Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy Welcome Veteran Animal Advocate

Scott Beckstead teaches animal law, served as small-town mayor, and hails from the West

The Center for a Humane Economy and Animal Wellness Action today announced the hiring of Scott Beckstead as the organizations’ Director of Campaigns. An attorney, a professor of animal law at Willamette University College of Law, a former mayor of Waldport, Oregon, and a long-time animal advocate, Mr. Beckstead will work on a wide range of policy issues for the organizations.

Mr. Beckstead is a lifelong horseman and has fought against the slaughter of horses for human consumption and against wide-scale roundups of wild horses and burros throughout the West. He is an outspoken critic of the BLM’s current approach to mass roundups and the agency’s minimal use of humane fertility control programs in the field.

In his new role, Beckstead brings his experience and expertise to bear as he steps onto the national stage as a leader in the animal protection sector. In addition to his work on horse protection, Beckstead will also work to extend his long history of animal welfare policy accomplishments in the state of Oregon, including efforts to reform inhumane wildlife management practices, factory farming, and industrial mink farming.

“I am proud to join the great teams at the Center and AWA and look forward to helping them advance their ambitious animal welfare objectives,” said Beckstead. “I am especially excited to finally be able to put my passion for equines and my understanding of wild horse and burro policy to work at the national level.”

“We’re elated to have Scott on our team and have no doubt that his work to protect our iconic American equines, promote more humane and sustainable agriculture, and defend wildlife will further elevate our organization and fulfill our mission,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action. “Scott Beckstead cares more about protecting horses than just about anyone I know.”

“Scott blends legal acumen, political savvy, and unshakeable commitment to animal welfare,” notes Wayne Pacelle, president of the Center for a Humane Economy and Animal Wellness Action.  “He has an incredible track record of success, and I think that’s just the beginning of what he’s going to achieve for horses, wildlife, and other animals threatened by human cruelty and greed.”

A native of Idaho, Beckstead teaches Animal Law, Wildlife Law and Policy, and Endangered Species Act at Willamette University College of Law since 2010. Most recently, Beckstead led a program working with farmers and ranchers who adhere to more humane, sustainable, and regenerative animal husbandry practices.  He served as mayor of Waldport, Oregon for five years. He lives in Sutherlin, Oregon with his wife, Jackie, their children, grandson, and a menagerie that includes dogs, cats, and a rabbit named Mr. Hobbes.

Animal Wellness Action (Action) is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) organization with a mission of helping animals by promoting legal standards forbidding cruelty. We champion causes that alleviate the suffering of companion animals, farm animals, and wildlife. We advocate for policies to stop dogfighting and cockfighting and other forms of malicious cruelty and to confront factory farming and other systemic forms of animal exploitation. To prevent cruelty, we promote enacting good public policies, and we work to enforce those policies. To enact good laws, we must elect good lawmakers, and that’s why we remind voters which candidates care about our issues and which ones don’t. We believe helping animals helps us all.

 The Center for a Humane Economy (“the Center”) is a non-profit organization that focuses on influencing the conduct of corporations to forge a humane economic order. The first organization of its kind in the animal protection movement, the Center encourages businesses to honor their social responsibilities in a culture where consumers, investors, and other key stakeholders abhor cruelty and the degradation of the environment and embrace innovation as a means of eliminating both.

Contact: Marty Irby, 202-821-5686 |






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