Alaskan Republican Rep. Don Young rejected an award Wednesday night from The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), instead calling them hypocrites and money grubbers.
The award was meant to honor Young for his work introducing the “Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Amendments.” Young did not, however, mince words in objecting to the entire organization, citing its high $100 million budget and sparse good works.
“HSUS are hypocrites, plain and simple, and I will not join them by accepting this award,” said Young. “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. 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.”
One of Young’s biggest objections to the group is their anti-hunting and trapping campaigns. Young added that he does not want to be tricked into supporting their agenda.
“They run anti-hunting and anti-trapping campaigns and are of the same cloth as PETA and other extremist organizations,” he said. “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.”
Michael Markarian, Chief Operating Officer of The Humane Society of the United States and president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, explained the groups reasoning behind awarding Young with their prize, but did not go into his rejection of it.
“HSUS and HSLF give awards each year to members of Congress who are lead sponsors of animal protection bills, and we recognized Rep. Young for introducing the Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Amendments (H.R. 844) in the 111th Congress,” Markarian told TheDC. “We disagree with his views on most animal welfare policies, but we also believe in giving credit where credit is due and recognizing positive actions.”
Nevertheless, until Markarian shoots a grizzly with Young at his side, Young likely will continue to be wary of the organization, awards or not.