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November 3, 2010

Voters Support Humane Policies on Election Day

(WASHINGTON)—Voters in Missouri have passed the nation's first statewide ballot measure to protect dogs from the worst abuses at puppy mills, and voters in Arizona resoundingly rejected a legislative power grab on wildlife management. The Humane Society of the United States led campaigns with coalition partners in both states, and these victories are the latest in a string of electoral victories in recent years through animal-protection ballot measures.
 
In Missouri, the puppy mill capital of the country, voters approved Proposition B to crack down on puppy mills. Puppy mills are mass-production facilities that cram dogs into small and filthy cages, deny the dogs proper veterinary care, expose them to extremes of heat and cold, and provide breeding dogs and puppies with no exercise or human affection. Prop B stops puppy mill abuses in Missouri by establishing common sense standards for the proper care of dogs, giving thousands of suffering dogs a better life. The HSUS was part of a coalition of groups that ran the statewide Missourians for the Protection of Dogs/YES! on Prop B campaign. The race was competitive, but in the end, Prop B won by more than 60,000 votes.
 
“It is hard to overestimate the importance of this victory for the national effort to protect dogs from abuse and neglect and to reduce euthanasia of dogs throughout the nation,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. “We won in the state where the puppy mill industry is strongest, and now it is time for the mills to begin to conduct animal care in a fundamentally different way.”
 
Voters sent a strong rebuke to the Arizona legislature and the NRA on Tuesday by rejecting Proposition 109 by a wide margin. Prop 109 would have amended the Arizona Constitution to give the legislature “exclusive” authority over wildlife issues while seeking to forbid citizens from initiating statutory petitions. It was the second time that voters rejected an effort by the trophy hunting lobby to insulate themselves from political decision-making by the people of Arizona. 
 
“It was wrong for the NRA to weaken the initiative process and to try to place hunting rights in a special political category largely beyond the reach of voters,” added Pacelle
 
HSUS also prevailed in its priority ballot measure races in November 2006 and November 2008, passing Proposition 2 in California and Proposition 204 in Arizona to phase out extreme confinement of farm animals, to ban greyhound racing in Massachusetts, and to block the establishment of a mourning dove hunting season in Michigan. The group has worked to pass a raft of other animal protection ballot measures around the nation in years prior, establishing the best win-loss record on ballot measure campaigns of any campaign or cause.

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