Dog and kennel owners aren’t likely to find a hero among the four surviving major candidates for President of the United States, an analysis of voting records, public statements and news reports by The American Sporting Dog Alliance (ASDA) shows. ASDA defends the rights of dog owners and professionals who own or work with breeds of dogs used for hunting.
Animal rights and animal welfare issues have not been identified as among the major concerns of voters this year, and information about the candidates’ positions and records on these issues is difficult to find. ASDA’s analysis concentrates on the available public record of each candidate.
Candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Ron Paul and John McCain remain in the race following the early primary elections. Primaries remain in Pennsylvania and other states. McCain appears to be headed for the Republican nomination, but the Democratic race is seen as very close between Clinton and Obama.
This report will summarize ASDA’s findings. Detailed documentation is available to support our summary of each candidate’s position.
Sen. Clinton’s track record shows clear support for animal rights legislature during her tenure in the U.S. Senate. From 2002 to present, she has received 100% ratings from the Society for Animal Protective Legislation, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the Animal Protection Institute, the Doris Day Animal League and the Fund for Animals. Her prior ratings were 86%.
She also has been given consistently low ratings by gun owners’ organizations, and middle of the road ratings by farm groups. Gun Owners of America has consistently rated her at 0%, and the National Rifle Association has given her consistent "F" ratings. A gun control group, the Brady Campaign Against Handgun Violence, has given her consistent 100% ratings.
Sen. Clinton also has demonstrated a strong propensity to support liberal activist causes and heavy-handed legislative solutions.
Sen. Obama has had a relatively brief political career and short track record. He has received above average approval ratings by animal rights groups. During 2005-2006, he received a 60% rating from HSUS and the Fund For Animals. However, in a public statement during the Nevada primary, he supported the concept of animal rights and touted the previous endorsements of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). He said: "It's very important that we have a President who is mindful of the cruelty that is perpetrated on animals." He also said he supported legislation in the Illinois state Senate that bans the slaughter of horses.
"Dog and kennel owners aren’t likely to find a hero among the four surviving major candidates for President of the United States, an analysis of voting records, public statements and news reports by The American Sporting Dog Alliance (ASDA) shows."
Obama has received a generally poor rating by gun owners’ groups, and above average ratings by farm groups. Gun Owners of America gave him a 100% rating one year, and 0% the year before. He has been given a consistent "F" rating by the National Rifle Association.
Although he has said that he does not hunt or own firearms, his campaign website makes a very strong statement in favor of gun owners’ rights, conservation and hunting. He is seen as generally supporting liberal activist causes.
Rep. Paul has received generally low ratings by HSUS and other animal rights groups. He has established a clear congressional record for voting against most animal rights legislation. He received moderate approval ratings by animal rights groups during his early years in Congress, but his ratings dropped sharply in recent years. HSUS, The Doris Day Animal League and Fund for Animals have given him consistent 11% ratings since 2003. In contrast, the National Animal Interest Alliance Trust, which supports the rights of animal owners, gave him a 100% rating in 2006.
He has won strong ratings from gun owners’ groups, and very low ratings from groups that favor gun control. Gun Owners of America has given him consistent 100% ratings, and NRA has given him consistent "B" grades. Gun control groups have given him consistently low ratings. His farm group ratings have been moderate.
Paul is generally seen as a libertarian who believes in small government and civil liberties, although he has not been completely consistent in this regard.
Sen. McCain has received mixed but generally low-to-moderate ratings from animal rights groups, and is generally seen as someone whose position on animal rights legislation is moderate. His voting record shows strong support for animal owners on most issues, but also a willingness to support some animal welfare legislation.
Prior to 2003, McCain received very high ratings (mostly 100%) from animal rights groups, including some of the most radical organizations, such as the Doris Day Animal League. For the past two years, however, his rating from the Fund for Animals and HSUS has been 40%, and it was 20% for the three years before that.
He has said publicly that he doesn’t hunt and doesn’t own firearms, but knows how to hunt and how to shoot. McCain’s ratings by Gun Owners of American have ranged from 0% to 100%, and the National Rifle Association has given him "C+" grades in recent years. His rating by groups advocating gun control has ranged from 0% to 14%. Farm groups have given him above average ratings.
McCain is seen as generally moderate on domestic issues, most often favoring the status quo but occasionally supporting new laws that infringe on the rights of animal owners and the Second Amendment.
The American Sporting Dog Alliance works to protect the rights of dog owners and professionals. Your participation and membership are vital to our success. Please visit us on the web at http://www.americansportingdogalliance.org .
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