A Donald Trump presidency would be an immense and critical threat to animals, given the power of the presidency in shaping animal welfare policy.
Just look at Trump’s closest advisors when it comes to food and agriculture and wildlife issues.
Trump’s sons, who are at the center of his campaign and act as surrogates for the candidate on hunting and wildlife issues, made headlines for shooting some of the rarest animals in the world as trophies—posing in photographs with a dead leopard and even holding the tail of a slain African elephant. Donald Jr. has been floated as a possible Interior Secretary—in charge of hundreds of millions of acres of federal lands, wildlife law enforcement, international treaties on trade and conservation, and import policies for wild animal parts and trophies. That’s like putting a fox in charge of the henhouse.
Then there’s Forrest Lucas, the money man who has put millions into a network of organizations devoted to fighting animal welfare. Lucas worked to let puppy mills operate without regulation. He backed horse slaughter for human consumption. And he’s an advocate of factory farming and animal confinement.
These people, if they direct a Trump administration, could wipe away animal protection laws. Trump himself has even called for the Food and Drug Administration to stop regulating pet food—not long after thousands of dogs and cats were sickened or died from consuming contaminated pet food and treats.