21 April 2016

2016 Presidential Candidates: Stance on Animal and Veterinary Issues

With eyes both north and south of the Canada/U.S. border watching the presidential race, a variety of publications and organizations have examined the candidates’ stance on animal issues.

Animal issues may not determine how everyone may vote, but can influence individuals working in the animal industry or passionate about the cause of animal welfare or rights.

DVM360 published an article that examined if the top four candidates would fight animal cruelty, tackle veterinary student debt and support mandatory prescriptions. They took into account party lines, voting history and published interviews.

While Democratic candidates fared better in the DVM360 analysis, the author conceded “with so many issues, viewpoints and priorities, the choice for president is much broader than each candidate’s likelihood to vote the way veterinarians would hope.”

Every year the Humane Society Legislative Fund publishes the Humane Scorecard which documents the “successes” and “setbacks” for animal welfare. This includes summarizing all the bills that pass into legislation and those that fail.

The Scorecard also documents how different candidates vote on bills and rate their voting record. The higher the number, the more the candidate has voted for bills that support the progress of animal welfare issues.

Of course, Donald Trump has never voted so hasn’t received a score. He has said he’d be “the best president for animals God ever created,” in an exclusive interview with animal-rights blogger Andrew Kirschner.

Senator Marc Rubio has an average score of 12/100 with Ted Cruz farther below - an average of 4/100 over his three years in the Senate.

Again, the Democrats tended to score more positively on animal issues with Hillary Clinton receiving a 100 one year, and an average of 92 over four years. Bernie Sanders scores a whopping 97/100 over an 11 year voting history.

For those with an interest in putting their support behind presidential candidates who support veterinary or animal welfare issues, there are plenty of resources to help them make a choice.

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