(ANIMAL WELFARE/ANIMAL POLITICS) Eliciting the most one-sided assortment of newspaper endorsements in history, the 2016 presidential election has been a particularly polarizing one.

Editors of major news publications are breaking decades-long party loyalties by endorsing Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. And while some traditionally Republican-sided papers have switched teams in this election–perhaps even for the first time ever, others are going so far as strongly rebuking Republican candidate Donald Trump.

Now, even major animal welfare groups like the Humane Society are voicing opposition to Trump.

A new ad released by the Humane Society Legislative Fund warns that a Donald Trump presidency “would be a threat to animals everywhere.” Photo Credit: Humane Society Legislative Fund
A new ad released by the Humane Society Legislative Fund warns that a Donald Trump presidency “would be a threat to animals everywhere.” Photo Credit: Humane Society Legislative Fund

Last week, the Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF), a separate lobbying affiliate of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), broke its own tradition of not endorsing candidates for political office when HSLF President Michael Markarian voiced the organization’s support for Clinton in a blog post.

He notes that Clinton has been a long-time animal lover and consistent supporter of animal protection laws with a robust record on animal issues.

The group also released an attack ad against Trump, warning that the Trump Presidency “would be a threat to animals everywhere.”

Donald Trump Jr., left, with his brother, Eric, carrying their trophy kill. Photo Credit:
Donald Trump Jr., left, with his brother, Eric, carrying their trophy kill. Photo Credit:

The TV ad highlights Trump’s advisers’ views on animal protection as well as his two sons’ passion for trophy hunting.

As it displays a gruesome photo of Trump’s sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, posing with the carcass of a leopard they hunted in Africa, the ad states:

“Trump’s sons, they’re trophy hunters of elephants and rare species. Don Jr. is floated to be Interior Secretary.”

Troublingly, if Don Jr. became the Interior Secretary, he would be in control of millions of acres of federal lands, wildlife law enforcement, international treaties on wildlife trade and conservation, as well as import policies for wild animal parts and trophies. As the HSFL puts it, “That’s like putting a fox in charge of the henhouse.”

“The risk of having a globe-trotting trophy hunter…having the ear of the president should be a terrifying prospect for any animal advocate,” Markarian writes in his blog post.

The ad also berates two members of Trump’s agricultural advisory committee: Forrest Lucas, an oil industry tycoon who founded a farmer’s advocacy group in opposition of animal rights organizations; and Bruce Rastetter, an agribusiness entrepreneur.

“Trump’s agricultural advisers support confining pigs…allowing cruel puppy mills, even making horse slaughter legal. It’s a frightening picture. A Trump presidency would be a threat to animals everywhere,” the ad concludes.

While Trump himself hasn’t clearly outlined his views on animal issues, his closest advisers–if they direct a Trump administration–could remove animal protection laws altogether.

The Humane Society urges Americans who care about protecting animals–whether they are Democrats, Republicans, or Independents–to elect a president who shares these same values.

TAKE ACTION: Pledge to stand with animals and against Donald Trump!

— Alisa Manzelli, Global Animal

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