As you may know, President-elect Barack Obama is working to fill key positions in his administration. Two cabinet positions in particular will have a major impact on the treatment of animals -- the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior. It is essential for President-elect Obama to appoint individuals to these positions who take animal welfare seriously and have a demonstrated track record of support for animal protection policies. Please write to President-elect Obama to urge him to appoint animal-friendly individuals to these positions.
With oversight of the Animal Welfare Act and the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, the Secretary of Agriculture is responsible for enforcing a broad range of laws -- including those covering puppy mills, animal slaughter, animal fighting, and food safety. We believe that John Boyd Jr., founder and president of the National Black Farmers Association, and former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, would be excellent choices for this post. However, we strongly object to former Representative Charlie Stenholm, who has been extremely hostile to even the most modest animal protection reforms, and has been a paid lobbyist for the factory farming and horse slaughter industries. It would be a disaster for animals if he were to be appointed to this position or any other position of authority over animal welfare matters.
The Secretary of the Interior oversees the enforcement of key wildlife laws, such as the Endangered Species Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and wildlife management practices on hundreds of millions of acres of federal land. We think the best candidates for this position are Representatives Raúl Grijalva and Jay Inslee and former Interior Department Deputy Secretary David Hayes. Conversely, we oppose Representative John Salazar, as he has been hostile to a wide range of animal protection policies, including efforts to halt the trophy hunting of polar bears and to protect wild horses from slaughter. Salazar was even aligned with former Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo in an attempt to weaken the Endangered Species Act. Click here to learn more about these candidates and add your voice to these recommendations.
We hope that President-elect Obama will consider the importance of animal protection when appointing these positions, and that you will join us to express your support for individuals who embrace animal protection as a worthy goal. And don't forget to tell your friends and family to take action, too.
Thank you for all you do for animals.
Sincerely,Wayne PacellePresident & CEOThe Humane Society of the United States