jueves, 6 de noviembre de 2008

Historic Election Yields Big Victories for Animals! (Una votación histórica proporciona una gran victoria para los animales)

On Tuesday, voters from coast to coast sent a strong message that animals deserve to be protected from cruelty and abuse, and the humane movement won resounding victories in the presidential race, congressional races, and ballot issue contests. These new public policies and new and reelected policymakers will have a meaningful impact on the lives of animals for years to come.

Our humane voting bloc played a meaningful role in the 2008 elections, and we are grateful to all of you who voted for humane candidates.

On statewide ballot measures, the animal protection movement continued to go head-to-head with industries that exploit animals -- this time, the factory farming and dog racing industries -- and once again we came out on top. In the congressional races, we proved that when animal advocates get involved in electoral politics, our humane voting bloc makes an impact and gets results. Animal advocates used to sit on the sidelines when these important races were being decided, but not anymore.

Some of the races are still being decided, and here is a wrap-up of this week's results and what we know so far.

Voters Side with Animals in Ballot Measures: Animals won big in the two major battles that sent shockwaves across the nation, with Californians passing Proposition 2 to stop cruel confinement of farm animals by a vote of 63% to 37%, and Massachusetts voters passing Question 3 to ban greyhound racing by a vote of 56% to 44%. Both of these measures have national implications for the industries that are impacted, and will have ripple effects on future public policy and corporate policy changes. And the overwhelming margins of these victories should help quiet those who would defend cruelty. Read more about these victories here.

A More Humane White House: The presidential ticket endorsed by the Humane Society Legislative Fund emerged as victorious on Tuesday night, with Barack Obama and Joe Biden elected as our next president and vice president. HSLF had backed Obama and Biden because both senators have been strong supporters of animal protection legislation. Obama has cosponsored legislation to stop horse slaughter and crack down on dogfighting, and has spoken out on issues such as the abuse of downed cattle when he was on the campaign trail. Biden has been a leader on animal protection legislation, and has fought in the Senate to protect dolphins from drowning in tuna nets and to stop the captive trophy hunting of exotic mammals. In the most recent Humane Scorecard, Obama and Biden each scored 75 percent, while John McCain scored 25 percent. Read more about this victory here.

Battle in the Detroit Suburbs: This year, the Detroit suburbs of Oakland County were ground zero for animal protection, and the Humane Society Legislative Fund targeted Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-Mich.) for defeat. Over his 16 years in Congress, Knollenberg had averaged a score of 12% on animal protection issues -- which means he sided with animal abusers 88% of the time, on issues such as polar bear trophy hunting, horse slaughter, the abuse of downed cattle, and enforcement of the federal animal fighting law. Read more about this victory here.

Other House and Senate Outcomes: The returns continue to come in, and HSLF-endorsed candidates in the House and Senate races now stand at 290 wins and 17 losses. We've lost some great friends of animals in Congress, but we helped to reelect many more of our greatest champions on Capitol Hill while also helping elect first-time members who will help lead the charge for animals in Washington. Read more about the results here.

If animal advocates had not participated in these races, the outcomes would be different and animals would be worse off. Now, we celebrate the victories, but we also prepare for the challenges ahead -- turning our attention to the 111th Congress and to working with elected officials to advance the animal protection policy agenda.

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