October 17, 2006
Animal Welfare Group Urges Nevada Voters to Re-Elect Ensign to the Senate on November 7, Announces Other Endorsements for Nevada
WASHINGTON — Citing him as “one of the leading animal welfare advocates in the entire U.S. Senate,” the Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) announced that it has enthusiastically endorsed Senator John Ensign (R-Nev.) in his re-election bid to the U.S. Senate. HSLF based the endorsement on Ensign’s long-standing record of support for animal welfare, his active leadership on humane issues, and his tangible record of success on these issues.
“There is no stronger animal welfare advocate in Congress than Senator John Ensign,” said Sara Amundson, executive director of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “Senator Ensign has been one of our most determined and effective leaders in fighting for public policies to halt cruelty and abuse. In order to pass humane laws, we need humane lawmakers like Senator Ensign. Nevadans who care about animals should support his re-election.”
Senator Ensign, a veterinarian by profession, was the author of two major animal protection bills in the current session of Congress, and he helped to secure Senate passage, in some form, of both measures. He is the author of the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act, S. 382, which creates felony-level penalties for illegal dogfighting and cockfighting activities and bans the interstate and foreign commerce in cockfighting implements, and the Virgie S. Arden American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, S. 1915, which seeks to stop the slaughter of American horses by banning interstate or foreign commerce in horse meat. In the previous Congress, he was co-author of a bill signed into law by President Bush to crack down on the transport of big cats for the exotic pet trade.
The animal fighting legislation passed unanimously in April 2005, and is now pending in the House. The horse slaughter authorizing legislation has not passed yet, but Senator Ensign offered an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2006 Agriculture Appropriations bill to de-fund the federal inspections of horse meat and horses for slaughter, as a means of stopping the practice. The amendment passed 69-28 in September 2005. The House passed the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act last month by a vote of 263-146, and Senate action on Ensign’s bill is expected soon.
Senator Ensign is also a co-sponsor of bills to crack down on puppy mills and end the primate pet trade, and has supported increased funding for animal welfare programs.
“Senator Ensign has exhibited leadership and effectiveness on animal protection issues, by shepherding two priority measures through the Senate in the 109th Congress,” added Amundson. “His work has brought us two steps closer to national policies that will help eradicate animal fighting and horse slaughter in this country.”
During the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Senator Ensign personally visited the emergency animal shelters set up by animal welfare groups to rescue lost pets in the devastated Gulf Coast. At a press conference in Baton Rouge, Ensign noted, “As a veterinarian, I want to make sure the pet rescue efforts are being well coordinated for the sake of the people in that region as well as the animals.” Senator Ensign and Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) urged President Bush to appoint an individual to coordinate the federal government's response to animal rescue efforts, a move which helped facilitate the rescue of pets and reunification with their families.
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. A complete list of HSLF’s endorsements is available online at www.humanevoting.com. For the U.S. House of Representatives, HSLF is backing Shelley Berkley (D-1st), Jill Derby (D-2nd), and Jon Porter (R-3rd).
Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. 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. Contributions or gifts to HSLF are not tax deductible. Your donation may be used for lobbying to pass laws to protect animals, as well as for political purposes, such as supporting or opposing candidates. HSLF does not accept contributions from business corporations or labor organizations. On the web at www.hslf.org.
Paid for by Humane Society Legislative Fund and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. HSLF, 519 C Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002.