Government Affairs

Legislative Scorecard

MSPCA "Legislative Scorecard" Highlights Massachusetts Legislators’ Voting History on Animal Welfare

 BOSTON — The MSPCA has released its updated Legislative Scorecard highlighting key votes by local legislators on animal welfare issues. The MSPCA’s scorecard is a compilation of votes and additional legislative actions, designed to inform citizens of how their state and federal legislators performed on humane issues.  

“Animal-friendly legislators have passed several important animal protection bills in recent years and we hope to continue this trend through informative discussions and grassroots advocacy,” said MSPCA Director of Advocacy, Kara Holmquist. “While we have made tremendous strides in Massachusetts to protect animals, as well as benefiting many residents of the Commonwealth, there still remain many important humane issues that need to be addressed and that demand our attention. We look forward to working with legislators on the issues before them to protect animals.”

Animal welfare issues contained within the scorecard include:

· Roll call votes and co-sponsorship of bills regarding the use of body-gripping traps to capture wild animals 

· Roll call votes on greyhound racing and the endorsement of the Greyhound Protection Act

· Co-sponsorship of bills to improve animal control, allow pets to be included in temporary restraining orders issued in domestic violence cases, ban the use of the bullhook on elephants as well as several wildlife issues

· Co-sponsorship and committee votes on several farm animal bills

“Traditionally there are few roll call votes on animal issues,” said MSPCA Deputy Director of Advocacy, Linda Huebner. “To create a well-rounded analysis of each legislator’s position we used data from several years, including roll call and committee votes, as well as co-sponsorship of key bills...”

The MSPCA encourages people who care about animals to join the Animal Action Team (www.mspca.org/JoinTheTeam) and to meet with legislators (in the State House or the district office), write to them and ask about positions on specific animal issues. If legislators have been supportive of animal issues, the MSPCA asks that local constituents please take a few minutes to thank them. In addition to the ratings, the MSPCA’s scorecard profiles several legislators who have worked to support animal protection legislation.

Read a past Legislative Scorecard (many legislators are still in office and have good/bad votes on animal issues seen here).

New:  Given the lack or recent roll call votes, we have created a spreadsheet so that you can see which bills your legislators sponsored and co-sponsored.  Note that there is only about a 2-week window for co-sponsoring bills, so if your legislator did not sign on to an animal bill, please ask him or her why.  It might not indicate lack of support of the issue (for example, many new legislators who had just taken office did not co-sponsor any bills).  View the Co-sponsor spreadsheet.