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Americans are celebrating or re-staging after the election but questions remain in the minds of those who watch the Animal Rights Campaign.


November 11, 2008

Barbara "BJ" Andrews, SAAB Member


There was so much vitriol in the Presidential campaign, The Dog Press refrained from raising questions that would have been perceived as partisan. However…


This publication is about dogs and the people who love them. There was little we could have said that would not been in support of McCain as regards animal ownership, farming, and food production in this country. Now the people have voted and our new leadership has opportunity to turn political rhetoric into a better economy and a stronger nation.


We will never know how a McCain administration would have addressed AR issues. We will however, closely watch how the Obama team deals with the Farm Bill, regulatory agencies, and legislative actions affecting Animal Rights vs American Rights.


OBAMA & ANIMAL RIGHTS CONTRIBUTIONS?We begin with the most basic observation. It appears Obama has never owned a warm-blooded pet. Perhaps as a busy college student, he once had a goldfish. In defense of not having family pets, Obama said he would get his daughter a dog and upon winning the election, he made good on that promise.  McCain on the other hand, has a virtual pet “zoo” at his Arizona home and his wife is an accomplished horsewoman.


Most American presidents have had dogs, and with the exception of Bill Clinton, they were long-time dog owners. The tender affection of Lyndon Johnson for his Beagles (including the ear-pulling) and the Scottie so comfortably on George Bush’s arm is part of their Presidential profiles.


So let’s look to our President Elect for signs that he will support the traditional “boy and his dog” family, the heritage of the few remaining family farms in this country. How will he deal with our right to breed and exhibit animals, from show cattle and race horses to birds, bunnies, and pedigreed cats and dogs?


Not to presume anything in building an Obama profile but we would be remiss to not consider how he feels about Animal Rights and what if any effect the hordes of lobbyists and enormous sums of money represented by HSUS, PETA, DDAL, and “shell” non-profits will have on his administration.


For example, let me cite a Nov. 08 report by Legislative authority Charlotte McGowan. Racing Greyhound operations in Massachusetts have come to an end through “the vast financial resources of the anti-animal-use HSUS.” McGowan says the newspaper reported animal rights groups spent $670,000 on TV ads in Mass. Alone, and in California, HSUS was a major funding source for the $8 million dollars spent to destroy the egg producing industry which supplies 6% of the nation’s eggs. McGowan points out something the dog fancy knows but the average voter does not: “Animal rights forces have targeted most animal use in this country.” and she succinctly sums up with “The aim of HSUS and the other animal rights groups is to end any purposeful use or breeding of animals.”


MOST PRESIDENTS HAD DOGSSo what does McGowan’s exhaustive report have to do with our President? Only this… “Wayne Pacelle of HSUS has positioned himself to strongly influence the new President… We have already seen Barack Obama holding a dog that has been used as a symbol of the campaign to end commercially bred dogs in ads. Obama is not an animal owner. He has no agricultural experience and no animal experience. He has promised his children a dog now that the election is over. Will he be getting an AKC registered dog or will Wayne Pacelle find him a mixed breed?”


McGowan’s question frames the concern of informed dog fanciers. What will happen when the Animal Rights groups seal the deal? Do not think there was no deal. Groups that can spend millions in one state on one project such as destroying egg farms or dog racing have big war chests. Obama raised a previously inconceivable amount of money so it is only logical to assume part of an estimated billion-plus came from “animal rights” groups. Whereas Republican John McCain agreed to public campaign financing which resulted in a total of $84 million, Obama raised nearly twice that amount—$150 million—in September alone. To say that Obama broke all historical records for any campaign would be an understatement, one that the news commentators are still scratching heads over.


So to which legislative agenda groups is he now obligated? Will he fulfill implied promises or will he ignore them?


Would HSUS throw millions of dollars at just one project in Calif. and ignore the possibility that an equal amount funneled into a candidate’s campaign would bring commensurately greater rewards?


Be assured, The Dog Press Legislative Editors and researchers will bring you answers as this not-over-yet story develops. EST 2002 © 0811


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