MFOA 2018 State Legislative Candidate Questionnaire

Dear Legislative Candidate:

We realize that you receive numerous inquiries regarding your position on various issues, but we believe most of your constituents care about animals, and therefore we ask that you take a moment to complete this brief questionnaire pertaining to issues that affect pets and other animals in Maine. 

For 20 years, Maine Friends of Animals [MFOA] has been 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 further information about our organization, please  visit our website at and/or contact Executive Director Robert Fisk, Jr. at

MFOA has over 1,500 members and supporters throughout the state who are very interested in what their legislators think about animal welfare issues. We encourage 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.   [July, 2018]


                                     2018 State Legislative Candidate Questionnaire 

1.  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, many unhealthy and with physical and/or psychological impairments, are also sold to some pet stores. Currently, three is out of 75 licensed pet shops in Maine sell dogs originating from mostly out-of-state puppy mills. Would you support legislation to end the sales of puppy mill dogs in Maine?                                                                                          Yes ____ No ____

2.  Canned hunts are trophy hunts in which animals are kept in a confined area to increase the likelihood of the hunter obtaining a kill. There are several hunting/game ranches on private land in Maine that raise exotic or non-native wildlife, e.g., elk, wild boar, fallow deer and bison, in a fenced enclosure with no chance of escape. Clients, mostly out-of-state trophy hunters, pay large sums of money to participate in the “hunt” with a guaranteed no kill/no bill policy. Canned hunting has been banned or restricted in 20 states.  Would you support legislation to end this practice in Maine?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                        Yes ___ No_____

3.   Each year about 1,500 horses are transported to and through Maine to slaughter in Quebec for human consumption in other countries. The entire process, including the slaughter auction, the method of transportation, the feedlots, the slaughter plants – everything up to and especially their death – is cruel and inhumane. Does an animal that has served mankind in so many ways, for so long, and so well deserve the horrific fate of being slaughtered? In 2013, the Maine House passed MFOA legislation which would have banned transport of horses from and through Maine to slaughter in Canada as well as the building of any horse slaughter plant in Maine. The Governor, however, opposed the bill. Would you have supported this legislation?                                                                                Yes ____ No ____

4.  In 2016, the Connecticut legislature enacted a law (Public Law 16-30) that has come to be known informally as Desmond’s Law, named after the dog who was subjected to severe animal cruelty.  The law allows courts to appoint supervised law students or volunteer lawyers who advocate for justice in animal cruelty cases.  Although difficult to obtain statistics in Maine, it is believed, based on anecdotal information, that the majority of animal cruelty cases are either settled or not prosecuted in Maine for various reasons, including allocation of resources, the crowding of the courts’ dockets and other events.  As we come to understand more about animals and cruelty to animals, we know that a clear link has been established between violence to animals and violence to humans, as well as the law’s recognition that animals are sentient beings.  A law such as Desmond’s Law would add additional resources to the prosecutors and the courts, without additional costs in cases of cruelty to dogs and cats.  Would you support such legislation?                                                                                  

                                                                                                                                         Yes ____  No ____

5.  In 2004 and again in 2014, Maine Friends of Animals, The Humane Society of the 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”; these methods are unsportsmanlike, inhumane and unnecessary. The majority of Maine black bears are taken by low skill, out-of-state “trophy hunters.”  Although both referendums were marginally defeated, they brought public awareness to these hunting practices.  Would you support legislation to permit only fair chase hunting of bears as is practiced in other states?      Yes ____ No ____                                                            

6.  Decisions regarding Maine’s wildlife are determined by a few legislators in its oversight committee, the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, 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 contributed 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, including representation on the IF&W Advisory Council?                                                                                                              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 and is seldom enforced; making it a criminal offense (class C) would be an added deterrent. The House and Senate passed our bill, but the Governor vetoed it. Would you support this legislation if re-introduced in the next 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 unfortunately many are chained to a doghouse where they eat, drink, urinate, defecate and sleep in the same confined area day after day, night after night, month after month with no or very little human contact or medical care. Some have even frozen to death. Would you support legislation that would require dogs to be untethered for a brief time each day?                                                   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. Despite the fact wildlife biologists are nearly unanimous in the opinion 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 is fiscally irresponsible to further burden an under-funded DIF&W.  Would you oppose coyote control legislation?  Yes ____ No _____                                                                          

10. Like greyhound racing, which was exposed for its cruelty, harness racing is a dying industry. Over the last two decades, there has been precipitous declines in racing audiences and the money waged on betting. Nevertheless, Maine has funneled millions of taxpayer dollars from slot revenues to racing tracks each year. Without these massive subsidies, harness racing could not survive as it loses more money every year.  Should the state be shoring up a dying, inhumane and outdated industry when those millions could go toward economic development, education, healthcare or other under-funded services?  Would you support a review of the Cascade Fund from slot machines that primarily funds the harness racing industry in the state?                                                                             Yes ____ No ____  


Question(s) #  _________  I would be willing to  _____ sponsor   _____ co-sponsor

Question(s) #  _________  I would be willing to  _____ sponsor  _____ co-sponsor

Other animal welfare issues of interest or animal legislation I would like to see:  



Name:_______________________ Address:_______________________________

City: __________________Email: ______________________ Party affiliation: ____   

House or Senate District: (H)______ (S) _____ Cities/Towns in district: 





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