MFOA 2010 Legislative Candidate Questionnaire

MFOA’s legislative questionnaire sent to 2010 Maine House and Senate candidates.  We will publish the list of “Animal Friendly” candidates once the completed surveys have been returned. 

Dear Legislative Candidate:

We realize that you receive numerous inquiries regarding your position on various issues, but we suspect most of your constituents like animals, and therefore we ask that you take a moment to complete this brief questionnaire pertaining to issues that affect animals. 

Maine Friends of Animals is the state’s leading animal protection organization. Our mission is to promote the humane treatment of animals through education, advocacy and legislation. If you would like more information about the questions or our organization, please feel free to contact Director Robert Fisk, Jr. directly at 756-3455 or at

We have over 1,500 members and supporters throughout the state who are very interested in what their legislators think about animal welfare issues. We will ask them to vote and actively support animal-friendly candidates. Your suggestions and comments on these issues are also welcome. Thank you for taking the time to respond and best wishes in your campaign.  



                                          2010 State Legislative Candidate Questionnaire 


1.  In a recent legislature, Maine passed a bill that would allow the inclusion of pets in “protection from abuse” orders. Given the well established link between animal cruelty and domestic violence, this was significant as first-in-the-nation legislation. Would you have voted for this legislation?

Yes ____ No ____

2.  Canned hunts, so called “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” 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.  The state Animal Welfare Program, already under-funded, implemented a successful spay/neuter program that targets dogs and cats of Maine residents who are on public assistance. The program, ‘Help Fix Me’, has proven to dramatically reduce dog and cat euthanasia’s and animal control costs. The demand has out-stripped the initial funding figure. Would you be in favor of increasing funding for this program? 

Yes ___ No ____

4.  No one in Maine traps animals for a living today and therefore, steel leg-hold traps and certain snares serve no current practical use. Leg-hold traps and snares are unusually cruel and non-targeted animals, including family pets, can be caught in them. Would you support legislation to ban all leg-hold traps and snares with appropriate exceptions for animal damage control and research?

Yes ____ No ____

5.  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____

6.  Given the increased public awareness from the 2004 bear referendum, would you now vote for legislation to end the hunting of Maine black bears with the use of bait, hounds and traps? 

Yes ____ No ____

7.  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 greater ability to affect wildlife decisions?

Yes ____ No ____

8.  The seal hunt in Eastern Canada that brutally slaughters 300,000 hood seals each year continues. Given that Maine is a fellow maritime state and it is the closest US State to this inhumane massacre in Canada, would you support in the upcoming legislature a joint resolution calling on the government of Canada to end its sanctioning of the annual seal pup hunt?  

Yes____ No ____

9.  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 would require that dogs left outside on a continuous basis require the owner to take the dog off the chain/tether at least one hour a day?

Yes ____ No ____

10.  Although coyote “control” has been a controversial practice and despite a lawsuit to protect the endangered bobcat, there is still a hunting lobby who want to revisit coyote control in the legislature essentially centered on killing coyote and black bear to protect deer. 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 ____

11.  Maine has three small wild animal parks in which exotic animals like a lion, ostrich, kangaroo, wolf and tiger are kept in cages and unnatural and innately cruel environments. 

One has an elephant that is continually chained when not performing / giving rides.  These road side attraction / amusement parks are an outdated and inhumane form of entertainment.  Would you support legislation to close these exotic animal parks in Maine?

Yes ____ No ____

12. There is a small business operation in Maine that acts as a middleman to transport approximately 1,500 unwanted Maine horses to slaughter in Canada for meat consumption in Europe. Would you support legislation to close this operation? 

Yes ____ No _____


An animal welfare issue that I find the most compelling and one which I would be willing to _____ sponsor, _____ co-sponsor and/or ______ vote for / support would be: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

General comments:  _____________________________________________________________  


Name  _______________________   Address: _______________________________________

City: ___________________ Email: _____________________ Party affiliation: ___________   

District: ______ Cities/Towns in district: __________________________________________ 




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