The Humane Society of the United States has published its “Humane Scorecard,” a booklet that indicates how politicians stand on “animal-rights” issues.
Democrats in both the House and the Senate scored higher than Republicans, with seven Democratic senators getting a 100+ rating and 22 congressmen getting the same high marks. (The 100+ rating indicates those members of Congress who were the prime sponsors of pro-animal legislation that became law.)
Senate Democrats on the “100+” list include Joe Biden (Del.), now the Vice President of the United States; Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Diane Feinstein (Calif.), John Kerry (Mass.) and Carl Levin (Mich.) Ten other Democrats rated a score of 100, while only two Republicans in the Senate earned a 100 rating: Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both of Maine.
Because not all proposed legislation becomes law, lawmakers also were rated based on their co-sponsorship of bills. The “Humane Scorecard” also gave lawmakers credit for trying to boost funding for the enforcement of animal-welfare laws.
In the House, 38 Democrats received 100 percent ratings, including Barbara Lee (Calif.), Dennis Kucinich (Ohio) and Charles Rangel (N.Y.). Only six Republicans rated 100: Christopher Shays (Conn.), Roscoe Bartlett (Md.), Jim Gerlach (Pa.), Todd Russell Platts (Pa.), Dave Reichert (Wash.) and Frank LoBiondo (N.J.)
Republican legislators earning a "0" score numbered 16 in the House, including House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio), and five in the Senate: Tom Coburn (Okla.), Jim DeMint (S.C.), George Voinovich (Ohio), John Sununu (N.H.) and Pete Domenici (N.M.)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, earned the relatively low score of 33.
The scorecard also outlines the Humane Society’s goals for the 111th Congress, including:
- Ensuring that emissions from factory farms aren’t exempt from legislation to combat global-warming
- Requiring that data on animal-cruelty crimes be reported as a separate category in federal crime statistics databases
- Changing federal tax law to ensure that U.S. courts uphold “pet trusts” set up for “companion animals” after the owner’s death
- Phasing out the use of chimpanzees in invasive research, retiring all federally owned chimpanzees to sanctuaries, and codifying the National Institutes of Health moratorium on breeding these animals for invasive research
- Ensuring that students can choose humane alternatives to animal dissection;
- Banning importation of pythons
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