by voting on bills in committee or on the floor or by cosponsoring legislation.

HSLF has spent more than $500,000 on TV ads to highlight King’s efforts in Congress against animal welfare, including his efforts to block legislation to make it a crime for an adult to bring a child to a dogfight or cockfight (AMDT.32/H.R.6083). He previously opposed federal legislation to make it a felony to move animals across state lines for animal fighting (H.R. 137/P.L. 110-22), saying, “I believe that human life is diminished by our making it a felony to transport animals for fighting, without first making it a felony to take a minor girl across a state line for an abortion” (March 28, 2007).

He’s also opposed efforts to restrict the trade in chimpanzees and other primates as exotic pets (H.R. 80), to prevent sick and injured downer cows from getting into the food supply (H.AMDT.474/H.R.339), to include pets and service animals in disaster planning (H.R. 3858/P.L. 109-308), to stop the slaughter of American horses for human consumption overseas (H.R. 503), to stop imports of sport-hunted trophies of threatened polar bears (H.AMDT.1008/H.R. 4089), and to ratify an agreement between animal welfare groups and the egg industry to improve the housing systems for laying hens and to deal with a patchwork of varying state laws on the subject (AMDT.45/H.R.6083).

“Caring for animals is a basic test of one’s character, and if a man cannot find it within himself to help crack down on a barbaric activity like dogfighting, then he’s not serving his constituents' interests in Congress. Our nation needs people who will find common ground, not a rhetorical bomb-thrower like Steve King," added Amundson.

Media contact: Heather Sullivan, (301) 548-7778,


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, on our blog at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at

Paid for by Humane Society Legislative Fund and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. HSLF, 1255 23rd Street, NW, Suite 455, Washington, DC 20037.