NAIA Trust

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

NAIA Trust is an affiliated 501(c)(4) "legislative branch" of the National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA), a front group and industry funded lobbying organization for animal commerce and agriculture based in Portland, Oregon.

Overview

Agendas include financial interests, legislation and public relations for animal agribusiness, commercial breeding, hunting, fishing, trapping, fur ranching, animal testing and animals in entertainment. [1] The NAIA Trust appears to be primarily focused on legislative opposition to humane welfare laws and regulations concerning breeders, pet stores and research facilities.

Lobbying against humane legislation

According to its website, the NAIA Trusts' mission includes promoting "animal welfare" and "safeguarding the rights of responsible animal owners". This includes "sounding the alarm" about threats to the "human-animal bond" by "people who mistreat animals and by animal rights and environmental zealots." The NAIA Trust counters "misinformation" of the environmental and animal rights movement. [2] In fact, the NAIA lobbies in the interests of its "members" by tracking humane legislation across the country at all jurisdictions (federal, state, city and county). [3], [4] It opposes progressive legislation such as spay/neuter, breeding restrictions and humane standards. It also endorses inhumane and unnecessary surgeries such tail docking, ear cropping, debarking and declawing. The NAIA supports horse slaughter, factory farming, pound seizure and puppy mills. See also National Animal Interest Alliance, sections 2 through 6.

Action Alerts

NAIA Trust reliably opposes or severely curtails humane and progressive welfare legislation, particularly legislation designed to address pet overpopulation. [5] Opposition falls neatly into the category of "extremism". For example, a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance for Austin Texas (requiring a yearly licensing fee for breeders) is referred to as a "radical anti-breeder ordinance". [6]

HR 2669 Pet Animal Welfare Statute (PAWS), 109th Congress, 2005-06 (defeated)

The Pet Animal Welfare Statute S. 1139/HR 2669 (PAWS) was introduced by Senator Richard Santorum of Pennylvania, a state long plagued with the problem of unregulated breeding operations or puppy mills. PAWS classified home breeders producing over six litters and selling over 25 animals a year as dog and cat dealers. The bill would have required them to meet minimal standards of housing and care. [7]

NAIA Trust criticizes this bill's failure to "exempt individuals and organizations that rescue dogs and place them in new homes". [8]

Incredibly, this "animal welfare trust", makes no distinctions between rescue organizations and profitable breeding operations. Backyard breeders often keep their animals in cages, pens or on chains 24/7, exposed to the elements and with no socialization or medical care. [9]

Helms amendment to S. 1731 USDA Farm Bill Amendment, 107th Congress, 2001-02 (passed)

Over 90% of the animals used in experimentation are purposely excluded from protection under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), the only federal law which over sees animal testing. Rats, mice, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish are not covered and expressly eliminated from all safeguards. Species not covered under the AWA do not even have to be reported. [10] The Senate accepted an amendment introduced by the late Jesse Helms, a republican senator from North Carolina, to bar the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from including these animals under the AWA. [11] See also animal testing, section 2.1.

NAIA Trust proposed to "protect the biomedical research community" from the USDA and its "unwarranted and cost prohibitive oversight". According to the NAIA Trust:

"Failure to include the Helms amendment in the final version of the bill will force the USDA to propose a rule by which rats, mice and birds will be brought under the agency of the AWA, a costly endeavor for taxpayers and a regulation nightmare for scientists." [12]

The NAIA Trust does not elaborate on why humane standards should be a "regulation nightmare" nor their uncharacteristic concern for taxpayers. The NAIA lobbies against spay/neuter, breeding restrictions and licensing fees, all of which ease tax burdens. Every year, communities spend millions of dollars and vast amounts of volunteer hours coping with surplus pets. [13] Industries represented by the NAIA include factory farming, rodeos, foie gras, hunting, fur ranching, trapping and animal testing, all of which are government subsidized. [14]

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) spends hundreds of millions of dollars every year funding a bottomless pit of animal research duplication, that accomplishes nothing more than funneling tax dollars into nationally known laboratories. A 2001 audit for 30 facilities revealed that approximately 56% received over 100 million per year from the NIH for animal research. [15] See also U.S. Government's War on Animals, section 5.

See also National Animal Interest Alliance, section 2, on Lobbying against humane legislation & animal advocacy groups.

Trustees

  • John T Connolly - President
  • Wyoma Clouss - Secretary
  • Caren Cowen
  • Laurella Desborough
  • Anne Edwards
  • Dennis Foster
  • Pat Hastings
  • Patte Klecan - Vice President
  • Pat Kaufman
  • Marjorie Martorella
  • Patti Strand - co-founder & NAIA National Director - Dalmatian breeder since 1969 and AKC board member since 1995.
  • Cindy Schonholtz - NAIA Vice President - "Long-time animal welfare consultant for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association" and founder of the Animal Welfare Council, a horse industry lobby. [16], [17]

Legal advisory board members

  • Julian Prager, attorney at law - NAIA Legislative Coordinator - Legislative Chair for the PA Federation of Dog Clubs (PFDC), member of the PA Dog Law Advisory Board (DLAB), Bulldog breeder, exhibitor and AKC judge.
  • Terri Cannon, Attorney at Law
  • Donna Herzig, Attorney at Law
  • Mark Klecan, Attorney at Law
  • Andrew P. Ositis, Attorney at Law
  • Leo Siegal, Attorney at Law
  • Sharon Steckler, Attorney at Law
  • Jerrold Tannenbaum, Attorney at Law
  • Genevieve Wall, Attorney at Law [18], [19]

Contact

NAIA
11402 Se Flavel St
Portland, OR 97290-6579
503-761-1139

NAIA
PO Box 66579
Portland, OR 97290-6579

Web address: http://www.naiatrust.org/index.htm

Articles & resources

SourceWatch articles

References

  1. Sites of interest, National Animal Interest Alliance, accessed January 2009
  2. Welcome to NAIA Trust, NAIA Trust, accessed February 2009
  3. Legislative Corner, NAIA Trust, accessed February 2009
  4. State, County, Municipal Bills Pending: Listed by State, NAIA Trust, accessed February 2009
  5. Legislative Corner: NAIA Trust Action Alerts - Archives, NAIA Trust, accessed February 2009
  6. Action Alert: Austin Texas dog and cat owners need to attend May 17 meeting!,NAIA Trust, accessed February 2009
  7. Text of S. 1139, 109th: Pet Animal Welfare Statute, govtrack.us, 2005
  8. Action Alert: NAIA Trust opposes (PAWS) S 1139/H 2669, NAIA Trust, accessed January 2009
  9. Jane Seymour That Bulldog in the Window, Friends of Animals, accessed January 2009
  10. The Animal Care Program and the USDA's Authority Under the AWA: Q & A, U.S. Department of Agriculture, APHIS Fact Sheet, July 2005, page 2
  11. U.S. Senate Passes Farm Bill Addressing Animal Fighting, Puppy Mills, Farm Animals and Bears, Humane Society of the United States, February 2002
  12. Action Alert: Amendment to the Farm Bill: Support the Helms Amendment to the Farm Bill and protect biomedical research involving rats, mice, and birds, NAIA Trust, accessed February 2009
  13. The Crisis of Pet Overpopulation, HSUS, May 2007
  14. Mark Hawthorn, Spoiler Alert: 10 Things Animal Exploiters Do Not Want You to Know, Oped News, pg 2, February 2008
  15. Micheal A. Budkie The Animal Experimentation Scandal: An Audit of the NIH: Funding of Animal Experimentation: Audit Findings, Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!, 2001
  16. Meet Our Trustees, NAIA Trust, accessed December 2009
  17. NAIA Board and Staff, NAIA, accessed September 2009
  18. NAIA Trust Legal Advisory Board Members, NAIA Trust, accessed December 2009
  19. NAIA Board and Staff, NAIA, accessed September 2009