The Humane Society Legislative Fund, a new political arm of the Humane Society of the United States, actively worked to elect or defeat lawmakers based on issues key to animal rightists, such as banning horse slaughter.

Sara Amundson, HSLF executive director, sees her group as doing for animal welfare what organizations like the National Rifle Association has accomplished for gun owners.

Lawmakers and the agriculture industry are concerned about the organization’s growing political influence and budget.

Unlike its parent organization, HSUS, the legislative fund is organized under a tax law that allows nonprofit groups to spend money actively campaigning for and against lawmakers. HSUS directs its spending to ballot measures and lobbying. Last year, it raised about $125 million. Of that, $2.8 million was spent on state ballot issues, including the Arizona gestation-sow and veal crate ban.

Source: Pork magazine