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AmiableLabs
12-19-2008, 10:23 AM
Obama's Animal Welfare Team

President-elect Barack Obama announced two more Cabinet appointments today-perhaps the two most eagerly awaited appointments for animal advocates because of their relevance to the protection of domestic animals and wildlife. We congratulate former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, the next Secretary of Agriculture, and U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar of Colorado, the next Secretary of the Interior, who were both named earlier today. We also congratulate Lisa Jackson, whose appointment was formally announced earlier in the week to head the Environmental Protection Agency. These three members of Obama's team together will impact the lives of hundreds of millions of animals.

Vilsack has a solid record on animal protection, and he was the top choice of HSUS and HSLF to lead the USDA, the agency that oversees our federal laws on animal welfare, humane slaughter and transport, horse protection, animal fighting, and others. Nearly 90,000 animal advocates contacted the transition team through our website, expressing how important it was to pick an animal-friendly Agriculture Secretary and recommending Vilsack as an excellent choice. The Obama Administration listened to your views, and this appointment demonstrates what an important voice animal advocates can have as a political constituency.

As governor of Iowa, Vilsack advocated for bills to toughen the state's penalties for animal fighting, and now he will lead the agency charged with enforcing the federal law to break up dogfighting and cockfighting rings. He stood up to the puppy mill industry and vetoed a bill in 2006 that would have weakened protections for pets by reclassifying dogs as "farm products." He also exhibited tremendous fortitude and adherence to principle when he vetoed legislation in 2001 that would have allowed the sport hunting of mourning doves for the first time in decades. Standing up to the NRA and the gun lobby in a big hunting state, he said at the time:

The majority of Iowans do not support changing the current law to legalize dove hunting. My office has received contact from thousands of concerned Iowans regarding this issue, and my conclusion is that this policy is not right for our state at this time.

Vilsack recognized the importance of protecting animals from cruelty and abuse, and the importance of public involvement in the decision-making process. He'll need that same principled leadership in enforcing the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, the Animal Welfare Act, the Horse Protection Act, and other federal laws. We look forward to working with him to elevate animal protection, food safety and protection of the environment at USDA, which has consistently subverted these important considerations and sided time and again with the knee-jerk positions of agribusiness. He'll have a big role to play in how our nation confronts puppy mills, factory farming, predator control, the use of animals in research and testing, and other practices and industries that have compromised animal welfare.

Salazar was a surprise choice for Interior, and wasn't one of the names pushed by animal advocates. His record on animal issues in the U.S. Senate has been mixed, scoring 0 on the Humane Scorecard for the 109th Congress, and 50 percent in the 110th Congress. He voted against legislation to ban horse slaughter in 2005, but in the current session he co-sponsored legislation to strengthen the penalties for animal fighting and signed onto a letter requesting increased funds for the adequate enforcement of animal welfare laws. He has received relatively high marks on environmental issues from the League of Conservation Voters, scoring 78 percent in the 109th Congress and 85 percent in the 110th Congress. But, again, as with animal advocates, Salazar was not on the list of preferred candidates for the environmental community. The President-elect passed over more strongly recommended candidates such as Reps. Raśl Grijalva and Jay Inslee.

As Interior chief, Salazar will oversee the enforcement of wildlife protection laws such as the Endangered Species Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and will have authority for wildlife management practices on millions of acres of federal lands in national parks, national wildlife refuges, and Bureau of Land Management properties. We look forward to working with him, too, and addressing the major wildlife policy issues such as protecting threatened polar bears and other species from the impacts of global warming, deploying immunocontraceptive technology to manage wild horses and burros humanely on the range, and addressing the animal welfare and public safety risks of the exotic pet trade.

Jackson led the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and was a leading animal advocate in the state. She rejected attempts by the NRA, Safari Club, and other trophy hunting groups to initiate a hunting season on New Jersey's small population of black bears, and she instead implemented a comprehensive program to solve bear conflicts with humane methods such as trash management and public education. We are pleased to have such an innovative leader at the helm of EPA, and we hope to work with her on continued efforts to prioritize the use of alternatives to animals in toxicity testing, to ensure strong penalties for pollution from factory farms and dismantle the Bush Administration's corporate giveaway that exempts them from having to report their massive toxic emissions.

President-elect Obama has pledged to make progress for animal welfare and environmental stewardship, and we hope these appointees will prove to be an excellent team to help him meet these crucial goals. We congratulate the nominees, and look forward to working with the new Administration to confront the major challenges facing animals and the environment.

Bob Gutermuth
12-19-2008, 11:31 AM
Anytime your enemy praises someone, its a good indication that something is rotten in Denmark.

Chris Atkinson
12-19-2008, 11:38 AM
Moved to Political Forum as suggested/requested by user PM.

Kevin, please do not take it personally my friend! :cool: Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Thanks, Chris

Brevard Arndt
12-19-2008, 11:45 AM
Hi Chris,

Not wanting to stir the pot, but if it had been posted on the politcal thread, then I would not have seen it. I avoid the politics like the plague.

Although, I had seen the appointments and knew the hsus would be jumping with joy.

I am afraid our passion is in for some hard years.

AmiableLabs
12-19-2008, 11:51 AM
Moved to Political Forum as suggested/requested by user PM.
Chris, you told me to use my judgement, I did. Again, I must protest. This post is NOT political in nature! It is about our new governmental leaders and what our enemies think of them.

We cannot mention anything related to our government without it getting moved to the political forum?!

Do you HONESTLY believe you are serving RTF members and our sports better by segregating an informational post like this over in the political forum?!?! Think! Use your head!

It has gotten absurd! :-x

Bruce MacPherson
12-19-2008, 12:59 PM
Chris, you told me to use my judgement, I did. Again, I must protest. This post is NOT political in nature! It is about our new governmental leaders and what our enemies think of them.

We cannot mention anything related to our government without it getting moved to the political forum?!

Do you HONESTLY believe you are serving RTF members and our sports better by segregating an informational post like this over in the political forum?!?! Think! Use your head!

It has gotten absurd! :-x

Although political in nature, from the stand point that it involves cabinet picks, I think it is far more relevant on the dog side than this one. This has direct implications to owners,breeders, hunters, trialers and testers. For those that are so easily offended by anything political, to the point where you are acting like children by running to Chris to get those things you don't like removed, I have this to say, get a life.

Mac

Hoosier
12-19-2008, 01:16 PM
I agree this doesn't belong on POTUS. It seems some want to censer anything that could be considered negative about the incoming administration. Even if would affect everyone who posts here in a negative way. Our passion for hunting dogs is a political issue like it or not. The influence groups like HSUS and PETA has on political process affects us all.

K G
12-19-2008, 02:47 PM
Although political in nature, from the stand point that it involves cabinet picks, I think it is far more relevant on the dog side than this one. This has direct implications to owners,breeders, hunters, trialers and testers. For those that are so easily offended by anything political, to the point where you are acting like children by running to Chris to get those things you don't like removed, I have this to say, get a life.

Mac

Ditto.

So all someone has to do is complain to get a post moved??? That's a switch!

kg

twall
12-19-2008, 05:13 PM
Kevin,

It will definately be a long four years on many fronts. I can see the attack on land use continue. Two of the main pointer FT grounds were lost this year in Ohio. The ways in which our sport will be attacked may not always be apparent to us at first. Incrementalism is the slippery slope we have already started to slide down. This adminstration will be like a snow machine at an Ohio ski resort. It will create "favorable" conditions that naturally would not occur.

Tom

K.Bullock
12-19-2008, 09:00 PM
Ditto.

So all someone has to do is complain to get a post moved??? That's a switch!

kg

Suhweet! That takes care of SEC conference fans. BBG your days of posting SEC centric posts are numbered, the Big Ten will rule and reign on the net if no where else! muhahaha :cool:

K G
12-19-2008, 09:06 PM
Suhweet! That takes care of SEC conference fans. BBG your days of posting SEC centric posts are numbered, the Big Ten will rule and reign on the net if no where else! muhahaha :cool:

Long time since I've read a post from an alternate universe...on this site anyway....:cool:

kg

K.Bullock
12-19-2008, 09:18 PM
Long time since I've read a post from an alternate universe...on this site anyway....:cool:

kg

Sorry, It means that I can complain every time the Big Ten gets bashed by the SEC ..which is like every other half hour. And have it removed so I do not have to see it anymore. BadBullGator is usually the perpetrator of SEC posts.

As a sidenote just to clarify. I am just kidding , I am really not offended by SEC posts it was all in good fun. ...not every post on here is an attack ...relax.:cool:;)

Buzz
12-19-2008, 09:44 PM
Kevin,

It will definately be a long four years on many fronts. I can see the attack on land use continue. Two of the main pointer FT grounds were lost this year in Ohio. The ways in which our sport will be attacked may not always be apparent to us at first. Incrementalism is the slippery slope we have already started to slide down. This adminstration will be like a snow machine at an Ohio ski resort. It will create "favorable" conditions that naturally would not occur.

Tom

The focus seems to be on Vilsack at USDA. Won't Salazar have authority over public land use? I don't think the left is so happy with his appoint to interior. We have to lobby interior, because it is a sure thing that the animal rights folks will be. The are the extreme ones, and it is sure that they will be the ones executing the astroturf campaigns.

K G
12-20-2008, 09:02 AM
...not every post on here is an attack ...relax.:cool:;)

I'm as cool as the proverbial cucumber and as "relaxed" as Frankie Goes To Hollywood, k.....and I like alternative universe stuff from time-to-time....I just never ass-u-me what it means; that's why I ask...;-)

kg

AmiableLabs
12-20-2008, 10:55 AM
The focus seems to be on Vilsack at USDA. Won't Salazar have authority over public land use? I don't think the left is so happy with his appoint to interior.
Vilsak will be overlooking how we take care of our animals including game birds and dogs. Salazar will be overseeing hunting and land use.

HSUS is thrilled with the Vilsak appointment and not so much about Salazar.

Therefore it seems to me that the greater threat on the horizon will be to various aspects of dog ownership and trials/tests, not hunting.

But I am projecting. Nothing is clear right now.

My prediction remains that our greatest threat is against our use of live birds for training and testing. I think the Vilsak appointment validates that prediction. I think this is the only area where we are in serious trouble with these two nominations.

I see no reason to worry about hunting right now. But land use is always a worry when Democrats, the party of preservation (as opposed to conservation) environmentalism, are in charge.

Chris Atkinson
12-20-2008, 08:13 PM
I agree this doesn't belong on POTUS. It seems some want to censer anything that could be considered negative about the incoming administration. Even if would affect everyone who posts here in a negative way. Our passion for hunting dogs is a political issue like it or not. The influence groups like HSUS and PETA has on political process affects us all.

Hoosier,

If you are implying that my moving of this thread to POTUS place is some sort of censorship, I find that unfortunate.

To all of you... This past election season has been a real hassle for me. There have been many who have gotten ugly and personal on RTF over their partisan views.

Here's how Kevin's post starts off:


President-elect Barack Obama announced two more Cabinet appointments today

Kevin, I find it a bummer that you chose to tell me "think, use your head."

I am thinking, and I am using my head, I assure you. Kevin, how about you do a search and look at the majority of content you've posted on RTF over the past couple months. Now tell me what I am supposed to expect when I see a thread start off this way:
President-elect Barack Obama announced two more Cabinet appointments today

Although they probably don't read this board, I've had folks PM me indicating that they are appreciative of my moving Kevin's post here. As one PM sender put it, "Kevin's post is partisan in nature and the subsequent responses are likely to be as well."

Know what folks...I'm hitting the sack and in the morning my dogs are going to fetch some geese from a little field hunt... And I'm happily putting some Carmex on my chapped lips, having watched Bus and Ruff hunt together on a cold December Lake Shelbyville duck hunt this afternoon. Mmmm...goose on a stick.

Sincerely, the mean censor who doesn't use his head... ;-)

AmiableLabs
12-21-2008, 04:46 PM
To all of you... This past election season has been a real hassle for me. There have been many who have gotten ugly and personal on RTF over their partisan views.
But you are mixing up all partisanships as being the same! We ARE partisan from HSUS just as they are partisan from us! But that is not the same as "politically partisan."

The election is over. The debate over who should be president is over. We are now talking about protecting our rights and privileges -- to breed dogs, participate in field trials and hunt tests, and hunt. That is a kind of partisanship that should unite the members of this board, not divide us.


Here's how Kevin's post starts off:
What did you want me to do Chris? Those are the words of HSUS, not Kevin! You want me to change what HSUS wrote just so it will be more palatable to those more sensitive types?

"Oh my gawd, the post mentions Obama in the first sentence, better move it, even though the post is not about Obama." You can't keep moving every post just because it mentions Barack Hussein Obama! He is the new President, end of story.


Although they probably don't read this board, I've had folks PM me indicating that they are appreciative of my moving Kevin's post here.
And now you have had several members tell you it was wrong to move it here.


As one PM sender put it, "Kevin's post is partisan in nature and the subsequent responses are likely to be as well."
Here is your typical "politically sensitive" type. You can't let this type of person dictate the policies, you need to cut a swath down the middle. The post is NOT politically partisan!!! There is nothing against Obama! There is nothing for Obama! It is a post about what HSUS thinks about the incoming Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture!

These are not matter for debate. They are facts. They are information. They aid in our judgement and tell us how to act.

Could a member reply with a rhetorical jab at Obama? Of course, the fire over the election still stings a little. But that would be off-topic if it occurred. Think about it, why would it be off-topic? Because the original post was not politically partisan!

I don't know how I can make it any plainer than that.

SMITTYSSGTUSMC
12-21-2008, 06:24 PM
Hoosier,

If you are implying that my moving of this thread to POTUS place is some sort of censorship, I find that unfortunate.

To all of you... This past election season has been a real hassle for me. There have been many who have gotten ugly and personal on RTF over their partisan views.

Here's how Kevin's post starts off:



Kevin, I find it a bummer that you chose to tell me "think, use your head."

I am thinking, and I am using my head, I assure you. Kevin, how about you do a search and look at the majority of content you've posted on RTF over the past couple months. Now tell me what I am supposed to expect when I see a thread start off this way:

Although they probably don't read this board, I've had folks PM me indicating that they are appreciative of my moving Kevin's post here. As one PM sender put it, "Kevin's post is partisan in nature and the subsequent responses are likely to be as well."

Know what folks...I'm hitting the sack and in the morning my dogs are going to fetch some geese from a little field hunt... And I'm happily putting some Carmex on my chapped lips, having watched Bus and Ruff hunt together on a cold December Lake Shelbyville duck hunt this afternoon. Mmmm...goose on a stick.

Sincerely, the mean censor who doesn't use his head... ;-)




MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuag goose!!!

Bubba
12-21-2008, 07:21 PM
Kevin- you are out of line. The man that pays the bills here took the time to explain why and how come (definitely not required). What could it matter where the post gets put? Shut up and appreciate the fact that you have an opportunity to express your (and ours) concerns. Chris puts up with a LOT more than most folks would. You are a guest in his house and need to conduct yourself accordingly.

Steve Elliott

Gun_Dog2002
12-21-2008, 08:09 PM
Kevin- you are out of line. The man that pays the bills here took the time to explain why and how come (definitely not required). What could it matter where the post gets put? Shut up and appreciate the fact that you have an opportunity to express your (and ours) concerns. Chris puts up with a LOT more than most folks would. You are a guest in his house and need to conduct yourself accordingly.

Steve Elliott

My grandfather taught me a lesson about respecting a man in his house. When that guy woke up grandpa helped him up and brushed him off and then threw his ass of the porch. After helping him up and then throwing him through the front gate, he helped him and let say whatever he wanted.

Time and place for everything....

/Paul

brian breuer
12-21-2008, 08:46 PM
But land use is always a worry when Democrats, the party of preservation (as opposed to conservation) environmentalism, are in charge.


Could a member reply with a rhetorical jab at Obama? Of course, the fire over the election still stings a little. But that would be off-topic if it occurred.

Contradict your own advice much?

K.Bullock
12-21-2008, 09:36 PM
Contradict your own advice much?

Stir the pot much?;)

Chris Atkinson
12-22-2008, 01:48 AM
Moved to Political Forum as suggested/requested by user PM.

Kevin, please do not take it personally my friend! :cool: Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Thanks, Chris

I'm done Kevin.

I do not look at this subforum to debate. I've atempted to use my head. My apologies that you feel that I've failed.

Like I said, please don't take it personally. Happy Holidays.

Golddogs
12-22-2008, 09:30 AM
No one will ever be 100% happy with any pick, but Vilsack has proven to be on the side of outdoor sportsmen. Pheasant's Forever is happy with the pick based on past performance. We may see a move back to more CRP and marginal land preservation.

John Kelder
12-28-2008, 03:33 PM
I must side with Kevin on the placement of this post .To the best of my knowledge ,this was a statement issued by the HSUS,it was not altered or edited by him . That makes it NEWS , not Kevin's opinion .And therefore , it is news that , IMHO , is relevant to the retriever sport.Its not politics ,its news .
Is it political news ? Yes .
Is it political news that should be given maximum exposure to the RTF world ? Yes .
As previously mentioned by others ,some avoid POTUS PLACE .Rightfully so , free country , and all that.
Perhaps a new thread is in order - RTF NEWS - Though how our over worked moderators could police the news,(directly from the source) from opinion(OUR take on it) is beyond me .
And thanks to Kevin for the heads up .

JDogger
12-28-2008, 10:48 PM
I must side with Kevin on the placement of this post .To the best of my knowledge ,this was a statement issued by the HSUS,it was not altered or edited by him . That makes it NEWS , not Kevin's opinion .And therefore , it is news that , IMHO , is relevant to the retriever sport.Its not politics ,its news .
Is it political news ? Yes .
Is it political news that should be given maximum exposure to the RTF world ? Yes .
As previously mentioned by others ,some avoid POTUS PLACE .Rightfully so , free country , and all that.
Perhaps a new thread is in order - RTF NEWS - Though how our over worked moderators could police the news,(directly from the source) from opinion(OUR take on it) is beyond me .
And thanks to Kevin for the heads up .

Yeah, but, John. when you make your sig line a political statement, like your's "from my cold, dead hands", or Kevin's; a qoute from Rush, you turn every post you make into a political, partisan post, regardless of your arguement.
Just sayin'
JD

John Kelder
12-28-2008, 11:43 PM
Yeah, but, John. when you make your sig line a political statement, like your's "from my cold, dead hands", or Kevin's; a qoute from Rush, you turn every post you make into a political, partisan post, regardless of your arguement.
Just sayin'
JD

So , to quote your signature means you are lost . I don't believe that for a minute , but , i'm just sayin'.I have found a profound amount of thought and integrity in your posts.
Semper Fi - "Always Faithful"
Is that politics or my way of life?? I am partisan to my God , my Country ,and my Corps . JUST SAYIN' . Signature line means more to some than others .
And the signature line should have No Bearing where the thread is placed .IMveryHO

Chris Atkinson
12-29-2008, 02:16 AM
I must side with Kevin on the placement of this post .To the best of my knowledge ,this was a statement issued by the HSUS,it was not altered or edited by him . That makes it NEWS , not Kevin's opinion .And therefore , it is news that , IMHO , is relevant to the retriever sport.Its not politics ,its news .
Is it political news ? Yes .
Is it political news that should be given maximum exposure to the RTF world ? Yes .
As previously mentioned by others ,some avoid POTUS PLACE .Rightfully so , free country , and all that.
Perhaps a new thread is in order - RTF NEWS - Though how our over worked moderators could police the news,(directly from the source) from opinion(OUR take on it) is beyond me .
And thanks to Kevin for the heads up .

A suggestion for those wanting to post links to news, purely as references to periodicals, news stories, etc., anywhere on RTF. Please post the link and quote the source. If you go back and read the opening post by Kevin, it reads as if it is a post authored by Kevin with no reference to any source.

That's what I thought it was. That's what those who complained to me thought it was.

Kevin, again, I sincerely do hope you had a wonderful family Christmas. I hope 2009 is a great new year for you and yours.

Sincerely,

Chris

John Kelder
12-29-2008, 08:54 AM
A suggestion for those wanting to post links to news, purely as references to periodicals, news stories, etc., anywhere on RTF. Please post the link and quote the source. If you go back and read the opening post by Kevin, it reads as if it is a post authored by Kevin with no reference to any source.

That's what I thought it was. That's what those who complained to me thought it was.

Kevin, again, I sincerely do hope you had a wonderful family Christmas. I hope 2009 is a great new year for you and yours.

Sincerely,

Chris

Thats why Chris is "DA MAN" . Intelligence and common sense.

mjh345
12-29-2008, 09:38 AM
Thats why Chris is "DA MAN" . Intelligence and common sense.

Intelligence, and common sense; there is no reason for using that on the POTUS Forum

AmiableLabs
12-29-2008, 12:36 PM
it reads as if it is a post authored by Kevin with no reference to any source.
Except in the thread title.


That's what I thought it was. That's what those who complained to me thought it was.
Then you did not read it and those who complained did not read it. The author lauds the pro animal rights credentials of the candidates. It would be absurd to think I wrote it. That is how John figured it out -- he read it.

Why would you move a post without reading it?


Kevin, again, I sincerely do hope you had a wonderful family Christmas. I hope 2009 is a great new year for you and yours.
Same to you my friend.

John Kelder
12-29-2008, 01:37 PM
Intelligence, and common sense; there is no reason for using that on the POTUS Forum

Thanks for the laugh .Too funny .

Chris Atkinson
12-29-2008, 01:42 PM
Except in the thread title.


Then you did not read it and those who complained did not read it. The author lauds the pro animal rights credentials of the candidates. It would be absurd to think I wrote it. That is how John figured it out -- he read it.

Why would you move a post without reading it?


Same to you my friend.

Kevin, I read the thing.

I thought you wrote it.

I'm a dummy.

You win!

Chris

Chris Atkinson
12-29-2008, 01:52 PM
P.S. The next time you choose to quote another periodical or news source, please make it clear that you are doing that. I'd suggest posting the link to the news site or other source.

I'm not the only one who thought the original post was authored by Kevin.

Thanks,

Chris

Henry V
12-29-2008, 02:01 PM
Thanks for posting this. While I can appreciate "the sky is falling" perspective on these appointments because of this HSUS statement, I believe a critical analysis reveals that the Ag. and Interior appointees are a mixed bag. From a hunting and habitat perspective, I am much more concerned that Big Ag and the mining industry really like these appointees (for example, see this article at http://www.hpj.com/archives/2008/dec08/dec15/ReactionstoVilsacksappointment.cfm). To dig deeper on this, I suggest a search on "Vilsack/salazar appointment" and "agriculture" or "conservation" or "environment". A mixed bag of comments overall with the organic and sustainable agriculture folks also really disappointed with Vilsack. Salazar's opposition to the clean water restoration act is particularly disappointing from my perspective.

For kicks, below is the HSUS statement that started this thread. I bolded some different text and added an italicized comment in one spot for your consideration. This illustrates the mixed bag on two of them, and no, I am not advocating for HSUS or their definition of "animal welfare".


Obama's Animal Welfare Team

President-elect Barack Obama announced two more Cabinet appointments today-perhaps the two most eagerly awaited appointments for animal advocates because of their relevance to the protection of domestic animals and wildlife. We congratulate former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, the next Secretary of Agriculture, and U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar of Colorado, the next Secretary of the Interior, who were both named earlier today. We also congratulate Lisa Jackson, whose appointment was formally announced earlier in the week to head the Environmental Protection Agency. These three members of Obama's team together will impact the lives of hundreds of millions of animals.

Vilsack has a solid record on animal protection, and he was the top choice of HSUS and HSLF to lead the USDA, the agency that oversees our federal laws on animal welfare, humane slaughter and transport, horse protection, animal fighting, and others. Nearly 90,000 animal advocates contacted the transition team through our website, expressing how important it was to pick an animal-friendly Agriculture Secretary and recommending Vilsack as an excellent choice. The Obama Administration listened to your views, and this appointment demonstrates what an important voice animal advocates can have as a political constituency.
Added comment in response to this paragraph: Holy crap, I wonder how many folks in the conservation/hunting community contacted the transition team through the websites of DU, PF, etc to make their voice heard?? Did it approach 90,000? Who did we and our organizations advocate for in this process??

As governor of Iowa, Vilsack advocated for bills to toughen the state's penalties for animal fighting, and now he will lead the agency charged with enforcing the federal law to break up dogfighting and cockfighting rings. He stood up to the puppy mill industry and vetoed a bill in 2006 that would have weakened protections for pets by reclassifying dogs as "farm products." He also exhibited tremendous fortitude and adherence to principle when he vetoed legislation in 2001 that would have allowed the sport hunting of mourning doves for the first time in decades. Standing up to the NRA and the gun lobby in a big hunting state, he said at the time:

The majority of Iowans do not support changing the current law to legalize dove hunting. My office has received contact from thousands of concerned Iowans regarding this issue, and my conclusion is that this policy is not right for our state at this time.

Vilsack recognized the importance of protecting animals from cruelty and abuse, and the importance of public involvement in the decision-making process. He'll need that same principled leadership in enforcing the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, the Animal Welfare Act, the Horse Protection Act, and other federal laws. We look forward to working with him to elevate animal protection, food safety and protection of the environment at USDA, which has consistently subverted these important considerations and sided time and again with the knee-jerk positions of agribusiness. He'll have a big role to play in how our nation confronts puppy mills, factory farming, predator control, the use of animals in research and testing, and other practices and industries that have compromised animal welfare.

Salazar was a surprise choice for Interior, and wasn't one of the names pushed by animal advocates. His record on animal issues in the U.S. Senate has been mixed, scoring 0 on the Humane Scorecard for the 109th Congress, and 50 percent in the 110th Congress. He voted against legislation to ban horse slaughter in 2005, but in the current session he co-sponsored legislation to strengthen the penalties for animal fighting and signed onto a letter requesting increased funds for the adequate enforcement of animal welfare laws.He has received relatively high marks on environmental issues from the League of Conservation Voters, scoring 78 percent in the 109th Congress and 85 percent in the 110th Congress. But, again, as with animal advocates, Salazar was not on the list of preferred candidates for the environmental community. The President-elect passed over more strongly recommended candidates such as Reps. Raśl Grijalva and Jay Inslee.

As Interior chief, Salazar will oversee the enforcement of wildlife protection laws such as the Endangered Species Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and will have authority for wildlife management practices on millions of acres of federal lands in national parks, national wildlife refuges, and Bureau of Land Management properties. We look forward to working with him, too, and addressing the major wildlife policy issues such as protecting threatened polar bears and other species from the impacts of global warming, deploying immunocontraceptive technology to manage wild horses and burros humanely on the range, and addressing the animal welfare and public safety risks of the exotic pet trade.

Jackson led the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and was a leading animal advocate in the state. She rejected attempts by the NRA, Safari Club, and other trophy hunting groups to initiate a hunting season on New Jersey's small population of black bears, and she instead implemented a comprehensive program to solve bear conflicts with humane methods such as trash management and public education. We are pleased to have such an innovative leader at the helm of EPA, and we hope to work with her on continued efforts to prioritize the use of alternatives to animals in toxicity testing, to ensure strong penalties for pollution from factory farms and dismantle the Bush Administration's corporate giveaway that exempts them from having to report their massive toxic emissions.

President-elect Obama has pledged to make progress for animal welfare and environmental stewardship, and we hope these appointees will prove to be an excellent team to help him meet these crucial goals. We congratulate the nominees, and look forward to working with the new Administration to confront the major challenges facing animals and the environment.