But unfortunately, a few attorneys general have taken decidedly less animal friendly positions. In Missouri, Attorney General Chris Koster stumped for his state's "right to farm" amendment, which could prevent regulation of puppy mills and factory farms (it passed by a whisker, by a mere 0.2 percent of the vote). He also sued California to try to strike down AB 1437, a law banning the sale of eggs from hens confined to inhumane battery cages. Five other attorneys general signed on to his complaint. Thankfully a court saw through their false claims that they were representing all the people of their states and dismissed the lawsuit after finding that they were really representing just a few egg producers. The failed lawsuit, which Koster said would cost less than $10,000, ended up costing Missouri taxpayers more than $83,000.
The (dis)honor of the nation's least animal friendly attorney general, though, must surely go to Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt – one of the officials who signed on to the Koster lawsuit and is now engaged in a witch hunt without warrant. For the last year Pruitt has been harassing The HSUS, apparently on behalf of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, which opposed our successful campaign in Oklahoma to outlaw cockfighting. We also defeated a Farm Bureau-backed ballot measure that would have been a de facto ban on any future animal-welfare ballot initiatives. Especially after those two electoral wins, the Farm Bureau has opposed our efforts to crack down on puppy mills, horse slaughter, the exotic pet trade, factory farming, and just about every other animal welfare issue you can think of. While Pruitt has apparently not found the time to bring any major animal cruelty prosecutions in tenure in office, nor to advocate for any pro-animal welfare positions, he's found time to give a series of speeches and interviews to the Oklahoma Farm Bureau attacking The HSUS, making false and specious claims in the process. It's important to note that Pruitt launched this attack on The HSUS even though he's never received a complaint from any HSUS supporter in Oklahoma about our efforts to protect all animals.