Bernie Sanders on Animal Welfare

Bernie Sanders is an advocate of animal welfare and ensuring animals’ humane treatment. He has co-sponsored several pieces of legislation to protect the interests of animals and has recently received a 100 percent rating from the Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF).

Breeding and Captivity Practices

Animals that are being bred and kept captive should be kept in the proper environment for a healthy and stress-free life.

What is Bernie’s opinion on inhumane breeding and captivity practices?

Bernie believes that all animals prosper in a good environment. He has made it clear in his legislative record that it is horrific and cruel to jam an animal into a cramped cage with inadequate food and water.

Bernie cosponsored the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act, which would prevent the breeding and possession of big cats. Bernie also cosponsored the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act, which would make breeders and pet stores provide puppies with good environments, and the Captive Primate Safety Act, which would make it unlawful for a person to receive, import, export, acquire, sell, or purchase a live animal of any prohibited wildlife species.

Why do some people provide animals with inadequate environments?

People often treat animals poorly to save money, though some people who abuse animals may gain pleasure from seeing the animal harmed. Others do not believe that animals can suffer or do not see the point in spending money for their animals. Although animals typically require ample space and suitable surroundings in which to thrive, many who are trusted with their care refuse to provide this for them. Bernie is working to improve animal care through the aforementioned legislation.

Livestock Issues

Even though livestock animals are raised specifically for consumption, we have an ethical responsibility to make sure they are raised humanely.

What is Bernie doing to improve the conditions of livestock?

Bernie cosponsored the Egg Products Inspection Act, which mandates improved conditions for egg-laying chickens by eliminating the use of uninhabitable cages, phasing in environmental enrichment and embracing the economic realities of the industry.

What about the animals which should not be slaughtered for food?

There are certain types of animals the vast majority of Americans view as companions rather than sources of food, such as horses. Bernie cosponsored the Safeguard American Food Exports Act, which would prohibit the slaughter of horses for meat.

Cruelty Toward Animals

Animals should never be subjected to any behavior from a person in a way that causes immense or prolonged suffering.

What are Bernie’s views on animal cruelty?

Bernie has championed the fight against animal cruelty, receiving a rating of 100 percent from the Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF), indicating a pro-animal welfare voting record.

What policy proposals has Bernie supported?

Bernie cosponsored the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, which would criminalize attending an animal fighting event. He also cosponsored the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, which would impose harsh penalties on those who use a method of encouraging horses to lift their legs higher by causing pain in their feet.

Protecting Wildlife

Bernie believes that endangered species and wild animals must be protected from human caused threats and allowed to flourish in their natural habitats.

How has Bernie been ranked by pro-wildlife organizations?

Bernie has received one of the highest scores given to a U.S. Senator from Defenders of Wildlife, an organization dedicated to the protection of wildlife in their natural habitats.

What actions has Bernie taken to protect endangered species?

Bernie opposed the repeal of the Alaska Wildlife Refuge Rule that had prohibited some hunting practices to reduce bear, wolf, and coyote populations on national wildlife refuges in Alaska.

Bernie voted in favor of prohibiting any funding intended for the destruction of wild animals to protect livestock unless humans or animal species are under threat. He voted against the weakening of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and voted in favor of two amendments to strengthen it. In 2008, Bernie signed onto this letter to the U.S. Department of the Interior, opposing efforts to weaken the protection of endangered species.