October 12, 2006
Animal Welfare Group Urges Pennsylvania Voters to Reelect Santorum for Senate on November 7th, Announces Other Endorsements for Pennsylvania
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 Rick Santorum in his re-election bid to the U.S. Senate for Pennsylvania. HSLF based the endorsement on Santorum’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 Santorum,” said Sara Amundson, executive director of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “Santorum 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 Santorum. Pennsylvanians who care about animals should support his re-election.”
HSLF noted that Santorum has provided leadership year after year in seeking higher levels of funding for enforcement of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act and the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), including the provisions in the AWA relating to better enforcement of the prohibitions against dogfighting and cockfighting. He has led the fight for increased funding, working most recently in concert with Senator Carl Levin, for higher funding levels.
Santorum’s actions, and those of his colleagues to support his efforts, have boosted funding for enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act by 81% (a cumulative increase of $32 million) over the past six years, which has enabled the agency to hire dozens more inspectors to look out for the welfare of animals at research laboratories, puppy mills, zoos, and the like. These funding increases have also directed the USDA to spend $14 million specifically to ensure better compliance with the humane slaughter law. Before then, there had never been funds specifically designated for this purpose, and the agency had not taken seriously its enforcement responsibilities under this law, which literally affects billions of animals. And Congress has targeted $800,000 in each of the past few years for USDA to focus on animal fighting cases.
“We need laws to protect animals, but we also need those laws to be enforced,” said added Amundson. “Senator Santorum has worked in a bipartisan fashion to secure millions in funding so that animal welfare laws can be better enforced.”
In addition, Santorum has been a lead cosponsor of the Animal Fighting Prohibition and Enforcement Act, S. 382, a bill to establish felony-level penalties for transporting animals for fighting purposes across state lines. Santorum worked to get this measure to the floor for a vote of the full Senate, and the measure passed unanimously. This legislation is more crucial than ever given the threat of bird flu posed by the illegal transportation of roosters for cockfighting, and the human fatalities from bird flu that have been linked to cockfighting in southeast Asia. He is working hard to get the House to consider the legislation and send it to President Bush for his signature.
Also, HSLF recognized Santorum’s efforts to provide protections for dogs sold by large, commercial breeders to the public. He has been the lead Senator on this issue during his entire Senate career, and has introduced legislation, the Pet Animal Welfare Statute (PAWS), S. 1139, to crack down on abusive “puppy mills” that treat the dogs like they are production machines. Pennsylvania is one of the country’s hotspots for puppy mill operations, making Senator Santorum’s leadership especially important on this issue.
Santorum’s support has helped pass important animal protection laws during his career in the Senate, including legislation that barred the interstate and foreign shipment of birds for cockfighting, stopped the trade in tigers and other big cats as exotic pets, and created a national sanctuary system for retired chimpanzees no longer used in medical research. He has also supported a raft of other animal protection measures, including efforts to ban horse slaughter for human consumption, to add a bittering agent to anti-freeze to make the substance unpalatable to animals and children, to protect dolphins from drowning in tuna nets, to prohibit the sale of bear parts such as gall bladders, and to include animals in disaster plans. Additionally, during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, his efforts in tandem with Senator John Ensign caused the White House to pay closer attention to the plight of animals impacted by the disaster.
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 Robert Brady (D-1st), Chaka Fattah (D-2nd), Phil English (R-3rd), Jim Gerlach (R-6th), Curt Weldon (R-7th), Mike Fitzpatrick (R-8th), Bill Shuster (R-9th), Chris Carney (D-10th), Paul Kanjorski (D-11th), John Murtha (D-12th), Allyson Schwartz (D-13th), Mike Doyle (D-14th), Charles Dent (R-15th), Joe Pitts (R-16th), Tim Holden (D-17th), and Todd Platts (R-19th).
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.
Media Contact: Julia Janak, email@example.com, (425) 208-1684
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.