Alaskan congressman refuses award from 'extreme' HSUS
U.S. Representative Don Young of Alaska has refused an award from the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund after being recognized this week with 145 other members of Congress, according to a press release from his office.
"HSUS are hypocrites, plain and simple, and I will not join them by accepting this award," said Rep. Young, explaining his refusal. "Local animal shelters and humane societies do excellent work by caring for neglected and homeless animals, and through their spaying and neutering programs. This organization, however, has absolutely nothing to do with animal welfare. Instead they prey on the emotions of big-hearted Americans."
He elaborated on his reasons on the floor of the House:
I've been a hunter all my life. And they're against hunting. And that bothered me.
Humane Society COO and HSLF president Michael Markarian said that while HSUS "[disagrees] with [Rep. Young's] views on most animal welfare policies," they "also believe in giving credit where credit is due and recognizing positive actions."
Rep. Young equated HSUS to "PETA and other extremist organizations", suggesting the award was due to his work on Wildlife Without Borders:
They flash images of abused animals on our television screens to raise money that will eventually go to pay their salaries and pensions, not to helping better the lives of these animals. They run anti-hunting and anti-trapping campaigns and are of the same cloth as PETA and other extremist organizations.
I can only guess that I was to receive this award due to my support of the Wildlife Without Borders program, which develops wildlife management and conservation efforts to maintain global species diversity. That program is true conservation; what this group wants is preservation. To accept this award would be supporting their manipulative ways and misguided agenda, and I want no part of that.
His office also said HSUS "does not own, operate, or directly control a single animal shelter in the USA, despite a budget of well over $100 million."
For those curious about the Wildlife Without Borders program, read the brochure provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which helps countries conserve their wildlife, especially endangered species.