WASHINGTON (October 5, 2020)—Today the Humane Society Legislative Fund, the nation’s leading political advocacy organization for animal welfare, announced its endorsement of Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado for election to the U.S. Senate.
Gov. Hickenlooper has long been a proponent of animal protection in Colorado and has pledged to continue this mission in the U.S. Senate. As governor, Hickenlooper signed numerous animal protection bills into law, including:
- SB13 - 226 -The Dog Protection Act, which requires all Colorado law enforcement officers to complete a training course in dog behavior and requires local police agencies to develop guidelines for encounters with family dogs in the line of duty.
- SB13 - 201 - Designate Shelter & Rescue Dogs & Cats State Pets, which helps promote adoption of homeless animals by designating dogs and cats adopted from Colorado shelters and rescue organizations the "official state pets" of Colorado.
- SB14 - 039 - Preveterinary Emergency Care For Dogs And Cats, which authorizes emergency medical service providers to provide stabilizing care (such as providing oxygen or bandages) to dogs and cats in emergency situations until they can be transported to a veterinarian.
- HB15 - 1062 - Increase Penalties For Animal Fighting, which stiffens the fines for dogfighting or cockfighting.
- HB15-1304 - Bear Control, which creates a plan to study the available bear management tools year-round to address bear-human conflict.
- HB16-1112 - Training Veterans To Train Service Dogs Pilot Program, which creates a pilot program to train veterans to train their own service dogs.
- HB17-1179 - Immunity For Emergency Rescue From Locked Vehicle, which allows good Samaritans to rescue babies, dogs and other animals from locked vehicles.
In contrast, Senator Cory Gardner has repeatedly failed to support commonsense, bipartisan animal welfare legislation in the U.S. Senate:
- In 2018, Gardner voted against an amendment to the farm bill (S. 3042), based on the Opportunities for Fairness in Farming (OFF) Act (S. 741), to correct abuses that have undermined the USDA’s agriculture checkoff programs and to prevent checkoff dollars from being misused to lobby against animal welfare reforms and family farmer interests. This legislation would establish transparency and accountability requirements, and it would prohibit a checkoff board and its employees and agents from engaging in any act that involves a conflict of interest, anti-competitive activity, or unfair or deceptive practice toward other agricultural products.
- In 2017, Gardner voted for H.J. Res. 69, a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to revoke a FWS rule that prohibits specific egregiously cruel and unsporting hunting methods on more than 76 million acres of National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska. The methods include killing wolf pups and their mothers at their dens and scouting grizzly bears from planes to shoot them. The resolution prevents the administration from ever issuing a rule on the same topic, precluding federal wildlife managers from regulating these activities. U.S. taxpayers, Alaska voters and professional federal wildlife managers oppose these extreme methods banned virtually everywhere else in the country.
- In 2015, Gardner voted for an amendment to S. 1 (Keystone XL Pipeline Act) to immediately and permanently delist the lesser prairie chicken, which, at the time, was listed as “threatened” under the ESA. The lesser prairie chicken’s population has declined for decades and dropped 50 percent between 2012-2013 (only about 1 percent of the species’ historic number remains in its five-state range). Listing under the ESA is critical at this time to prevent the species’ extinction. It is for scientists and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, not Congress, to manage listing and delisting decisions under the ESA, a bedrock environmental law supported by 90 percent of American voters.
In the current session, Gardner repeatedly let animals down, including:
- Failing to cosponsor the Humane Cosmetics Act (S. 2886), to phase out testing of cosmetics on live animals and sale of animal-tested cosmetics in the U.S.
- Failing to cosponsor the Big Cats Public Safety Act (S. 2561), to reduce the number of tigers, lions, and other big cats living in substandard conditions and protect public safety by banning public contact activities with these animals and prohibit their procession by individuals and entities lacking a USDA license.
- Failing to cosponsor the Horse Racing and Safety Act (S. 1820), to address widespread doping—a key contributing factor to frequent fatalities on American racetracks—by banning race-day medication, increasing out-of-competition testing and establishing uniform national rules governing use of drugs in racehorses.
- Failing to cosponsor the Shark Fin Sales and Elimination Act (S. 877), to prohibit the trade of shark fins for which sharks are hunted and their maimed bodies returned to the ocean.
- Failing to cosponsor the Prevent All Soring tactics (PAST) Act (S. 1007), to strengthen the federal law against the “soring” of Tennessee Walking horses in shows—using caustic chemicals and other painful substances to injure the horses’ hooves and legs to induce a high-stepping gait.
“We trust John Hickenlooper to be an effective voice for animals on behalf of the Coloradans who love them, and we encourage voters to back his election to the U.S. Senate,” said Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.
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HSLF is a nonpartisan organization that evaluates candidates based only on a single criterion: where they stand on animal welfare. HSLF does not judge candidates based on party affiliation or any other issue.
The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. Visit us on all our channels: on the web at hslf.org, on our blog at hslf.org/blog, on Facebook at facebook.com/humanelegislation and on Twitter at twitter.com/HSLegFund.
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