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Monday, 23 October 2017

MFOA 2014 State Legislative Candidate Questionnaire
Written by MFOA   
Saturday, 20 September 2014
Every legislative session, MFOA sends out a questionnaire to all of the Maine legislative candidates to determine how "animal friendly" each candidate is.  Below is a copy the questionnaire sent out in July 2014.  Be sure to ask the candidates in your area their positions on the animal issues that are important to you.  Do not assume that your preferred candidate is the one that will support bills related to Maine's animals - ask questions, have conversations before voting, be sure before casting your vote.

MFOA 2014 State Legislative Candidate Questionnaire

 

1.  Each year about 1,500 horses are transported to and through Maine to slaughter in Quebec for human consumption in Europe. The entire process, including the slaughter auction, the method of transportation, the feedlots, the slaughter plants -- everything up to and especially their death -- is inhumane. Does an animal that has served mankind in so many ways, for so long, and so well deserve the fate of being slaughtered?  Would you support legislation to ban the transport of horses from and through Maine to slaughter in Canada and the building of any horse slaughter plant in Maine?                                                               

Yes ____ No ____


 

2.  Canned hunts, so referred to as "hunting ranches" are privately owned lands in Maine that enclose non-native wildlife like elk, wild boar, fallow deer and bison, behind fenced-in land and charge fees to "hunt" with guides for these animals that have no chance of escaping. Mostly out-of-state ‘trophy' hunters, these customers are guaranteed a kill with a no kill / no bill policy. Would you support legislation to end this hunting practice in Maine?

Yes ____ No ____

 

3.  A puppy mill is an inhumane, large-scale commercial dog breeding facility in which the health and well-being of the dog is disregarded in order to maintain low overhead and maximize profits. These dogs are also sold to some pet stores, many unhealthy and with physical and psychological impairments. Maine currently has half-dozen small pet stores that sell dogs originating from mostly out-of-state puppy mills. Would you support legislation to end the sales of dogs in Maine from puppy mills?

Yes ___ No ____                  

 

4.  Maine has had a couple of large puppy mill cases in recent years, most notably the Buxton case involving over 500 animals found in disturbingly inhumane conditions. In the last legislature a bill was submitted that would have made it a felony offense for multiple cases of animal cruelty. Before, each individual animal would be considered a misdemeanor case, unless it was aggravated animal cruelty, which is a felony offense. This legislation would have given prosecutors more tools, lead to better tracking of abusers and reduce costs to the courts and the Animal Welfare Program. The American Kennel Club opposed the legislation citing increased rules on their dog breeding. Would you have supported the legislation to make multiple cases of animal cruelty a felony offense?    

Yes ___   No____

 

5.  In 2004 (and again now in 2014), Maine Friends of Animals, The Humane Society of United States and many hunters led a state ballot initiative to ban the hunting of Maine black bears with the use of bait, hounds and traps? The common thread in these three practices is there is no "fair chase." They are unsportsmanlike, inhumane and unnecessary. The majority are out-of-state "trophy hunters" that are unable and unwilling to hunt bear as you would a deer. Although the referendum barely lost, it significantly brought public awareness to the issue.  Will you vote "yes" on Question 1 in November to end these hunting practices?                                                                                                              

Yes ____ No ____

 

6.  Maine's wildlife decisions are determined by a few legislators in the legislative oversight committee, the Department of Inland Wildlife and Fisheries and an inflexible hunting lobby. Those who enjoy Maine's wildlife in a non-consumptive manner, such as wildlife viewers, kayakers, primitive outdoor campers, bird watchers, hikers and wildlife photographers, are essentially shut out of wildlife decisions although they far outnumber hunters in numbers and the money they contribute to Maine's economy. Would you support legislation that would provide non-consumptive wildlife advocates to be more structurally included in the process of making decisions that affect wildlife?                                                                        

Yes ____ No ____

 

7.  In the 125th legislature Maine Friends of Animals sponsored legislation to make the post-conviction possession of animals a criminal offense. Currently someone convicted of animal cruelty can be prevented from having animals. A violation is only a contempt of court order which is seldom enforced. Making it a criminal offense (class C) would be an added deterrent. The House and Senate passed the bill, but the Governor vetoed it. Would you support this legislation if re-introduced in the 126th legislature?                                                                                                                            

Yes____ No ____

 

8.  Perhaps the most pervasive form of domestic animal cruelty we have in the state today is what is called "dogs chained for life." Dogs are very social pack animals and yet these unfortunate animals are chained to a doghouse where they eat, drink, urinate, defecate and sleep in the same confined area day after day, month after month, night after night, with no or very little human contact or attention. Would you support legislation that limit the number of hours per day a dog can be tethered/chained out?                                                                                                              

Yes ____ No ____

 

9.  History repeatedly shows that attempts to control coyote populations by bounties, snaring, open season and trapping do not work because coyotes are biologically and behaviorally adaptable. Yet despite the fact wildlife biologists are nearly unanimous in their opinions that coyote management does not work, the hunting lobby persists. Proponents contend that coyote control is needed to protect deer in northern and eastern wintering habitat. Opponents say coyote control is ineffective by scientific standards, has never worked, it is unusually cruel in method, and that it is fiscally irresponsible to further burden an under-funded DIF&W.  Would you oppose new coyote control legislation?                                                                               

Yes ____ No ____

 

10. Like greyhound racing, which was exposed for its cruelty, harness racing is a dying industry. Over the last decade, there have been precipitous declines in racing audiences and the money waged on betting. Nevertheless the state has funneled millions of taxpayers' dollars from slot revenues to racing tracks each year. Without these massive subsidies, harness racing could not survive as it loses money every year.  Should the state be shoring up a dying and outdated industry when those millions could go toward economic development, education or other underfunded services?  Would you support a review of the Cascade Fund from slot machines?
                                 

Yes ____ No _____  

 

 
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