LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Fast-food restaurant operator Yum Brands Inc. spent $200,000 lobbying officials in the third quarter, focusing on legislation dealing with tax depreciation for restaurant improvements, health care and the dairy industry, according to a recent disclosure report.

That's down 44 percent from the $360,000 the Louisville-based owner of the KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut chains spent in the third quarter of 2010, and down 27 percent from the $275,000 it spent in the second quarter of 2011, according to reports the company filed with the House clerk's office.

Yum Brands also lobbied on legislation to require a secret ballot vote in all union elections.

In the highly competitive fast-food sector, the appearance of restaurants, both inside and outside, can be a factor in luring customers. Yum lobbied Congress on legislation that would make permanent the 15-year depreciation schedule for restaurant improvements, new construction and leasehold improvements.

The company, which goes through mounds of cheese for its pizzas, tacos and other products, also lobbied Congress on legislation aimed at replacing current dairy safety net programs with milk-feed price margin insurance. The bill would scrap the current federal dairy program and set up a margin-based safety net. Federal support would kick in when margins are squeezed.

Copyright 2011 The AP.

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