Puppy Mill Bill Contains Hidden Agenda on Animal Rights

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), February 16, 2010 | Go to article overview

Puppy Mill Bill Contains Hidden Agenda on Animal Rights


Byline: GUEST VIEWPOINT By David Calderwood

In response to the article of Jan. 11, "Humane Society offers to take puppy mill dogs": Why would anyone oppose puppy mill legislation? Everyone who loves animals is against abuse, including those who opposed the Oregon puppy mill bill.

Oregon already had excellent animal neglect and abuse laws when the Humane Society of the United States wrote this bill and lobbied for its passage last year. Those same laws were used to confiscate animals and prosecute the cases of abuse recently reported in the Oregon press.

Opponents of the puppy mill bill weren't against prosecuting abusive animal owners or tightening abuse laws. But they hoped to defend property rights and resist the animal rights agenda of the Humane Society.

It's important to understand the difference between animal rights and animal welfare, and to know a bit about the Humane Society. The animal rights movement is a political movement that philosophically opposes all uses of animals. People who support animal welfare, in contrast, believe in animal use and seek standards for the humane treatment of animals. In America, animals legally are considered property.

The animal rights agenda seeks to abolish the consumption of meat and dairy products, the manufacture and wearing of clothing made from animal products, and the use of animals for entertainment or any other purpose.

The basic premise is that animals and humans are equal, and that humans should have a symbiotic relationship with animals, which means a hands-off relationship. Even though it sounds preposterous, in public meetings local animal rights advocates have even said that humans should not own animals. For more information, visit www .exposeanimalrights.com.

The Humane Society of the United States' name implies it is a humane society. Well-meaning people make donations, thinking that their money is going to a local shelter or to a national group that supports local shelters or directly helps animals.

But the society doesn't run shelters, nor is it affiliated with any shelters. It is primarily a lobbying organization with an animal rights agenda.

The tax records of the deceptively named society, available at www.humanesociety.org/about/overview/annual_reports_financial_statements.html, show that only a little more than 4 cents out of every dollar donated to the group go to organizations providing hands-on care to dogs and cats. …

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