Planet Gore

Is the Obama Administration Marching to the Tune of the Animal-Agenda Army?

When the Humane Society of the United States endorsed then-nominee Barack Obama for president, those analysts who track the animal-liberation lobby were put on high alert. Despite now-president Obama’s claim that his policies will be driven by science, not politics, recent events have only reinforced the fear that sound wildlife management and progress in human health and medical research will be thrown under the bus as payback to his radical animal-rights supporters. 


1) President Obama has appointed Cass Sunstein to be his “regulatory Czar,” that is, to serve as adminstrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Sunstein is on record as calling for a ban on most hunting and more restrictions on the use of animals for entertainment and in medical and product testing. 

2) President Obama’s pick for EPA adminstrator, Lisa Jackson, was described by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility as “employing a highly politicized approach to decision-making that resulted in suppression of scientific information, issuance of gag orders and threats against professional staff members who dared to voice concerns.” One instance which would seem to confirm this view was when, at the behest of Governor John Corzine, she overrode the opinion of the professional wildlife experts and cancelled New Jersey’s bear-hunting season. This despite the fact that nuisance bear complaints had become rife — rising more than 44 percent in her last year in office — and biologists had argued that hunting would not detrimentally effect the overall population and would be the most effective means of managing New Jersey’s black bears.

3) Animal-rights activists are now pushing to end the government’s predator control program. Fiscal conservatives may agree that this program is an unjustified subsidy, but “fiscal restraint” is hardly the animal activists’ motive — after all, they want the government to spend more money and expand its reach into the regulation of the use of animals in medical testing and entertainment. Rather it is simply a first step to stopping hunting and limiting wildlife-management options to non-lethal methods. Farmers and ranchers beware.

4) And recently, the HSUS website recently posted its “Change Agenda for Animals.” This detailed 100-point list especially bears watching, since one can compare this to the legislation proposed, debated, and signed in the Age of Obama to determine how much influence the most radical animal activists have over the new government. This list has proposals that effect almost every federal agency or chartered organization. 

Bambi, you have a champion (of sorts). Hunters, medical researchers, and health advocates beware.

H. Sterling Burnett is a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research and education institute in Dallas, Texas. While he works ...


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