How Do Politicians Vote on Animal Rights Bills?

The Humane Society Legislative Fund’s website provides data on how candidates vote on animal welfare issues.


Many voters make their decisions based on a single issue, be it reproductive rights, environmental policies or health care. I’m not a quite a single-issue voter, but I strive to select candidates with strong records on the protection of animal rights. More precisely, I would never vote for a candidate with a dismal record on animal welfare issues. But how do you find out what the candidates voting records are without having to commit dozens of hours to research?

The Humane Society Legislative Fund provides data on how candidates across the country have voted on animal welfare issues: Their 2008 Humane Scorecard evaluates the animal rights voting record of every member of the 110th Congress.

The HSLF is a social welfare organization that was formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. It works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal levels and support humane candidates for office (regardless of party affiliation).

One of our guiding principles at HSLF is that our endorsements are not about orthodoxy, but rather are about choosing the best candidate among those who are viable in any particular contest. HSLF is a nonpartisan organization that evaluates candidates based only on a single criterion: where they stand on animal welfare. We do not judge candidates based on party affiliation or any other issue.

In 2006, our first year of electioneering activity, the HSLF helped win landslide victories for animals on statewide ballot measures and to defeat, among others, the nation’s least animal-friendly member of Congress. In the U.S. Senate, 24 of the 28 HSLF-endorsed candidates were victorious. And 273 of the 301 HSLF-backed U.S. House candidates were elected to the 110th Congress.

This Sunday, October 19, animal advocates across the country will gather at Party Animals house parties to learn how they can effectively come together to form a “Humane Voting Bloc” to give animals a voice in the voting booth this November. The special guest for the Humane Bloc Party will be cartoonist and comedian Dan Piraro, creator of the “Bizarro” comic strip and a strong voice for animal protection and the humane treatment of all animals.

There’s still time to volunteer to host a Humane Bloc Party on Sunday. As a special incentive, HSLF will recognize the host that is most successful in their fundraising efforts by bringing that person to Washington, DC to take part in the 2009 Taking Action for Animals Conference from July 24-27!

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