WASHINGTON (May 29, 2008)—Citing their leadership and support of animal protection policies, the Humane Society Legislative Fund announced its endorsement of three New Mexico candidates for U.S. Congress.
In the state's U.S. Senate race, HSLF is endorsing five-term U.S. Representative Tom Udall. As a member of the House, Udall has been a champion of animal welfare, supporting such measures as ending horse slaughter, protecting polar bears, including pets in disaster planning, strengthening the laws against dogfighting and cockfighting, urging more funding for enforcement of animal welfare laws, and preventing sick and crippled cows from entering the nation's food supply. Most recently, the House passed Udall's bill, the Great Cats and Rare Canids Act, which will assist in conservation projects to protect imperiled dog and cat species around the world.
In contrast, U.S. Representatives Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce, vying for the Republican nomination for Senate, have been enemies of animal welfare. Both Republican contenders have voted to allow the slaughter of American horses so their meat can be consumed overseas as a delicacy, to allow wealthy American trophy hunters to shoot threatened polar bears in the Arctic and bring home their heads and hides, to allow the killing of bison in Yellowstone National Park, to allow trophy hunters to shoot bears over piles of jelly doughnuts and other bait on federal lands, and to allow the slaughter of "downer" livestock too sick or injured to walk.
"For New Mexicans who care about animal welfare, the choice for U.S. Senate could not be more clear," said Michael Markarian, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. "Tom Udall has been one of our best leaders in fighting for the humane treatment of animals in Congress, while Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce have stood in the way of common-sense policies to protect animals from cruelty and abuse."
HSLF also announced that it has made two endorsements in the June 3rd primary race for New Mexico's 1st Congressional District, backing Albuquerque City Councilor Martin Heinrich for the Democratic nomination and Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White for the Republican nomination. Both candidates have outstanding records on animal protection.
Councilor Heinrich has been a leading advocate for wildlife and environmental protection, supporting efforts to protect bears, prairie dogs, and other wildlife species. As Council president, Heinrich secured funding to purchase habitat critical for wildlife corridors and also shepherded the passage of Albuquerque's landmark Humane and Ethical Animal Rules and Treatment ordinance—one of the strongest pet protection ordinances in the country.
Sheriff White has been an innovator in law enforcement efforts to crack down on animal cruelty and fighting. He has been a leading advocate in combating animal cruelty, and lobbied for the passage of New Mexico's recent ban on cockfighting. White also leads an animal cruelty task force that has successfully targeted animal fighting operations, and he adopted a pit bull named Trixie whose ears were cut off in a cruelty case the sheriff investigated.
In response to an HSLF questionnaire, both candidates indicated support for numerous federal bills to protect animals.
"In order to have humane laws, we need to elect humane lawmakers," said Michael Markarian, president of Humane Society Legislative Fund. "We urge voters in the Land of Enchantment to elect candidates who care about the humane treatment of animals."
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.
Media contact: Heather Sullivan: 301-548-7778, firstname.lastname@example.org
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. 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.