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What is the Animal Rightist Threat? Animal Rights (AR) proponents seek to restrict use and ownership of animals, including hunting and fishing, pet and livestock ownership, circuses, rodeos, zoos and medical research. They pursue this radical agenda through a wide variety of legal and illegal means, but concentrate on passing state and federal legislation that appears to address animal welfare. In reality, however, such legislation goes far beyond its superficial intent, placing severe restrictions on the rights of law-abiding animal owners, producers, and sportsmen.

Why should I be concerned? Animal Rights organizations, including the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS), ASPCA, Farm Sanctuary, PETA, Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and others, are growing rapidly and receive huge media-induced donations, frequently from pet-owning citizens who mistakenly believe the money goes to helping homeless animals. Nearly one-half of the U.S. House of Representatives and over one-third of the U.S. Senate consist of predictable AR voters, endorsed by the well-funded coalition, Humane Society Legislative Fund, and various Political Action Committees.

Misguided members of Congress working with these groups introduce onerous bills annually under the guise of animal welfare. A 2003 House animal rights bill would have superseded all existing state bear hunting regulations. Federal abrogation of any state's wildlife department's rulemaking authority cannot be tolerated. In September 2006, against the recommendation of its Agriculture Committee, the U.S. House passed the Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, placing emotion ahead of animal welfare and public health, and setting dangerous precedents of Federal interference in animal owners' end-of-life decisions for a livestock species. "PAWS", a so-called “puppy protection bill” introduced in 2005 under the guise of regulating "commercial facilities," would have placed impossible federal restrictions on hundreds of thousands of responsible home pet breeders, rescuers and hunting dog owners. Bills introduced in 2012 and 2013 would have set a precedent for federal control over the management of livestock by establishing cage standards for egg-laying hens.

Branches of these national lobbying groups are also active in every state legislature. Influenced legislators sponsor outrageous bills calling for mandatory spay-neuter programs, animal abuser registries, bear hunting bans, and restrictive livestock husbandry standards.

Who are these Animal Rights Proponents? The Animal Rights movement has evolved in recent years into two factions, the radical side represented by PeTA, ALF, SHAC, Mercy for Animals, etc., and the publicly moderate corporate side led by HSUS, which has now incorporated the Doris Day Animal League, Ark Trust and Fund for Animals. The outrageous and sometimes illegal activities of the radicals distract attention from the much larger and more powerful corporate side, with its belief-altering agenda. With a swelling membership of activists who are educated professionals, they strive to ever broaden their reach and increase credibility, pressing for acceptance of their ideas as "mainstream."

In addition to funding and lobbying politicians at all levels of government, the corporate animal rightists disseminate slick, Madison Avenue quality "humane education" materials in elementary and secondary schools, indoctrinating our children. They are active in the veterinary schools and provide literature to animal shelters, influencing those we turn to for help and advice with our animals. They go out of their way to conceal their agenda and suppress science-based criteria of animal well-being.

What can I do? Organize. Get informed. Be pro-active. Study this website. Take a look at our analysis for your state. Understand that SAOVA's reviews are single interest efforts. We make no pretense of evaluating candidates' positions on taxes, education, social security, medical care, national security, gun control or social issues. To the degree that hunting, fishing, livestock farming and pet ownership are important to you, we offer these election candidate analyses to be combined with other, personal considerations to determine your vote. Study the candidates and support those individuals that will support you. Register and VOTE!

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