Joe Biden and his family live with a couple of German shepherds, Champ and Major. So there will be a dog in the White House again which is obviously a good thing. Trump was the first president in a 100 years not to have a dog in the White House. I sense that Trump doesn’t like animals that much and his sons like to trophy hunt in Africa. There is a horrible picture of them on the Internet of a giant leopard that they had shot. Not a great look or endorsement for their father on animal welfare issues. The Trump administration removed wolves from the US’s endangered list, saying the species had made a “successful recovery”. Trump tended to support the shooting of animals for entertainment rather than their protection (he supports the shooting lobby). For me it is great news that he’s lost the presidency (barring any crazy upset).
In stark contrast, the Joe Biden and Kamala Harris team have a bit of pedigree when it comes to a sensitivity towards animals and their welfare. This is what animal advocates like and I hope we will see advances in animal welfare and rights during Joe Biden’s presidency and Kamala Harris’s vice presidency.
Sara Amundson, the President of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, endorsed Biden and Harris on October 6 describing them as “good faith actors in sponsoring and supporting animal protection legislation and policies through the years”. As an aside, we have to at least give president Trump the credit for signing the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act and his support for other measures. Despite that little blip of positivity concerning animal welfare, the Trump presidency is not associated with progress on animal welfare. The Humane Society Legislative Fund website sums up Trump’s presidency in respect of animal welfare by saying, “key federal agencies under the Trump administration have been the source of genuine misery to animals. Worse, these agencies continue to threaten hard-one animal protection gains…”. A classic retrograde step was Trump’s endorsement of rules allowing the shooting of bears and their cubs in their dens in Alaska. Madness.
It’s time for change and the Biden, Harris team will hopefully effect that change and take the country in a more productive direction concerning animal welfare. Kamala Harris, as you probably know, is a former practising lawyer and held the position of California’s Attorney General. She has held fossil fuel companies and car manufacturers accountable for their misdeeds. Her record on animal rights interest me. She supported California’s bans on battery cages, shark finning and the production and sale of foie gras. She co-sponsored laws which combat horse soring and which makes animal abuse a felony. She introduced the Help Extract Animals from Red Tape (HEART) Act. She also helped introduce Sen. Booker’s Safe Line Speeds during Covid-19 Act which helps to protect animals and workers from dangerous line speeds in slaughterhouses. In short, she has a record of fighting for animal rights.
On Twitter she has tweeted that dogs are welcome in her office and clearly indicated that she likes dogs although she does not have a pet at the moment.
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) April 11, 2019
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The only minor downside for me is that both Biden and Harris don’t live with companion cats or a cat. But cat lovers can’t have it all ways. At least we have a couple of people in the White House who are concerned about animal welfare and I hope that this extends to wider, international issues such as trade in wildlife, trophy hunting and global warming (which is harming wildlife). I would like them to tackle the unpleasant issue of the cat and dog fur industry in China. It needs to be stopped. Will Biden be tough on China as Trump was? I hope so.