President-elect Barack Obama has made his most animal-relevant Cabinet appointments: Secretary of Agriculture and Secretary of the Interior. Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack has received the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)’s resounding endorsement as the next Secretary of Agriculture. Approximately 90,000 animal advocates petitioned Obama through the HSUS website to appoint Vilsack for this post based on his solid record of animal protection.
U.S. Senator Ken Salazar of Colorado will serve as Secretary of Interior. His appointment marked a disappointment for animal advocates, given Salazar’s mixed record in support of animal legislation. As Secretary of the Interior, Salazar will oversee the enforcement of wildlife laws, including the Endangered Species Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act. For his part, Vilsack will assume responsibility for enforcing laws relating to puppy mills and animal fighting, as well as oversee the Animal Welfare Act and Humane Methods of Slaughter Act.
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