by JOHN YATES - American Sporting Dog Alliance
WASHINGTON - The Humane Society of the United States is asking President Barack Obama and Congress to require everyone who raises dogs and cats to be regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, documents show. HSUS also is asking for the creation of an animal protection division within the U.S. Department of Justice that is "similar to the Civil Rights Division, to ensure strong enforcement of federal animal protection laws," thus granting animals rights similar to humans. HSUS also calls for a new position of animal protection liaison in the White House.
A fourth provision calls for a ban on hunting on new public lands. Those are only three of the 100 recommendations that HSUS has sent to Obama in what is called a "change agenda for animals." The American Sporting Dog Alliance has obtained access to this document, which has been sent to animal protection organizations asking for their support. HSUS is a radical animal rights group. Despite its name, it does not operate a single animal shelter, but exists only as a political organization. The long-range goal of HSUS is to gradually eliminate all animal ownership and use, including their use as companion and food20animals, and to ban hunting. The 100 goals sent to Obama reflect many issues, but this report will concentrate on the issues that most directly affect dog owners, with added emphasis on the sporting breeds.
However, we urge our readers to read the full HSUS document, which includes a crackdown on alleged farm pollution, tough animal and poultry husbandry and slaughter rules, and many environmental and wildlife management measure. Here is a link the actual document: http://www.hsus.org/web-files/PDF/change-agenda-for-animals-1-14-09.pdf. Please read this document. In a letter to a New York horse owners' association that was made available to the American Sporting Dog Alliance, HSUS President Wayne Pacelle asks for support of the 100-point agenda.
"With the changing of the guard at the White House comes the prospect of new possibilities for moving our goals forward, and to mark his latest transfer of power, the HSUS and the Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) are advancing a 100-point 'Change Agenda for Animals,'" Pacelle wrote. " Never before has the animal protection movement so carefully articulated a vast array of critical animal protection reforms in the domains of so many federal agencies-Agriculture , Interior, Commerce, Defense, Health and Human Services, State, and others."
Dog Breeding Regulation
A top priority of HSUS for several years has been to require federal regulation of everyone who raises dogs and cats. Under current law, only commercial breeders who sell=2 0puppies and kittens on a wholesale basis are federally regulated. Hobby breeders who sell puppies or kittens directly to the public are not required to be federally licensed or inspected. HSUS wants everyone who raises and sells puppies to be licensed and inspected by the USDA, and also wants to see much tougher regulations and standards for animal care. About four years ago, the HSUS-sanctioned Pet Animal Welfare Act (PAWS) was defeated in Congress by a narrow margin. PAWS would have imposed federal licensing and inspection on all hobby breeders. Last year, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, who has very close personal and political ties to President Obama, introduced a bill he called PAWS 2, which echoed many of the provisions of its predecessor. When PAWS 2 stalled, Sen. Durbin attempted to attach it as an amendment to the 2008 Farm Bill, but failed to get enough support. Durbin came back with a similar bill in late 2008, dubbed "PUPS9 D or "Baby's Bill," which is formally called the Puppy Uniform Protection Act, but Congress adjourned without taking action.
These bills all originated from HSUS, and all of them clearly were aimed at hobby breeders. The 100-point agenda says HSUS wants to "require all dog and cat breeders to comply with AWA (federal Animal Welfare Act) requirements, including those who sell directly to=2 0the public."
It is PAWS all over again. Now, however, HSUS has a much stronger hand in Washington. In the November election, HSUS strongly endorsed President Obama and had a 95-percent success rate in re-electing the congressional candidates it endorsed. A questionnaire obtained by the American Sporting Dog Alliance showed that the President aggressively sought HSUS endorsement.
The American Sporting Dog Alliance continues to believe that President Obama and many members of Congress will listen to the concerns of dog owners, but only if we stand up in large numbers to defend ourselves and our rights, and take an active role in the political process. If we do not stand up and be counted in large numbers, we expect HSUS will get its way on most of the measures in the 100-point agenda. Dog owners will have no one to blame but themselves for being relegated to the legal status of second-class citizens. The Bill of Rights and personal freedom always are the first victims of HSUS policy. The American Sporting Dog Alliance will be working hard to defeat these HSUS20legislative proposals, but we need your help if we are to succeed in turning back these challenges. We urge all dog owners to join and support the organization of their choice, and also to support farmers, hunters and other allies in the fight against the HSUS version of a "brave new world."
The Rest Of The Story
Here are some other parts of the 100-point agenda that pertain to dog owners in general, and also owners of the sporting breeds in particular. HSUS is calling on President Obama and Congress to: Create an animal protection division in the Justice Department to act on behalf of animals by aggressive prosecution of people who violate laws about animals. In essence, this gives animals legal status, and the federal government will act as their advocate. HSUS likened it to the Civil Rights Division, which advocates for aggressive protection of human rights. Animals thus would be given the same legal s tatus as people in the Department of Justice. Create an animal protection liaison in the White House, which would mean that HSUS will have direct access to President Obama and his top advisors to advocate for animal rights groups on policy, regulatory and legislative issues. Immediately strengthen enforcement of USDA-regulated commercial kennels and other animal owners covered by the Animal Welfare Act. (AWA). Increase USDA budget and staffing for this purpose, and make fines and penalties more severe. Include all vertebrate species under the AWA. Completely implement the ban on importing dogs from other countries that HSUS succeeded in attaching to the 2008 Farm Bill. Focus on non-lethal methods to control wildlife populations, which means lessening the use of hunting as a management tool. Mandate the use of microchips for companion animals, and all other animals covered by the AWA. Do not open any new public land or national wildlife refuges to hunting. Transfer all wildlife programs away from the USDA, and put them under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior. Ban hunting on shooting preserves, which HSUS labels "canned hunts" and calls "cruel." Also ban so-called Internet hunting. Make it a crime to show anything that HSUS calls animal cruelty in films, on television, in books and magazine, or on the Internet. Require the Department of Justice to collect and analyze data on animal cruelty cases and create a separate crime database for this information. Require the U.S. Census Bureau and the Center for Disease Control to include questions about the animals people own when surveying the public, in order "to assess impacts on human health and well-being, develop more effective approaches to community animal control, and ensure appropriate disaster preparation." Allow foreign animal rights groups to have an official advisory role in the United States. Ban the mail shipment of any kind of birds or animals through the U.S. Postal Service, including for "agriculture and sport." Baby chicks were speifically mentioned, and this also would apply to gamebird chicks, adults and eggs that are used by sporting dog trainers and in field trials.
The American Sporting Dog Alliance represents owners, breeders and professionals who work with breeds of dogs that are used for hunting. We also welcome people who work with other breeds, as legislative issues affect all of us. We are a grassroots movement working to protect the rights of dog owners, and to assure that the traditional relationships between dogs and humans maintains its rightful place in Ame rican society and life. The American Sporting Dog Alliance also needs your help so that we can continue to work to protect the rights of dog owners. Your membership, participation and support are truly essential to the success of our mission.
We are funded solely by your donations in order to maintain strict independence. Please visit us on the web at http://www.american/ sportingdogalliance.org. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org