The Humane Society of the United States gave the Obama administration a C- for its animal welfare efforts in 2011. HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle noted that while Obama & Co. did not have very many achievements, they did have “some startling demerits.” Pacelle’s comments referred to the federal government turning over authority to kill wolves to the states and working to overturn a California law that stops the inhumane treatment of downer cattle and pigs.
The Obama administration made some positive moves but nothing substantial enough to receive a B- or a B, as it did in 2009 and 2010, respectively. It issued a final ruling that bans transport of horses on inhumane double-decker trailers on the way to slaughter and recommended more funding for stronger enforcement of animal welfare laws. It also worked to stop the import of hunted polar bear trophies from Canada.
Unfortunately, the administration continued to spend approximately $10 million a year on inhumane lethal predator control programs. It also failed to rule for a ban against the trade of nine species of large constricting snakes who pose great risks to safety and natural resources.
The Obama administration promised to close a loophole in federal laws that allow commercial puppy mills to sell dogs over the Internet without the proper federal approval. The HSUS “is hopeful that the administration will approve that measure and others in the coming year,” according to a press release from the organization.