Thursday, December 23, 2010

Senate approves Pearson for U.S. District Court in Northern Ohio

Judge Pearson was recommended for the District Court position by Sen. Sherrod Brown and nominated by President Obama in December, 2009.

Pearson is currently an Adjunct Professor at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law where she teaches Animal Law. Listed in her Senate questionnaire responses were memberships in Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), and American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Senate Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees

Her association with animal rights groups, particularly ALDF, was questioned by Senator Jeff Sessions (R, AL):

"In your questionnaire, you noted that you are a member of the Animal Legal Defense Fund (“ALDF”). As you noted during your hearing, you also teach Animal Law at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. According to the syllabus you provided, your course includes a section devoted to constitutional standing. The ALDF advocates that animals should be considered “legal persons” and have “standing” in court. Do you believe that animals should be conferred legal standing to bring a lawsuit?"

Judge Pearson Response: Existing laws do not confer standing upon animals. On a case by case basis, however, courts have addressed whether standing should be conferred upon the legal representative of an animal. See, e.g., Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555 (1992) (finding that respondent lacked standing); Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Glickman, 154 F.3d 426 (D.C. Cir. 1998) (en banc) (finding ALDF had standing to challenge the treatment of primates). If confirmed as a United States District Judge, I will enforce applicable legal precedent.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) expressed its opposition to Pearson's nomination as a federal judge, claiming she has ties to animal activists and urged Senate members to vote against her appointment. NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall said Pearson’s connections to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, an organization that advocates giving animals the same legal rights as humans, would make it difficult for her to be an impartial judge in cases regarding actions by animal rights activists.

December 21, 2010. U.S. Senate confirmed U.S. Magistrate Judge Benita Y. Pearson by a vote of 56-39 to sit on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

ALDF describes itself as attorneys active in shaping the emerging field of animal law. They specialize in "filing groundbreaking lawsuits to stop animal abuse and expand the boundaries of animal law." ALDF advocates changing the legal status of animals from property to personhood.

“Everything we are doing lays the foundation for the one day when animals will have rights" ....“We need to get in their faces and sue the animal users so often they don’t know which courtroom they’re supposed to appear in next.” Valerie Stanley, ALDF Attorney June, 1996

ALDF is a partner in The Great Ape Legal Project, a joint project between ALDF and the Great Ape Project International, working to establish legal rights for nonhuman great apes.

The ALDF website explains, "Through this groundbreaking enterprise, ALDF is working to improve the legal status of nonhuman animals, who continue to be viewed by the courts — despite the clearer vision of scientists, philosophers and animal guardians everywhere — as mere property. "Animals have never been made a part of our legal system," explains ALDF President Steve Ann Chambers. "As a result, there is no legal recourse when they're exploited and abused."

According to the Great Ape Project mission statement, "the exploitation of great primates in laboratories, circus, entertainment shows and zoos can be considered a kind of slavery, reminding what men used to do with others of his own kind who were considered to be inferior a little bit more than one century ago."

ALDF also works to establish Student Animal Legal Defense Fund Chapters at Law Schools. Student chapters work with ALDF to advance the interests of animals through the legal system. Currently 152 U.S Chapters and 8 International Chapters have been established.

Decision announced on Louisiana dog-deer hunting



ATLANTA (December 17, 2010) USDA Forest Service officials announced today the decision to prohibit the use of dogs to hunt deeron the Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana. The decision has no effect on the current hunting season, but will be implemented during the 2011-2012 season.

The Kisatchie National Forest and the Southern Region conducted an in-depth environmental analysis and reviewedmore than 1,200 public comments before issuing the decision. Comments included concerns about this activity's effects on public safety,impacts on adjacent private landsand the potential loss of this type of hunting opportunity.

This decision addresses the need to reduce safety concerns by limiting conflicts between dog-deer hunters, other forest users and adjacent landowners, said Liz Agpaoa, Regional Forester for the Southern Region. Through the analysis we have determined that dog-deer hunting is no longer appropriate on the Kisatchie National Forest.

Currently, the Kisatchie National Forest is the only public land within Louisiana with a wildlife management mandate where dog-deer hunting is allowed. Conflicts occur between users when deer-hunting dogs range beyond the control of hunters and trespass onto private land.

Over the last several years, adjacent landowners and other forest users have expressed concerns to the Forest Service on issues ranging from livestock harassment, personal confrontations, shooting from and across roads and road damage from the influx of dog-deer hunters.

We will continue to work with the State of Louisiana to implement this decision, Agpaoa said.

The decision allows for administrative appeal. For more information about this decision, please visit the Kisatchie National Forest website

USDA Forest Service
Kisatchie National Forest

Dog-deer Hunting Forest Plan Amendment

On December 16, 2010, Regional Forester Liz Agpaoa decided to amend the Kisatchie National Forest’s 1999 Revised Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan) in order to add new direction for hunting deer with dogs on the Forest. The proposed changes will add a new standard to prohibit the use of dogs to hunt deer on the entire Kisatchie National Forest (Alternative 2 in the Environmental Assessment). These changes will provide management direction for the remainder of the current Plan period, or until modified by a subsequent amendment or revision.

Environmental Assessment Report published April 2010 Proposed Plan Amendment
Prohibiting Dog-Deer Hunting

Related articles:
Leesville Daily Leader. Dog-deer hunters fear loss of age-old tradition

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

104,100 Pounds of Venison Donated During Hunting Season so far

Venison donations to be taken though February 6, 2011

COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio deer hunters have donated more than 104,100 pounds of venison to local food banks so far this deer season, according to Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.

“I am happy to see this program continue to grow each year. Ohio hunters once again have shown their generosity so Ohio’s food pantries will receive the nutritious red meat they so desperately need,” said David M. Graham, chief of the Division of Wildlife.

The 104,100 pounds equals approximately 416,400 meals for needy Ohioans. To date, 2,082 deer have been donated with plenty of deer hunting opportunity left in the 2010-11 season. Last year at this time, 1,910 deer had been donated representing 95,500 pounds of venison.

Last year FHFH collected 116,750 pounds of venison from 2,336 deer through the entire season, which ran from September 2009 to February 7, 2010. Ohio county chapters with the highest numbers of deer donations so far are: Licking-208; Muskingum, Morgan and Perry-189; Coshocton, Tuscarawas, and Knox-160; Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Meigs, Vinton and Washington-137; and Franklin-121.

“We are thrilled that the partnership between FHFH and ODNR has resulted in greater numbers of donated deer – and meals provided – across Ohio again this year. With high unemployment in many areas fueling an even greater need for nutritious food items at food banks and feeding ministries, this growth could not have come at a better time, ” according to Josh Wilson, FHFH national operations director.

Hunters still have a weekend of deer-gun hunting, December 18-19, and eight weeks of archery hunting in Ohio. Archery season remains open until February 6. The statewide muzzleloader deer-hunting season will be held, January 8 – 11, 2011.

Full Story ..

Group plans suit for nationwide gray wolf recovery

The ink isn't dry on the USFWS announcement to delist Western Great Lakes wolves and another suit is being planned by animal rights activists. In its press release, the FWS noted that “wolves continue to exceed recovery goals and are no longer threatened with extinction.” The USFWS delisting proposal for delisting gray wolves will be published by April 2011. (See SAOVA Dec. 14 blog post)

Group plans suit for nationwide gray wolf recovery
Posted: Dec 21, 2010 11:15 AM by Beth Saboe (KPAX Media Center)
Updated: Dec 21, 2010 11:30 AM

An Arizona environmental group says it plans to sue the federal government for failing to develop a recovery plan for gray wolves in the lower 48 states.

The Center for Biological Diversity says a protection plan is required by the Endangered Species Act and should have been developed 30 years ago or more.

The group wants the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to create a national recovery plan to help existing wolves populations and return wolves to some of their historic range around the country.

"Wolves are an integral part of this country's natural history and need a national recovery plan now," said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center.

According to the notice filed with the Interior Department, the government has 60 days to act or the Center will sue.

"It is time for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to chart a new course for wolf recovery," said Greenwald. "This plan is badly needed to establish new goals and management for existing wolf populations and as a blueprint for establishing wolves in additional areas."

According to a press release from the Center, a national recovery plan could specify a legally defensible path for truly recovering wolves and provide certainty for states that have wolf populations.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Nebraska to HSUS: No deal

Feedstuffs December 16 2010 by Rod Smith

Neb. Gov. Dave Heineman has laid out his position on any effort by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to change agricultural practices in Nebraska: "No compromise, no deal."

In an interview, he said HSUS "is anti-agriculture and out to destroy animal agriculture," and if the organization tries to do in Nebraska what it has done in other states, it will be "in for a fight."

HSUS has increased its presence in Nebraska in recent weeks, with chief executive officer and president Wayne Pacelle conducting a town hall meeting and retaining a state coordinator.

Friday, December 17, 2010

NJ: Officials say 591 bears killed in hunt

TRENTON — New Jersey wildlife officials said Sunday that 591 bears were killed during the state’s six-day hunt this week.

The hunt, New Jersey’s first since 2005, is part of the state Department of Environmental Protection’s bear management policy.

Wildlife officials have said the hunt, which ended at dusk on Saturday, was needed to reduce a black bear population now thought to number about 3,400.

But opponents contend the policy was improperly developed.

Two animal rights groups-Animal Protection League and Bear Education and Resource Group-tried unsuccessfully to stop the hunt before it started.

But an appeals court refused to halt the hunt on Dec. 3, and the following day a judge acting on a petition to the state Supreme Court refused to grant an emergency stay. The lawsuit, which challenges the state’s bear management policy as improper, is continuing.

A similar challenge succeeded in 2007 and no hunt was held. An appeals panel found flaws with the management policy and ruled that the 2005 hunt should not have taken place.

Some 6,680 bear hunting permits were issued for this year’s hunt, with each hunter entitled to one bear regardless of age or gender. The DEP has estimated that as many as 700 bears would be killed overall.

West Milford Messenger December 16, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Kudos to Congressmen Dan Boren (D-OK) and Paul C. Broun, M.D. (R-GA)

SAOVA endorsed Representatives Dan Boren and Paul Broun wrote to the fellow Congressmen expressing their opposition to scheduling any floor vote on HR 5434 PUPS during the lame-duck session.

Boren and Broun wrote their chief concern is the manner in which PUPS broadly defines "high volume breeder." Under this legislation, small hobby breeders, such as show breeders, hunting clubs and dog trainers, who breed only a litter or two a year would be considered "high volume breeders" and forced to comply with the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

Letter is posted on the AKC website.

Contact Rep. Broun

Contact Rep. Boren

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Feds may delist wolves in 2011

U.S. Interior Department officials have pledged to members of Congress that the eastern timber wolf will be removed from the endangered species list sometime in 2011, though the move would still face legal scrutiny.

By: John Myers, Duluth News Tribune

U.S. Interior Department officials have pledged to members of Congress that the eastern timber wolf will be removed from the endangered species list sometime in 2011, though the move would still face legal scrutiny.

The pledge went to U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar on Thursday after she and other members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation had been pressuring the Interior Department to take action.

It’s the latest update in a decades-long saga over how wolves should be managed in the western Great Lakes.

In a letter to Klobuchar dated Dec. 9, Thomas Strickland, assistant Interior secretary for fish, wildlife and parks, pledged a proposal would be made public in April and that a new rule on wolf management could be final by the end of 2011.

“We now have a timetable that we didn’t have before,” said Georgia Parham, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokeswoman.

But agency officials cautioned that the proposal first must pass scientific review, be biologically credible and be subject to public comment. The end result would return management of wolves to state and tribal wildlife agencies and is the next step needed for states to allow trapping and hunting of wolves as they see fit.

There are about 3,200 wolves in Minnesota and about 700 each in Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula — many more than federal officials expected when the animal first received federal protection in 1974.

Full story at link

Related articles:
Black Bear Blog. In Wolf Wars The Divide Widens

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Court case on pit bull ban as service dogs

Disabled veterans await court case on cities' ban on pit bulls as service dogs
By Kyle Glazier The Denver Post 12/11/2010

A U.S. District Court judge will decide whether Denver and Aurora must allow disabled people to use pit bulls as service animals.

Animal Law Center spokesman Kurt Holzberlein said the Wheat Ridge-based law firm represents three plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the cities of Denver and Aurora, which have banned the breed.

The suit contends that owners of pit bulls classified as service animals must be allowed to keep their dogs under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The plaintiffs filed in federal court in March.

Holzberlein said one plaintiff is from Denver, and another is from Aurora. The third is a Washington state resident who was planning to travel to Denver with a pit bull.

The Denver Council voted Dec. 6 against granting an exception to the city's ban for pit bulls classified as service animals.

Animal Law Center attorney Jennifer Edwards said the suit seeks financial damages against both cities, with the ultimate goal of allowing pit bulls classified as service animals within city limits.

"This isn't about overturning the ban. It's about getting Denver into compliance with the ADA," Edwards said.

She said two of her clients are veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder who use pit bulls as service dogs: Vietnam veteran Allen Grider of Aurora and Persian Gulf War veteran Glenn Belcher of Denver.

Edwards said her firm filed for a stay in proceedings because Aurora filed a motion to disqualify the Animal Law Center as counsel on the grounds that firm members are necessary witnesses.

Edwards said this would leave her clients without representation because they cannot afford to hire another firm.

"We are in hurry up and wait mode," Holzberlein said of the current status of the case.

Aurora City Attorney Charles Rich ardson said the litigation against Aurora hinges on whether the city reached a "reasonable" accommodation for Grider, as the ADA requires. Richardson said the case could take some time.

"It's moving slowly through the federal court system, just like every case," he said.

Kyle Glazier: 303-954-1638 or

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

OH Farm Bureau proceeding on livestock deal

Sportsmen and dog breeders were caught up in the HSUS demands after the fact. Once the Farm Bureau conceded and HSUS smelled victory, their scope of so-called negotiations expanded to include regulatation of dog kennels (puppy mills in HSUS vernacular) and to ban ownership of exotic animals (currently licensed by either the state or USDA). HSUS was not elected as a lawmaker by the citizens of Ohio. Sportsmen need to be clear in their message to newly elected officials that their rights are not negotiable.

Brownfield Ag News
December 7, 2010 by Julie Harker

A spokesman for the Ohio Farm Bureau says results of the November election won’t affect their agreement in regard to the livestock care standards board.

“The new administration and election of new administration really doesn’t affect our commitment to the agreement that was reached this past summer with HSUS.”

Ohio Farm Bureau spokesman Joe Cornely says that includes making recommendations to the livestock care standards board. Cornely says Governor-elect John Kasich spoke to delegates at their annual meeting last week.

“He recognized what a challenge out-of-state activist groups can provide. He also recognized that if farmers bought into this agreement then perhaps he needs to allow farmers have the say there.”

Cornely says the Ohio Farm Bureau will be engaging the governor and his new director of ag Jim Zeringer, along with members of the General Assembly, in conversation – helping them understand ag’s position as they make their own decisions about the agreement.

The HumaneWatch Veterinary Student Interview

The HumaneWatch Interview: Jake Geis December 7, 2010

The Humane Society of the United States has put many Americans in uncomfortable positions during the current decade, but few have found themselves in a box quite like veterinarians.

Just last week the American Veterinary Medical Association (whose chief executive we interviewed back in September) made significant changes to The Veterinarian's Oath, which had only been amended once since its creation in 1969. It now refers to "animal health and welfare," along with "the prevention and relief of animal suffering." (New words are in italics.) The first reaction of many observers was that the move was taken in reaction to HSUS—and specifically to its threat to capture the hearts and minds of young vets, and of vets-to-be.

Many vets—especially the youngest ones who are most comfortable questioning authority—recognize that they’re caught between the proverbial “rock” and the corresponding “hard place.” On one hand, many of them are visibly uncomfortable with seeing the animal rights movement gather steam. But on the other, they recognize the need to maintain the dignity of the veterinary profession by refusing to return fire when HSUS slings mud. In short, playing dirty is supposed to be beneath them. And for good reason.

With everything going on in the veterinary world, it's fitting that we're talking with Jake Geis. He’s a second-year veterinary student at Iowa State University. (That school’s cooperative agreement with the University of Nebraska has put him in Lincoln for the first half of his training.) Geis first pinged our radar screen on November 19 when The Daily Nebraskan published his passionate essay titled “National Humane Society has Backward Priorities.”

Full interview at link ...

Related article:

Veterinarian's Oath revised to emphasize animal welfare commitment

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

HSUS and Lawyers, Lawyers, Lawyers …

The animal rights playbook is the same, no matter which organization it is or how it is peddled to the public. Valerie Stanley, an attorney for Animal Legal Defense Fund, said in 1996 “Everything we are doing lays the foundation for the one day when animals will have rights" ....“We need to get in their faces and sue the animal users so often they don’t know which courtroom they’re supposed to appear in next.” That is exactly what ALDF does with its $6 million in annual contributions. Certainly HSUS with its $101.6 million revenue is capable of using the court system to inflict much more damage on animal owners and producers.

Blog by HumaneWatch
(19 Hours Ago) in Society / Animal Rights

You may have noticed that the Humane Society of the United States sued a chicken company on Monday, apparently over “humanely raised” chicken package labels that don’t presently exist. But that’s not all the nation’s best-paid animal rights lawyers are up to.

On Christmas Day 2009, the Associated Press reported that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) employed "[a] staff of 30 attorneys—up from three when Wayne Pacelle took the helm five years ago."

And that doesn’t include the outside counsel that Wayne Pacelle hires to handle the really tough cases, like defending HSUS against civil lawsuits. Sadly, this leaves the salaried HSUS legal team—whose sheer size rivals that of many mid-size law firms—free to hassle farmers, pet store owners, and food companies.

Let’s take a look at where a few of HSUS’s legal nightmares stand. Funny how they don’t turn up on HSUS’s online docket. But if you’ve contributed to HSUS recently, you’re paying the legal bills.

Feld Entertainment Inc. v. ASPCA et al
In February 2010 the Ringling Brothers Circus company (Feld) sued a handful of animal-rights defendants—including HSUS, the HSUS-controlled Fund For Animals, and two HSUS attorneys—under the federal RICO act. This came after a federal judge’s December 2009 decision to dismiss the animal rights groups’ elephant-welfare lawsuit against Feld.

Why was that lawsuit dismissed, you ask? Good question. It turned out that the plaintiffs had paid their star witness (a former Feld employee) $190,000 for his testimony. The Court ruled that he was “not a credible witness,” adding that he “often gave conflicting answers and was repeatedly impeached on the witness stand.”

Here’s the latest on that lawsuit: It’s moving forward, but the defendants (including HSUS) are asking the judge to put a “hold” on everything while they make a motion to dismiss the case. Meanwhile, the plaintiff has proposed a 27-month-long schedule for dealing with things like “discovery,” the certification of expert witnesses, and pre-trial motions.

So the bottom line is that it will be at least 2013 before this RICO case really gets underway, presuming the case survives a near-term challenge.

Full story at link ...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NJ's first bear hunt in five years is set to go on as planned

Sunday, November 28, 2010 BY TARA KOLTON
Staff Writer North

New Jersey’s first bear hunt in five years is just a week away and set to go on as planned despite a last-ditch effort by several animal rights organizations to have the hunt postponed.

On Monday, Nov. 22, State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Martin rejected an appeal made by the Animal Protection League of New Jersey (APLNJ) and the West Milford-based Bear Education and Resource (BEAR) Group to postpone the six-day hunt, scheduled for a seven-county region that includes parts of Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon, Passaic, Morris, Somerset and Bergen counties. The bear hunt, set to take place from Dec. 6 to 11, is authorized under the state’s recently adopted Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy (CBBMP).

"The facts are clear, we have an overpopulation of black bears in New Jersey, and we must address that issue," said Martin in a press statement. "A regulated black bear hunt is one important and necessary tool to deal with the growing number of bears, as part of the state’s overall, comprehensive approach to managing its black bear population."

The DEP estimates that the black bear population for the portion of New Jersey north of Interstate 80 is approximately 3,400 animals, which signifies a marked rise from fewer than 500 in the mid-1990s. Bears have also been reported in all 21 counties, with a corresponding rise in bear complaints.

Martin, responding to a Nov. 17 written request by the APLNJ and the BEAR Group to postpone the hunt, also emphasized "the accuracy of the DEP’s data on bear complaints and bear-human encounters caused by the increasing black bear population, despite contrary public claims of inflated numbers made by Rutgers chemistry professor Edward Tavss," according to the DEP’s Monday statement.

The 2010 Tavss study the DEP is referring to was completed over five months by Tavss, who says he utilized 4,700 records obtained by the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) through the Open Public Records Act. Tavss concluded that "contrary to what the DFW claims, bear nuisance complaints in NJ have significantly declined," according to the Oct. 4 release of the study’s findings. In particular, he claims that a duplication of bear complaints resulted in the DEP and DFW’s allegedly "inflated" bear complaint numbers.

Martin said that a thorough review of bear complaints for 2008 and 2009 by the DEP’s Office of Audit showed "virtually no duplication of complaint reports and verified the accuracy of the information provided in the CBBMP." He said that the audit showed that fewer than 1 percent of about 3,000 bear complaints registered by the DEP in each of those years may have resulted from duplication of information.

"I have reviewed your request and I find that it does not provide any basis to stay the hunt, nor does it raise any legitimate questions about the inclusion of the black bear hunt in the state’s CBBMP," wrote Martin.

The commissioner stressed that the DEP is gathering "more and better information on black bears, providing a valuable resource that contributes to the department’s black bear management efforts."

Commissioner Martin denied the request to stay the hunt after consulting with New Jersey Fish and Game Council (FGC) Acting Chairwoman Jeanette Vreeland, who also was petitioned to postpone the hunt. Vreeland concurred with Martin, but noted a vote of the full FGC which adopted the CBBMP in July, is required to formalize her position. A telephone meeting of the council will soon be held to deal with that issue, according to Vreeland.

Full story ..

Related Stories:
Press Release. DEP Rejects Request to Postpone Bear Hunt

NJ Bear Hunt. NJ Bear Overpopulation Issues

Thursday, November 25, 2010

HSUS reaches for soft drink cash

Brownfield Ag Network

By Tom Steever November 19, 2010

The Humane Society of the United States is taking advantage of social media to raise money. The animal rights organization leads in polling on the online Pepsi Refresh Project. The project solicits ideas that are voted on by Facebook users and the top 32 vote getters each month receive grants ranging from $5,000 to $250 thousand.

“Why shouldn’t HSUS pony up to the trough; that’s really what they’re good at is raising money,” says David Martosko, with the Center for Consumer Freedom, which applies pressure to HSUS through its website. Martosko contends that less than one percent of the funds raised by HSUS are used to shelter animals.

“I think it’s wonderful that we live in a country where people want to help animals, but I think it’s disgusting when activist groups redirect that money in a way that doesn’t reflect the donor’s intent,” says Martosko.

HSUS is an effective fund raiser. The group solicits donations using among other methods, two-minute television spots featuring pictures of seemingly suffering animals. The message the organization conveys is that donations can help these animals. Some of the money raised is used to promote passage of ballot initiatives that affect animal agriculture, and in the case of Missouri this past election cycle, dog breeders.

Martosko believes the last has not yet been heard from HSUS on Missouri’s Proposition B, which narrowly-passed. The measure limits to 50 the number of dogs a breeder can maintain.

“Their goal is to start with that 50-dog limit and then ratchet it down, and ratchet it down, and ratchet it down again until nobody can breed dogs. That’s what they want,” says Martosko. “And if you don’t care about that that’s fine, but now delete dogs and insert cows. Now do you care about it?”

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Spay Neuter HSUS Campaign Update

The campaign continues to reach out asking for concerned citizens to email IRS and to also email the Inspector General's office hotline. The IRS has assigned a case file number (29-92012) and is quietly investigating. The OIG has also assigned a Case File Number (55-1005-0025-C).

The IRS and the Department of the Treasury’s Office of the Inspector General for Tax Administration have now received a Background Paper that is entitled “THE HSUS LOBBYGATE COVER-UP.” This Background Paper summarizes the most flagrant lobbying and tax-related actions of the HSUS that are documented by over 1,400 pages of incriminating documents including extracts from the HSUS Tax Returns for the years 2005-2009.

Several of the highlights of the Background Paper summarize how the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) may have under-reported over $500 Million in revenue on its 2005-2009 Tax Returns and may have expended over 40% of its monetary expenditures and the time of its Paid Staff and volunteers on direct and indirect lobbying activities.

Read the papers and find out how to email the IG hotline on the SAOVA legislative page: SPAY AND NEUTER THE HSUS

Frank will be interviewed on Monday morning on AGRITALK which is carried on about 90 radio stations in the Midwest from ND to Texas.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Advocacy group responds to deceptive Texas egg farm investigation video

Texas Farm Bureau: Fed Up With Humane Society and Other Animal Rights Activist Groups Who Mislead Consumers

Waco, TX (1888PressRelease) November 18, 2010 - Publications Director of the Texas Farm Bureau Mike Barnett says the Humane Society of the United States' recently-released undercover report/video of an egg production facility in Texas misleads consumers into believing there is a major problem with animal abuse and food safety in the United States in his latest Texas Agriculture Talks blog post.

"On one hand I'm sick of those bad players in the livestock industry who mistreat their animals," writes Barnett. "On the other, I'm sick of the animal rights activist groups who promote these isolated incidents as an indictment of the entire meat and egg industry."

He adds that animal rights groups like the Humane Society of the United States-instead of harboring a real concern for animals-use terms like "animal abuse" and "food safety" to mask their real intention, which is to get consumers to stop eating meat in oftentimes forceful and deceptive ways. While Barnett acknowledges that the livestock industry has not been perfect, most producers are believers in animal welfare. They believe in the proper and humane use of animals and that they have a duty to treat animals properly.

"The small number of producers who abuse the privilege of raising and caring for food animals give a black eye to those who do it right. There is no excuse for animal cruelty," explains Barnett. And there's no excuse for misleading consumers the way some groups are doing today."

For more, read Barnett's blog post on Texas animal welfare, visit the Texas Ag Talks blog.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Big winners of HSUS advertising

In addition to direct contributions to federal candidates and the national parties, many organizations also spend money on advertising to influence elections. Strict rules govern these expenditures and they must be reported to the Federal Election Commission.

Independent expenditures are ads that expressly advocate the election or defeat of specific candidates and are aimed at the electorate as a whole. Under federal rules, these expenditures must be made completely independent of the candidates, with no coordination, and they can only be made by the organization's PAC.

In this election the big winners of HSUS advertising dollars were:

Rep. Gary Peters (MI) $148,744
Rep. Nick Rahall (WV) $133,167
Sen. David Vitter (LA) $125,276
Rep. Betty Sutton (OH) $111,997
Rep. Mary Bono Mack (CA) $107,129

Playing nice with HSUS, scoring a perfect 100, or sponsoring a bill pays big.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

HSUS to release another ‘egg farm’ video

November 16, 2010 by Ken Anderson - Brownfield Ag News

The Humane Society of the United States is preparing to release another undercover video, this one involving what HSUS calls “a major egg producer in Texas.”

The animal rights organization has scheduled a news conference for Wednesday at which the video footage will be released. HSUS says the footage will show, what it calls, “inhumane and filthy conditions” and “appalling suffering” at the Texas egg farm.

HSUS says it will also discuss, quote, “critically-needed reforms in animal agribusiness to reduce cruelty and improve food safety.”

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Alliance to defend agriculture

USFRA Reveals Vision, Initial Focus; Announces Founding Board and Executive Committee

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Today’s agriculture continues to be attacked by a number of different groups. Unfortunately, as the majority of the U.S. public has become further and further removed from the farm, they tend to believe the groups attacking agriculture, according to the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA). This new alliance is comprised of most of the leading national farmer- and rancher-led agricultural organizations.

USFRA believes the actions of these groups have led a number of agricultural organizations to fund programs that bolster the image of agriculture and enhance public trust in our food supply. While these individual efforts have been helpful in answering some of the criticism, there is a growing need for all of agriculture to coordinate their messages and reach out even further to the consuming public through consumer influencers and thought leaders.

“We in production agriculture recognize the immediate need to build consumer trust in today’s U.S. food production system,” said newly-elected USFRA Chairman Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “We also recognize the need to maintain and enhance the freedom of American farmers and ranchers to operate in an economical, sustainable and responsible manner. The sun rises today on a new, collaborative and coordinated effort by many segments of production agriculture to tell our great story as never before.”

USFRA Website

Call to arms over deer

Valley Forge joins fight to reduce herds and damage.
By Anthony R. Wood Inquirer Staff Writer

The deer herd in Valley Forge National Historical Park has multiplied eightfold in 25 years, and officials say a thousand acres of forest are being eaten alive by deer.

That is why, to the horror of animal-rights activists, federal sharpshooters with rifles and night-vision goggles aim to cut the herd from more than 1,200 to fewer than 200 during the next four years. The carcasses are to be given to food banks.

Citing public-safety concerns, the park has been secretive about revealing the timing of the shoots, saying only that they would happen between November and March and that the park would be closed off when they occurred.

But the shooting evidently has started. A federal judge gave it the go-ahead last month, and on Friday animal-rights activists filed an emergency request to stop it.

Iconic Valley Forge, one of the nation's most revered Revolutionary War sites, is the latest battleground in the escalating tensions between white-tailed deer and human beings. But only the latest.

The conflicts are raging all over the country along the borders of woods and development, where a species once on the verge of vanishing is now deemed overabundant.

One may think deer would prefer wilderness to the vicinity of highways and high-rises. But wildlife specialists say that's not necessarily so.

They hold that creeping urbanization - which has routed predators, inhibited hunting, and provided a herbivore's smorgasbord of backyard plantings - has been the biggest boon to whitetails since the retreat of the North American ice sheets 10,000 years ago.

The fallout from the inter-species encounters includes a harvest of traffic accidents. An estimated 130,000 deer-vehicle collisions occur annually in Pennsylvania and New Jersey - with more than 2,400 human deaths nationwide since 1993, according to insurance experts.

November is a particularly perilous time: Deer-vehicle crashes are three times more common than in other months, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute.

It is more than coincidence that this also is a peak period for "culls" - in which deer are lured to baited sites and shot by U.S. Department of Agriculture marksmen at night - and controlled hunts, in which the animals have a greater opportunity to escape archers and riflemen.

Deer find themselves in the crosshairs this month for the same reason that they so often wander into the paths of cars: hormonal intoxication. The does are in heat, the bucks driven to distraction.

"They're really not watching the cars," said Larry Herrighty, assistant fish and wildlife director for New Jersey. "They're crazed. They're not thinking straight."

About half of all deer deaths occur in fall, but the survivors do breed. Bucks have multiple partners. They may lack commitment and tenderness, but not zeal. By human standards, the birthrate is extraordinary: Almost every doe that survives the winter has at least one fawn in the spring, sometimes twins or triplets.

The deer proliferation has raised other concerns. Ticks commuting on deer are prime suspects in spreading Lyme disease, and the deer appetite for precious residential plantings is legendary.
Full story at link

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Consumers prefer eggs from modern cage housing systems

Animal Agriculture

A news release yesterday from the United Egg Producers stated that, “American consumers continue to overwhelmingly purchase traditional eggs produced in modern cages when they visit their local grocery stores, according to Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) which tracks grocery store sales.

“Americans purchase 19.8 billion (96%) traditional eggs every year at grocery stores, according to the latest IRI data, compared to 619 million cage-free eggs (3%) and 227 million (1%) organic free range eggs. The data is from third quarter, 2010 (July through September, 2010). The total volume of eggs purchased in the third quarter was 5.2 billion eggs, down by 3% compared to the third quarter of 2009, most likely due to a major recall of eggs from two farms in August, 2010.”

The release added that, “Perhaps indicating the weakness in demand for cage free and organic free range eggs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that retail organic free range eggs are being advertised this week at $2.64 per dozen, 33% less than one year ago ($4.00); cage free eggs are being advertised at $2.50 per dozen, down 14% from one year ago ($2.90); and traditional egg retail prices are up 8% compared to one year ago ($1.02).

“Gene Gregory, president of United Egg Producers, says that despite pressure by some animal rights groups, the overwhelming majority of American consumers continue to prefer regular eggs from modern cage housing systems rather than cage free. ‘Americans vote every day with their wallets, and regular eggs from modern cage housing systems win every time by a landslide ratio of 96 percent.’”

United Egg Producers News Release

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lessons Learned from a Loss

11/07/2010 by Gary Truitt
Hoosier Ag Today

With the Republican landslide in last week’s election getting most of the media attention, not much ink was devoted to analyzing the vote in Missouri on Proposition B, the so called “Puppy Mill Bill” backed by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). While the measure passed, how it did and where it did provide some fascinating analysis and signals that the times may be changing for radical animal groups. It also provides some clues as to why animal agriculture has been so ineffective at the ballot box and how that can be changed.

Proposition B, which would take effect in a year, will beef up Missouri‘s existing laws by restricting commercial breeders to no more than 50 female dogs for breeding, increasing the size of dogs‘ living spaces, and by requiring commercial breeders to have their dogs examined yearly by a veterinarian. HSUS tried to pass this bill through the Indiana legislature two years ago, but Hoosier lawmakers wisely saw through this thinly veiled attempt to place government controls on the raising of animals and to redefine the legal definition of animal welfare. In the Hoosier State, supporters were sent home with their tales between their legs, primarily because the issue never got to the ballot box.

HSUS is a powerful and well-funded political machine. They appear to be not above misrepresenting and distorting facts, and using every cheap, shameless, emotional trick to win. In short, they are tough to beat in a ballot box fight. Yet, the Missouri vote shows they may be losing their touch. The measure in Missouri only passed by 3%, a much narrower margin than HSUS has enjoyed in other states where they have put animal measures on the ballot. In addition, the only place the measure passed was in the major urban centers of the Show Me State.

According to the web site Humane Watch, only 11 counties in the whole state passed the measure. Unfortunately, those counties were mostly in the Kansas City and St. Louis areas where the high population meant more votes than the rest of the state. According to the Humane Watch editors, “It was a centralized urban base, largely removed from the realities of life away from their concrete jungles that delivered a victory for HSUS.” States with large population centers, removed from animal agriculture, are on the list of states where HSUS will likely strike next.
Full story

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Texas State Representative Edmund Kuempel Dies at Age 67

We are deeply saddened by the passing of Texas State Representative, Edmund Kuempel. In March of this year, he was the recipient of a SAOVA Legislative Leader award. His commitment to working with animal owners and sportsmen in order to preserve property rights and assure protection of our sporting heritage clearly distinguished him among other nominees for this award.

Kuempel, a Republican representing Wilson, Guadalupe, and Gonzales Counties, served as a chair of the House of Representatives Licensing & Administrative Procedures Committee.

His passing is a loss to all of us and he will be sorely missed.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Prop B Passage Won't Change Strategy

Missouri agriculture and animal owner groups pledge to continue efforts to expose Humane Society of the United States.

Compiled by staff Published: Nov 5, 2010
Missourians for Animal Care Chairman Don Nikodim released the following statement regarding the narrow passage of Proposition B on behalf of the coalition of mainstream agriculture and animal owner groups in the state.

"On Tuesday, rural Missourians sent a clear message that they will not tolerate outside organizations telling them how to do business. While we are disheartened by the narrow passage of Proposition B, the members of Missourians for Animal Care are encouraged by agriculture's united front at the polls," Nikodim said.

"With voters in 103 out of 116 election jurisdictions opposing Proposition B, people in rural Missouri saw through the emotional smokescreen bankrolled primarily by the Humane Society of the United States based out of Washington, D.C. As agricultural organizations and allied industries, our strength has always been our grassroots. We are proud of the farmers and citizens who stood up to HSUS and voted no on the flawed and misleading ballot proposal."

"While the election is over, efforts to expose HSUS and their manipulative animal rights agenda have just begun. Missouri farmers care about producing safe and affordable food. We will continue working to ensure our industry and our food supply is managed by the hands of farmers and not the bank accounts of outside interests."

Charles Kruse, Missouri Farm Bureau president, also issued a statement after the Nov. 2 election results were in. "The passage of Proposition B is disappointing because it will put licensed, reputable dog breeders out of business, not those that are unlicensed and raise dogs in unsanitary conditions," Kruse said.

"With Proposition B passing and practically all the proponents' funding coming from out-of-state individuals and organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States, Missouri farmers and ranchers are concerned that animal agriculture will be the next target of the radical animal rights agenda."

Kruse emphasized that Farm Bureau will remain vigilant in standing up for Missouri farmers and ranchers who treat their animals humanely and help provide a safe and wholesome food supply.

Missouri Ruralist

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Nine House Democrats still waiting for election results in nail-biter contests

By Emily Goodin - The Hill. 11/04/10 10:38 AM ET

Nine incumbent House Democrats are still waiting to learn whether they won or lost.

In all of those races, fewer than 1,000 votes separate the candidates. In some of them, Republicans have declared victory, though none of the Democrats have conceded.

The rundown:

In Arizona, two-term Rep. Gabrielle Giffords holds a slight lead over Republican Jesse Kelly. Pima County, home to Tucson, had about 34,500 early ballots and 13,000 provisional ballots to be counted as of Wednesday afternoon, according to the Arizona secretary of state's office.

In California, Rep. Jerry McNerney held a 121-vote lead over Republican David Harmer as of Wednesday morning with thousands of mail-in and provisional ballots yet to be counted.

And Rep. Jim Costa (Calif.) is slightly trailing Republican Andy Vidak with more than 100,000 absentee and provisional ballots outstanding.

In Illinois, Rep. Melissa Bean's GOP challenger, Republican Joe Walsh, has declared victory, but the three-term congresswoman is not conceding.

In Kentucky, Rep. Ben Chandler has declared victory even though the result has not been certified and his Republican challenger, Andy Barr, hasn't conceded.

In New York, freshman Rep. Dan Maffei has lost his lead over Republican Ann Marie Buerkle. It will be 3 weeks before all ballots are counted.

In Texas, Rep. Solomon Ortiz isn't conceding, although Republican Blake Farenthold has declared victory.

In Virginia, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D) holds a slim lead over Republican Keith Fimian.

In Washington, Rep. Rick Larsen has taken the lead over Republican John Koster; more results are expected from Snohomish County.

Details at link

Bill Brady waits for all votes to be counted in governor’s race

AP Posted Nov 04, 2010 @ 01:23 PM

CHICAGO — Illinois Republican Bill Brady’s campaign was looking to determine where votes still needed to be counted today as he trailed Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in the governor’s race, one of a handful of contests up in the air across the nation.

Brady has yet to concede in the race that has seen Quinn’s slim margin of votes grow since Tuesday’s election. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Quinn has a lead of more than 19,000 votes over Brady out of more than 3.6 million ballots were cast.

“We remain in an information-gathering phase to ensure we know how many ballots remain to be counted to ensure that no voter is left by the road,” Brady spokeswoman Patty Schuh said.

But Quinn is moving on. He was scheduled to visit a Chicago deli today to thank voters for casting a ballot on Election Day.

Brady has said he’s willing to wait as long as a month for official results to be certified by state election officials, which is scheduled to happen Dec. 3.

In one Illinois county that backed Brady over Quinn, there are less than 1,600 ballots that remain to be counted, including nearly 1,300 absentee ballots that haven’t been returned with no guarantee that they will be, according to the Kane County clerk’s office.

Waiting for final results won’t be easy for Brady because he will have to persuade supporters to stay optimistic. Quinn will have his own challenges if the race drags on. Story at link

State reaffirms Sampson votes in Etheridge-Ellmers race

Etheridge said he plans to ask for a recount if the difference is than 1 percent of the total votes cast.

Raleigh, N.C. — Inspectors with the State Board of Elections on Thursday affirmed Sampson County vote totals there in the tight race for North Carolina's Second Congressional District.

Gary Bartlett, executive director of the elections board, said officials wanted to audit the vote totals in Sampson County to discover if there were any errors and how an error might have occurred.

Congressman Bob Etheridge said Wednesday that his campaign had heard about "voting irregularities" in some counties, but he didn't elaborate.

According to unofficial totals, Republican Renee Ellmers leads Etheridge by 1,646 votes in the election. Her lead was cut by about 450 votes between late Tuesday and Wednesday.

Etheridge got about 60 percent of the votes in Sampson County, according to figures from the State Board of Elections.

Vote totals show that Ellmers won the two candidates' home turf in Harnett County, and she also carried Johnston County by a 2-1 margin.
Story at WRAL

Prop B passage disappoints MO agriculture

November 3, 2010 by Julie Harker

Missouri Farm Bureau President Charlie Kruse is disappointed that Proposition B passed, but he pointed out that 103 counties out of 114 Missouri counties opposed the measure. He says 82 percent of the money supporting the so-called Puppy Mill Bill came from outside Missouri.

“It’s clearly the Humane Society of the United States getting out of state money to bring into Missouri to impose their will on the people of Missouri and that’s very unfortunate.”

Kruse says much of his opposition stems from HSUS stating that their goal is to do away with all animal agriculture.

“I think we’d be foolish not to brace for something more. Make no mistake about it. They can say what they wish to say. And it will just be a matter of we’ll wait and see how long it is until they decide to come back to Missouri and come after the livestock industry.”

Kruse says the measure will put many of Missouri’s reputable dog breeders out of business, but will do nothing to stop bad actors. Full story at Brownfield Ag News

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

SQ750 Ballot Access Improvement Passes in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, with all precincts reporting, State Question 750 passed narrowly, 485,637 to 477,988. This measure ends the “see-saw” effect for initiatives. Currently, in Oklahoma, petition requirements for both new parties, and initiatives, are far more difficult to get on the ballot in midterm years than in presidential years. That is because current law, for both types of petition, says the number of signatures is a certain percentage of the last vote cast. Because the vote turnout in presidential years is about 50% higher than in midterm years, that accidentally makes the new party petition and the initiative petition far more severe in midterm years. SQ 750 changes the formula for initiatives. Instead of 8% of the last vote cast, an initiative for a state statute change would be 8% of the last gubernatorial vote.

Making the required signatures lower could be good news for groups like HSUS who use ballot initiatives to force their agendas.

Three states pass constitutional right to hunt, fish

Voters in Tennessee, Arkansas, and South Carolina passed ballot measures adding amendments to their state constitutions for the right to hunt and fish. The measure in Arizona, Proposition 109, failed.

Ten other states already have such a right. Georgia passed a similar measure in 2006 and Alabama in 1996.

Farm Bureau's response to Prop B passage

Farm Bureau's response to Prop B passage
Posted Wednesday, November 3, 2010, at 9:08 AM

The Missouri Farm Bureau hasn't wasted time in reassuring the agriculture community that they will fight any attempts to reduce or eliminate animal agriculture in the state. In a news release issued Wednesday morning the bureau said the passage of Prop B is disappointing because it will put licensed, reputable dog breeders out of business, not those that are unlicensed and raise dogs in unsanitary conditions.

The release also addressed concerns from farmers and ranchers that animal agriculture will be the "next target of the radical animal rights agenda." The Farm Bureau said it will "remain vigilant in standing up for Missouri farmers and ranchers who treat their animals humanely and help provide the safe and wholesome food supply we all enjoy."

The response seems to fall in line with comments made by Humane Society of the United States president Wayne Pacelle during an interview with the Southeast Missourian last month. He said regardless of any so-called agenda, the bureau had too much lobbying power in Missouri to allow groups to enter the state and end farming.

Prop B passed 993,860 votes to 933,540 votes statewide. Cape Girardeau County voted against the proposition 16,843 to 10,153. Prop B had the greatest support in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Record number of early ballots cast

By Krissah Thompson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 2, 2010; 8:43 AM

A record number of voters have cast early ballots for a midterm election.

The total number of early votes has topped 16 million, according to one preliminary analysis, and is on track to be slightly shy of the historic number of early ballots cast in the 2008 presidential election.

"It's going to easily beat any midterm we've had," said Michael McDonald, a George Mason University government professor who has tracked early voting for several election cycles and estimates that 29 percent of midterm votes have been cast in the days and weeks before Election Day.

All 50 states have sent out absentee ballots, and in 29 states, in-person early voting is also underway. Most of them have made it easier for people to vote early, allowing "no excuse" mail-in ballots and automatically sending ballots to voters who voted by mail in the past. Full story

Monday, November 1, 2010

Prop B Support Isn't Missouri-based

Missouri Farm Bureau finds interests outside of Missouri are financing Proposition B.

Compiled by Missouri Ruralist staff Published: Nov 1, 2010

An analysis of Proposition B campaign reports clearly reveals that organizations and individuals outside of Missouri are bankrolling the campaign to further regulate Missouri dog breeders. Almost 82% of the funds reported thus far are coming from out-of-state organizations and individuals, with most of the funds coming from the Humane Society of the United States based in Washington D.C., according to the Missouri Farm Bureau.

"We don't need out-of-state interests setting public policy here in Missouri," says Charles Kruse, president of Missouri Farm Bureau. "We already have Missouri laws on the books regulating dog breeders. Proposition B will do absolutely nothing to shut down unlawful dog breeders and will instead cause reputable and lawful dog breeders to close their businesses.

"Furthermore, if Proposition B passes, these radical animal rights organizations and individuals won't stop there. As experienced in other states, they will work to further regulate Missouri farmers, driving them out of business as well and driving up food costs," Kruse adds.

Through Oct. 21, the Proposition B campaign is reporting receipts of $4.363 million. Of that amount, $3.09 million is from out-of-state organizations and $486,099 comes from residents outside of Missouri. This equates to 82% of the campaign funds raised to promote Proposition B.

Following is a breakdown of the receipts for the Proposition B campaign through Oct. 21:

$4.363 million --Total campaign receipts
$3.09 million -- Total contributions by out-of-state organizations
$2.12 million -- HSUS (Washington D.C./Maryland)
$511,119 -- ASPCA (New York)
$250,000 -- Best Friends Animal Society (Utah)
$110,000 --The Fund for Animals (New York)
$80,000 -- Doris Day League (Washington D.C.)
$10,000 -- Animal Welfare Advocacy (New York)
$10,000 -- Big Cat Rescue (Florida)
Source: Missouri Farm Bureau

Friday, October 29, 2010

Vote NO on Proposition B

Cassville Democrat: Editorial Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lisa Schlichtman
This week I had intended to write an editorial opposing Proposition B that will appear on the Nov. 2 ballot. The ballot initiative would create tougher rules for dog breeders and ultimately would put a large number of reputable breeders out of business in Barry County. The state of Missouri already has laws in place that regulate dog breeders, and I believe we need to enforce the existing laws we have rather than adopt a law that is being pushed by people outside the state, namely the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), a group that would be pleased to see all forms of animal agriculture abolished. I am offering my editorial space this week to Kristin Crawford, who has written a guest editorial that mirrors my opinion on Proposition B. I hope you will read her piece and inform yourself about this ballot issue. Crawford is a dog breeder herself, but her opinion on Proposition B is the same as the Missouri Farm Bureau, the Missouri Dairy Association and many veterinarians across the state, who all oppose the ballot measure. I urge you to go the polls next Tuesday and vote "NO" on Proposition B.

"Puppies, Bacon and Eggs"

by Kristen Crawford, of Cassville

Proposition B, referred to as "The Puppy Mill Cruelty Bill", is a deceptive list of "new" rules aimed at existing, licensed and fully compliant dog breeders. This measure will not shut down puppy mills in Missouri as is stated in all forms of media put forth by its proponents. Do not be fooled by the media endorsements by politicians, an out-of-state veterinarian or even the misinformed coach of our beloved Cardinals.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the world's largest animal rights (not animal welfare) lobbying group is backing this bill. They have, to date, spent more than $3 million on promoting this bill alone. The bill is worded in a fashion that implies that all breeders are cruel by not caring for their dogs by providing: food, clean water, shelter, regular vet care and exercise...things that compliant breeders are already inspected for and provide as required under the current 22 pages of rules and regulations through the Animal Care Facilities Act (ACFA).
Full editorial at link

UKC Opposes Missouri’s Proposition B

UKC recognizes that irresponsible breeders and kennels are a valid concern, and UKC strongly believes that irresponsible breeders and dog owners should be dealt with accordingly. Obviously, dog welfare in all aspects of dog ownership, from pet owners to exhibitors to breeders, is a priority and no form of neglect or abuse should be tolerated in any aspect of dog ownership. However, Missouri’s Proposition B is not really about dog welfare as it outwardly appears to be. It’s a creation of the animal rights movement to restrict all dog breeding in Missouri. If Proposition B passes, it would label many responsible breeders as ‘puppy mills,’ an offensive and negative term created by animal rights proponents, simply due to the number of dogs the breeder has. The Humane Society of the United States, an animal rights (not welfare) organization is one of the major proponents of Prop B, and has already spent $2.18 million dollars on emotional advertisements to persuade citizens that this is about animal welfare, when in reality it’s another way to criminalize dog breeding.

Proposition B defines a puppy mill as any breeder that owns ten or more intact female dogs over the age of six months. It also creates a cap on the number of dogs a person can own. Realistically, dog welfare isn’t about the quantity of dogs one owns, but about the quality of care the dogs are given, which is why UKC is opposed to numerical limits on dog ownership. The number of pups whelped per year is in no way relative to the welfare of dogs owned by a breeder; a person can just as easily neglect or abuse one dog as they can sixty dogs.

Missouri already has a law that regulates pet breeders called the Animal Care Facilities Act, and it’s actually more comprehensive than Prop B. It has requirements for adequate care, not only for the facilities themselves, but also for transportation of animals. Prop B does not cover transportation at all. The current law also requires inspections of animal shelters and pounds, and includes cats as well as dogs. Prop B specifically excludes animal shelters and pounds. The current law requires licensing and inspections for all covered breeders, while Prop B does not provide for how violations are to be enforced. Violators of the current law could face class A misdemeanor charges while Prop B violators will only face a class C misdemeanor. The current law provides an exemption for registered show and hobby breeders, while Prop B provides no such exemption.

Clearly, the current law is much more applicable and reasonable, and actually regulates dog welfare while Prop B does not. If Prop B was really intended to protect so-called ‘puppy mill’ dogs, then it would focus more on welfare, provide for an inspection and licensing system, and exempt hobby and show breeders from being negatively labeled as ‘puppy mills.’ The current law is much more specific and comprehensive not only in what it covers, but also in its standards of care. Instead of Prop B, the current law should be more strongly enforced, and possible stronger penalties should be considered for repeat offenders. There is simply no need for Missouri’s Proposition B.

United Kennel Club

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vote ‘No’ on Proposition B

Millions of dollars from outside the state are being spent by HSUS to try to convince people to vote for Proposition B. Here’s hoping Missourians reject their message.

Posted: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 6:00 am
By Paul Campbell

The Buffalo Reflex doesn’t endorse candidates, but this doesn’t mean I can’t write an opinion column on issues facing Missouri voters on Nov. 3. One of those is Proposition B, the so-called Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act.

This ballot initiative would establish new restrictions on the state’s dog breeders, in addition to those regulations already placed on them. What’s more, the motives of some of its proponents, the Humane Society of the United States, is greatly in question.

Two factors alone would cause me to vote against Proposition B. One is that under the proposal no breeder would be allowed to have more than 50 dogs in a facility. This is an arbitrary and unfair figure, penalizing the many good breeders who have more dogs than that.

This segment of the proposition causes me to question the motives of the proponents of the bill. Such a regulation would be similar to a rule that would require farmers to have no more than 10 cows or no more than 12 hogs. Agricultural organizations in the state believe that HSUS’s ultimate goal is to limit the number of farm animals or eliminate them altogether.

The Missouri Veterinary Medical Association, an opponent of Proposition B, put it this way, “The ballot being proposed would completely outlaw our state’s well-run and licensed facilities that have over 50 breeding dogs. This is unfair and misguided. These are operated properly under the guidance of extensive current regulations in order to provide families with pets to love and cherish.”

Full story at Buffalo

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

BLM backs wild-horse sanctuary

State Board of Finance to mull touchy land purchase Nov. 16
Staci Matlock The New Mexican
Posted: Monday, October 25, 2010

The head of the federal Bureau of Land Management's Wild Horse and Burro Program supports a plan for a proposed mustang sanctuary in New Mexico near Cerrillos and said it could serve as a model for other states.

Don Glenn, chief of the BLM's Division of Wild Horses and Burros, said the agency solicited ideas for more sustainably handling an ever-growing number of wild horses that need homes. "One idea was to seek out partners and places to put sanctuaries," Glenn said. "We are interested in a partnership with the state if they buy this land."

A few weeks ago, the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, which oversees the State Parks Division, announced plans to purchase the 12,000-plus-acre Ortiz Mountain Ranch, also known as the Ball Ranch. The property is south of Madrid. The $2.9 million for the purchase would come from Gov. Bill Richardson's discretionary portion of New Mexico's federal stimulus funds. The purchase would expand Cerrillos Hills State Park tenfold, although the ranch is not contiguous with the existing park. A portion of the ranch would be set aside for a wild horse sanctuary, according to Jim Noel, Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Cabinet secretary.

Gubernatorial candidates Diane Denish and Susana Martinez both oppose using federal stimulus funding to create the wild horse sanctuary. The purchase must still be approved by the eight-member New Mexico Board of Finance, of which Richardson is president and Denish is a member. Full story

It's time to get a clue about deer hunting

Covington News Sports Editor Josh Briggs ignited a firestorm on Wednesday with his column on deer hunting. In case you missed it, Briggs questioned the need and the motivations of hunting deer as a sport. Read the article: What if the hunted was the hunter?.

By far most readers took Briggs to task, saying he missed the point of hunting. Here is a response from Matt Fry, a wildlife biologist in Covington, GA with WildCo LLC.

It's time to get a clue about deer hunting
By Matt Fry

As a wildlife biologist and an educated human being I would like to inform you that your article entitled, "What if the hunted was the hunter?" was extremely distasteful and more importantly, showed a great deal of ignorance on your part.

White-tailed deer are wild animals, and as such, have what biologists call a "carrying capacity" meaning there is a limit to the number of deer that a given habitat can support. If the deer population reaches or exceeds that limit, disease and starvation are nature's way of bringing it down.

Deer hunting, although it is a sport, is the scientifically proven BEST method of controlling these populations without letting starvation and disease do it for us. Unfortunately, many of our natural predators, such as the panther and red wolf (all but a few captive animals are extinct) have been extirpated and now have no affect on deer populations. This is the reason deer hunting is ESSENTIAL to our state. Some of the diseases that deer carry, such as Lyme's Disease, increase as deer populations rise and these diseases can cause human sickness and fatalities.

Deer hunters are responsible for a large percentage of funding for wildlife and habitat conservation throughout Georgia and the rest of the US. These funds go to game and non-game conservation include birds, amphibians, parks, nature trails, and the list goes on forever. Without hunting license fees, you may not have the wonderful natural resources that we are blessed with in this state.

Deer hunting is a sport that allows everyone, including children, to develop a love for the outdoors so that we can continue to conserve our natural resources for years to come. The sport is not about killing the animal, it is about learning about nature and enjoying it. Your comment that "hunting deer is the same as hunting humans" is appalling to me and reflects the ideals of those that are responsible for our decaying society.

I cannot believe that CovNews would even publish such ridiculous article and I will be boycotting the entire newspaper because of this article and will be persuading my friends and family to do so as well.

You should educate yourself on a subject before you write about it, sir.

Monday, October 25, 2010

MO: Proposition B not the right answer to problem

By Robin Nuttall October 22, 2010

COLUMBIA — In November, Missourians will get a chance to vote on Proposition B, the “Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act.”

For most of us, “puppy mill” conjures images of shivering, emaciated, matted dogs standing in their own filth, terrified of people, bereft of the most basic necessities, socialization and care. None of us want puppy mills in Missouri, and for those of us involved in dogs — as I have been for over 25 years as a trainer, exhibitor, local and national club member and instructor — it’s a passion and a vocation to try to eliminate them. So why would I oppose this bill?

There are several reasons.

Our existing laws are better. Misssouri’s Animal Care Facilities Act is more clear, detailed, specific and typically more stringent than Proposition B.

Prop. B covers only breeders. ACFA covers “any person or organization operating an animal shelter, boarding kennel, commercial kennel, contract kennel, pet shop, pound or dog pound, or acting as a dealer, commercial breeder, intermediate handler or exhibitor in Missouri.” Violating Prop. B will be a Class C Misdemeanor. ACFA starts right out with a Class A Misdemeanor, which is up to a year in jail and up to $20,000 fine. To see a detailed side-by-side comparison, click here.

Proposition B punishes legitimate breeders. Prop. B caps the total of intact dogs to be owned by any breeder at 50, the inference being that no one can adequately care for more than 50 dogs. I mean, that’s a lot, right? Who has the time and energy to take care of all those animals? But the bill's sponsor, the Humane Society of the United States, is confining its proposed legislation to breeders. What about kennels, rescues, shelters, humane societies and pet shops? If you’re going to say that 50 is too many dogs, it should apply to them, too, right? So this really isn’t about numbers of dogs, it’s about punishing breeders.

Full commentary at link:

Time to swing for the fences

The problem with our nation today isn't with what people know; it is that too much of what they know isn't so. Whether it is a protester at the front gate or a longtime teacher, we must be transparent. We must explain exactly how it is and hide nothing.

By TRENT LOOS Posted on: 10.22.2010

I had hoped for a grand slam but probably only got a single instead. I was in San Francisco, Cal., where the Giants baseball team was attempting to go onto the World Series.

However, I am actually not talking about baseball at all. I am referring to putting the "cow" back into Cow Palace.

Seth Daulton called me last spring and asked if I would be willing to help bring the emphasis on the cow back to the Grand National Livestock Show & Rodeo.

On the first night of the event, I was in the administration office when the call came over the radio that protesters were at the front gate. Without hesitation, I went to monitor the situation, and what I saw was extremely interesting.

The thing that impressed me most was the manner in which the situation was handled. As general manager Joe Barkett told me, "We have plenty of practice dealing with protesters."

Still, it really hit me that you must maintain your composure, grant the protestors the opportunity to say their spiel yet establish a set of guidelines they must follow. Each of the eight protesters who showed up in opposition to the rodeo were handed a piece of paper with the guidelines they would be expected to follow.

One key thing about these protesters is that they were seeking to intimidate, pure and simple. They had cameras rolling on rodeo management just hoping to catch someone making a mistake.

I thought I would attempt to turn the table on that, so I took out my camera and microphone to interview the lead protester. The minute I turned on my camera, they put three cameras on me and made it look like a video camera duel at the front gate of the Cow Palace. Full commentary

Friday, October 22, 2010

Missouri's Prop B Bad For Beagles & Beef

Missouri’s Proposition B which is on the ballot for the Nov. 2 election would establish new regulations for licensed dog breeders in Missouri regarding the design of kennels; minimal veterinary care; access to food, water and the outdoors; and numbers of breeding animals allowed. Not surprisingly, the Washington, D.C.-based anti-agriculture Humane Society of the United States sponsored this initiative that can have potential far-reaching ramifications for the Missouri livestock industry.

Folks, it ain’t about the puppies.

I hate “puppy mills”, too. I also hate people who indiscriminately breed horses and flood the market . I have no tolerance for companion-animal or livestock-owners who don’t take care of their animals. But that’s not what this bill is about.

Missouri already has strict laws on the books about the standards of care for licensed dog breeders. If HSUS wants to make an impact they need to go after the unlicensed breeders who disregard the laws, not put ridiculous and costly regulations on the law-abiding breeders whose very livelihood depends on the quality and care of their animals.

They say this bill will give law enforcement more “teeth” to go after breeders. Law enforcement doesn’t have the time, money or resources now to investigate the egregious breeders, how is this going to help them?

The Alliance for Truth says, “HSUS has introduced Prop B as a means of eliminating the legal, licensed professional dog breeders in Missouri, according to the Department of Agriculture. No current licensed breeder can comply with the regulations put forth in Prop B, no matter how clean and well-run the facility. Cost-prohibitive space requirements coupled with misdemeanor crimes for the most minor of issue will eliminate the legal industry in Missouri. Only unlicensed, substandard breeders will be left to produce puppies while continuing to hide from state laws.”

What does this have to with livestock? Plenty. full story at CattleNetwork

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hunters are ready to defend our rights at the ballot box

8:27 PM 10/20/2010

As we all know, the midterm elections could be a major turning point in the direction of this country. Federal spending, jobs, the economy and health care are topics at the top of the national mind, but a recent Safari Club International poll shows that sportsmen and women will also have a significant impact on the November elections — precisely because hunting is a major economic powerhouse in the U.S. economy. Hunters are standing ready to protect their sport, and the jobs it brings to rural economies, in the voting booth. Our poll also shows that the sportsmen’s community is more interested in these elections than ever before, and hunters stand ready to vote on November 2nd.

A few facts demonstrate the impact of hunting in the United States:

•16 million Americans actively participate in hunting every year.
•The hunting industry contributes over $30 billion to the U.S. economy each year and supports over one million jobs across the country.
•The $4.95 billion in annual federal tax money generated by hunters’ spending could cover the annual paychecks of 150,000 U.S. Army sergeants.
•Sportsmen contribute $7.5-plus million to wildlife and habitat conservation every day — more than $2.7 billion every year.

Of those hunters surveyed, an overwhelming nine out of ten say they are “very” likely to vote in the upcoming elections for Congress. In the typically lower turnout of a midterm cycle, this finding suggests that the level of sportsmen’s participation in the November election will be significant. Safari Club’s members and hunters around the country are concerned about protecting the freedom to hunt, gun rights, land use and wildlife management issues and we are ready to make our voices heard at the ballot box in a few short weeks.

But it’s not just the federal level where sportsmen stand ready to make a difference this year. Safari Club International and our allies are involved at all levels of government — from state and local to national and international. There’s an alarming trend, particularly in some states, to restrict hunters’ freedoms. This year, Safari Club International and our members are involved in ballot initiatives in four states to pass state constitutional amendments that will guarantee the future of our right to hunt and fish, even in the face of anti-hunting extremists’ attacks. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and others are trying to delude voters into believing that these amendments are unnecessary, but the true agenda of the extremists was revealed in a recent article in Tennessee’s Jackson Sun. Tennessee is one of the states where a constitutional amendment is on the ballot, and a spokeswoman from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) told the paper that “Tennesseans should vote against the amendment and that hunting and fishing should be stopped.”

Read more: Daily Caller

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Humane Society ad backs Sen. David Vitter

We reported last week that Humane USA PAC (the HSUS money donor) had already contributed $5,000 to Sen. Vitter, one of the top amounts listed in FEC disclosures for the 2010 election cycle.

As announced on, not only has Sen. Vitter won endorsement of the Humane Society, but it's political arm Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) began running a TV commercial in the New Orleans area Tuesday.

Michael Markarian, HSLF president, said the group plans to spend $88,000 over the next two weeks running the ad, which also praises Vitter for co-sponsoring legislation to increase federal regulation of "puppy mills."

Markarian also said HSLF has issued endorsements in about 300 races around the country, but that Louisiana's Senate race is one of only four contests where they are running TV ads. The others are U.S. House races in California, Michigan and Ohio.

This announcement leaves no doubt how important Vitter is to the HSUS agenda. Vitter sponsored S3424 Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act (PUPS) a bill that subjects home breeders and rescuers of dogs to USDA licensure and its 60+ pages of regulations.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Missouri Prop B Opposed by Agricultural Business Council

Kansas City Agricultural Business Council is latest to join in opposition of Missouri dog breeding regulation ballot initiative.

Missouri Ruralist. Compiled by staff
Published: Oct 15, 2010

The Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City is officially on record in opposition to Proposition B, the Missouri Dog Breeding Regulation Initiative that will appear on the Nov. 2 ballot in the state of Missouri as an initiated state statute.

"Missouri currently has stringent laws, regulations and reporting systems in place to prevent animal abuse," said the Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City. Proposition B adds to that litany of regulations, but does nothing to provide resources for enforcement. The Missouri Veterinary Medical Association as well as the American Kennel Club join the Council in opposition.

The council feels that Proposition B, slated to appear on the November ballot, is a misleading attempt to further the animal rights agenda promoted by activist groups such as the Humane Society of the United States. The Council said the initiative targets the already heavily regulated family owned professional kennels, which are inspected and licensed by the Missouri Department of Agriculture, and if passed, it means more big government, more bureaucracy and more unfunded mandates on the private business owners. Prop B is also an attempt by HSUS to limit the number of animals someone can own.

"HSUS, who has reportedly already invested over $2 million in the Prop B effort, is a multi-million-dollar factory fundraising machine that runs such misleading campaigns under the false guise of cute puppies and kittens," says Don Nikodim, chairman of Missourians for Animal Care. "They have no connection to our local shelters and unfortunately have no interest in solutions. In their own words, the ultimate goal of HSUS is to end animal agriculture. Bottom line – Washington D.C. factory fundraisers like HSUS, who according to HumaneWatch actually spends less than half of one percent of their $100M plus budget for hands on animal care, shouldn't be telling Missourians how to run our businesses."

The Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City joins with the St Louis Agri-Business Club, the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, and Missourians for Animal Care to oppose Prop B.

Humane Society gives nod to Ohio's incumbent governor

NECN. Oct 18, 2010 5:25pm

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The political arm of the Humane Society of the United States has made its first-ever foray into the Ohio governor's race, endorsing Gov. Ted Strickland over Republican opponent John Kasich.

The nation's top political organization for animal rights cited the Democrat's role in negotiating a June agreement between animal-rights and agriculture interests. The deal called for the Humane Society to pull an anti-animal cruelty measure off the fall ballot in exchange for tougher rules governing farm animal care and a host of other animal protection measures.

Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols says Strickland deserved the endorsement. He says he placed the Humane Society among "left-coast and Washington-based groups that wage war against Ohio's farmers."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Top 2010 Humane USA PAC donations

Humane USA is the political action committee (PAC) formed by HSUS and various animal rights groups. In addition to making monetary campaign contributions, the PAC organizes activists to work on the campaigns of animal rights friendly candidates. According to their website, Humane USA claims in most cases to already have a working relationship with the office holder.

Who were the top Congressional recipients of Humane USA PAC donations for 2010?

In the U.S. Senate: David Vitter (LA) with $5,000; Harry Reid (NV) with $3,000; Richard Blumenthal (CT) with $2,500; followed by Charles Schumer (NY), Mark Kirk (IL), and Michael Bennet (CO) with $2,000 each.

Top U.S. House recipients were: Elton Gallegly (CA) with $5,750 and Earl Blumenauer (OR) with $5,250; followed by Gary Peters (MI) and Rosa DeLauro (CT) each with $3,500.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Food producers fighting hunger

U.S. food producers continue to respond to hunger in America, with Cargill Inc. announcing this week that its turkey business has teamed up with Feeding America for the second straight year to provide turkeys for 1.75 million meals for people who count on Feeding America's network of food banks for food every year.

Cargill said it will donate $250,000 worth of its Honeysuckle White and Shady Brook Farms turkeys in time for Thanksgiving this year, a 6.0% increase over last year.

Cargill said it will also speak to the hunger issue through an advertising campaign tied to the donation with the theme "The One Turkey That Can Feed A Million People." Cargill said the ads will appear in magazines, newsletters and online, and the message will also be supported by point-of-sale materials in retail stores.

At the same time, Feeding America said nearly 30% of Hispanic children and 40% of African American children live with families needing emergency food assistance, based on its "Hunger in America 2010" study.

Full Story at Feedstuffs

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wolf's Den: Hunting rights vs.Humane Society

Vote YES on Proposition 109

DAVID WOLF Posted: Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The first thing you should know is that the biggest anti-hunting organization in the nation, the euphemistically named Humane Society of the United States -- which really is an anti-hunting lobby group -- is vehemently opposed to Proposition 109, which is all the more reason to support it.

The HSUS says Proposition 109 is a power grab by the legislature. The reality is the legislature has always had authority over wildlife in the state of Arizona. They choose, thanks to the never-ending effort of Arizona's hunters, to let an independent commission set wildlife management policy based on the recommendations of professional wildlife biologists. (See Arizona Revised Statues -- 17-201 -- for the truth)

The HSUS says Arizonans already have the "right" to hunt and fish. Nothing in state statute or the Arizona Constitution currently declares the ability to hunt and fish as a right. Unlike the right to bear arms, which the U.S. Constitution guarantees, there are no provisions that provide the same right to hunt and fish. It is a fact that the ability to hunt and fish has been threatened time and again. The president and CEO of the HSUS, Wayne Pacelle, is on record in Full Cry magazine saying, "We are going to use the ballot box and the democratic process to stop all hunting in the United States... We will take it species by species until all hunting is stopped in California. Then we will take it state by state."

The HSUS says Proposition 109 will end the use of sound science in wildlife management. Provision B of the proposition says, "laws and rules authorized under this section shall have the purpose of wildlife conservation and management and preserving the future of hunting and fishing." The Legislature could have, at any time, taken science out of wildlife management. This HSUS argument is another red herring. FULL STORY

Animal Welfare Is Presenting Farm Groups With Uphill Battle

New research shows consumers believe HSUS, PETA over farm groups.
Compiled by Missouri Ruralist staff Published: Oct 7, 2010

New research from the Center for Food Integrity shows most consumers as twice as likely to believe the Humane Society of the United States and People for The Ethical Treatment of Animals over farm organizations when it comes to humane treatment of farm animals.

The research was released Wednesday at the CFI's Food Summit, held in Chicago.

After HSUS and PETA, farm animal veterinarians, USDA and university experts ranked next, followed by state and national farm organizations and small livestock farmers. Large-scale livestock farmers ranked last in animal welfare credibility.

"The research shows that the closer you are to a profit motivation, the lower your credibility," says Charlie Arnot, CEO at CFI. "Information from an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) was found to be significantly more credible than an association that represents the livestock industry. The closer you are to the money, the less credible your information, which is really why early adopter consumers like information from academics."

The research also reveals that consumers favor more laws to ensure the humane treatment of farm animals in their state. That explains why voters have looked favorably on HSUS-driven ballot drives in California, Michigan and Ohio to reform livestock housing rules.

But there was a significant increase in favorable consumer attitudes toward raising animals indoors to protect from predators and weather extremes. "Those areas were the ones where we saw the greatest increase in attitudes in early adopters," Arnot says.

Even so, farmers and their farm associations appear to have an uphill battle in changing consumer perceptions. "The perception is that because HSUS is an NGO, they are committed to a cause. Source credibility is a crucial issue with consumers," says Arnot.

To overcome the credibility gap, farm groups need to partner with groups outside their comfort zone and continue to drive home messages based not on science but on shared values. "We need to talk about the fact we recognize we have an ethical obligation to ensure our animals are well cared for, so we've moved them indoors to protect them, and that they have adequate vet supervision," concludes Arnot.

Farm Progress

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Proposition B on Facebook

Connect with Vote no on Prop B Missouri!!! on Facebook

Proposition B is little more than another attempt by those on the fringe to push their agenda of animal ownership abolishment. It seeks not to end animal cruelty, but to limit the opportunities for many animal loving Missourians.

Proposition B opposition

Missouri voters need to be educated on Proposition B and the harm it will do to dog breeders in the state. More information and links are available on the SAOVA website. Proposition B is a ballot initiative introduced by HSUS. The issue is control - not animal welfare.

Southeast Missourian. Monday, October 4, 2010
Proposition B opposition by Dale E. Steffens, President, Cape Girardeau County Farm Bureau, Jackson

Don't be fooled by the slick television ads or the Hollywood celebrities. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is not your local pet shelter but an east coast fundraising organization. Very little (less that one-half of 1 percent) of the money it raises is used to rescue dogs and cats but rather to finance an extremist agenda that is targeting pet breeders, livestock producers and hunters.

As a livestock producer, hunter and dog breeder, I am very concerned about the threat posed by HSUS and other extremist organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Full story and comments at the link

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

ANN ARBOR: U of M defends itself against PETA's allegations

Published: Tuesday, September 28, 2010

By Art Aisner, Special Writer, Ann Arbor Journal News

The University of Michigan took a strong stance last week defending its use of animals in critical-care training amid scrutiny from animal rights activists.

"We are fully in compliance of all state and federal laws and have a program that is fully accredited, funded, and I think, one of the best in the country," said Howard Rush, associate professor and the director of U of M's Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine.

The comments were in response to a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture by The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals earlier this month. The global nonprofit organization asked for a federal probe into potential violations of the 1966 Animal Welfare Act for what they called cruel and deadly training exercises performed by participants of the Survival Flight course.

PETA argued that the university's use of cats and pigs to train intubation and other trauma-response techniques resulted in injury and even death to many of the animals.

Rush and other U of M officials said the program that uses cats and pigs to train medical professionals is in full compliance with federal law and that they would welcome regulators to take a closer look.

They also criticized PETA's use of inflammatory language, and not presenting their members and supporters with all the facts.

"They are leaving out a lot of details to the general public in a campaign to discredit the university, but in reality there is nothing to be ashamed of," Rush said. FULL STORY