Joe Biden’s Record on Animals

After four years of Trump’s ruthless assault on animals and the environment, Americans yearn for a leader who will prioritize fighting climate change and protecting animals. What is President-elect Biden’s record on animals? During his decades in Congress, Biden drafted and sponsored legislation and cast hundreds of votes in favor of animals. He continued taking a stand as vice president. This list provides insight into a few of the causes he championed.

Climate Change
Biden voted to end oil industry subsidies and supported clean energy tax credits, increased fuel economy standards, and cuts to global warming pollution. He also voted to protect clean air and water and public lands and to safeguard fish and wildlife. Biden pledged to reverse Trump’s executive orders deregulating polluters and rejoin the Paris Agreement.

Animal Agriculture
Biden co-sponsored legislation that would ensure the humane euthanasia of farmed animals too injured or sick to walk, known as downers. Biden voted for an amendment that would end taxpayer subsidies for manure disposal for new or expanding concentrated animal feeding operations, and he supported the Animal Welfare Act.

Dogfighting and Cockfighting
Biden co-sponsored legislation to make it a felony to use animals for fighting.

Whale and Seal Hunts
Biden co-sponsored a bill to oppose whaling for whale meat, including for scientific purposes, and to provide for whale sanctuaries to protect them. He also co-sponsored a resolution urging the Canadian government ban seal hunting.

Biden co-sponsored the Horse Slaughter Prevention Act to ban killing horses for food and voted for an amendment that would end the exporting of horses for slaughter. Biden successfully prevented the USDA from inspecting horse slaughter plants, which ended horse meat consumption in the United States.

Biden voted repeatedly against opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development and drilling. He voted against building roads in national forests and in favor of EPA risk assessments and mercury clean-up.

Biden voted for an amendment that would end government subsidies for the mink industry.

Biden wrote and sponsored a bill to prevent trophy hunting of captive exotic mammals in fenced enclosures. He also voted for an amendment that would prevent using tax dollars for inhumane traps that often cause animals extreme suffering.  

Animal Experiments
Biden co-sponsored legislation to prevent the use of dogs and cats in research seized through dealers, which could include family companion animals. 

Biden co-sponsored legislation to protect dolphins from tuna fishing.

Companion Animal Adoption
President Biden and First Lady Dr. Biden rescued two shelter dogs: German Shepherds Champ and Major. Their example will inspire others to follow their lead instead of senselessly buying from commercial breeders, retailers, and puppy mills. 

Donald Trump’s policies negatively impacted animals and the environment. Biden’s track record indicates he will be a voice for farmed animals, marine mammals, and wildlife, especially given Vice President Harris’ support for animals. Biden’s policies will save and protect animals, so animal advocates should celebrate that they have a partner in the White House and continue to advocate to broaden and deepen his understanding of the importance of showing compassion for all animals.

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