Pols rated on animal rights issues

The Brooklyn Paper
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If they had opposable thumbs and could pull an election booth lever, the borough’s pet population would vote these animals out of office!

The City Council’s Brooklyn delegation is stampeding on the rights of the city’s animals, according to a biting “Humane Scorecard” from the New York League of Humane Voters.

Their findings show that, on average, the council’s Brooklyn delegation supported humane legislation a paltry 48 percent of the time — far less than their counterparts in the other boroughs.

But it gets worse: some members of the Brooklyn delegation supported animal welfare issues less than 15 percent of the time, the group discovered.

The biggest “animal hater,” according to the scorecard, was Borough Park City Councilmember Simcha Felder, who the New York League of Humane Voters said supported animal right causes only 10 percent of the time.

Still, his score was better than in 2008, when he scored a 0.

“There is no chance [Felder] is going to get our support,” hissed John Phillips, executive director of the New York League of Humane Voters. “He’s hateful when it comes to humane causes.”

Other low scorers included Erik Martin Dilan of Bushwick and Mathieu Eugene of Kensington, who both came in at 13 percent and Mill Basin City Councilmember Lew Fidler, who supported humane causes 22 percent of the time.

Downtown Brooklyn councilmembers fared a little better, but not by much. David Yassky and Bill de Blasio were both ranked at 56 percent.

Yassky seems to be warming up to the city’s animal population −− last year he scored a 0 with Felder. Yet de Blasio must be afraid of getting fleas. His 56 percent score was far lower than the 80 percent he scored in 2008.

City pets’ “best friends” included City Councilmember Letitia James of Fort Greene and East New York Councilmember Charles Barron −− both received an 88 percent score −− and Bay Ridge City Councilmember Vincent Gentile, who voted for humane causes 75 percent of the time.

The borough with the highest score was Manhattan, where legislators voted favorably on humane causes 61 percent of the time. They were followed by the Bronx (55 percent) and Queens (53 percent), The borough with the worst humane record was Staten Island, which score 47 percent −− just under Brooklyn.

Yet Brooklyn’s 48 percent ranking was better than in 2008, where they received a 39 percent score.

Members of the New York League of Humane Voters said that the rankings were determined on how councilmembers voted on recent legislation about horse−drawn carriages, eliminating the authority of the ASPCA over the carriage industry and bills on companion animals and the ban on chaining animals for longer than three hours.

Over the past year, City Councilmembers also voted on a Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) program for stray cat colonies and mandated that pet shops should equip themselves with sprinklers. They also discussed if the city should ban the use of wild animals in circuses.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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