Monday, December 29, 2008

Agriculture Secretary a Good Pick for Advocates

President-elect Barack Obama's recent pick of former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack as incoming Agriculture Secretary was disappointing to at least some of the interest groups focused on a food reform agenda for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

But many animal advocates are happy about the new cabinet pick.

The Humane Society of the United States is among those groups that are endorsing Vilsack.  On his blog, HSUS head Wayne Pacelle notes the former Iowa governor had a strong record on many animal protection issues that came up in Iowa—everything from cracking down on animal fighting to vetoing legislation that would have classified puppy mill dogs as "farm products" and allowed mourning dove hunting in the state. In his new post, Vilsack will have to confront major food policy issues, and we'll be advocating strongly for a fresh new perspective at the agency, Pacelle said.

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