Friday, February 26, 2010

Strickland and Kasich denounce HSUS ballot initiative in Ohio

Ohio Gov. Denounces HSUS Ballot Plan
By Pork news source Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ohio Democratic Governor Ted Strickland and his GOP rival candidate John Kasich both declared their opposition to a ballot measure being planned by the out-of-state activist organization the Humane Society of the United States. The Washington, D.C.-based animal rights organization has prepared to use paid petition gatherers to place on the November ballot a measure to overturn State Issue 2, which was approved by Ohio voters by a nearly 2-1 margin just under four months ago.

Issue 2 created the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board to allow broad public input into farm animal care issues. The HSUS plan would force the Care Board to adopt HSUS policies.

Both gubernatorial candidates endorsed Issue 2 and now agree that it’s wrong for HSUS to attempt to overturn the will of Ohio voters.

"If we want to eat, and if we want access to affordable and inexpensive food, it is important for the agricultural community within our state not to be hamstrung and to have their hands tied behind their back by those who do not fully appreciate the value of what happens on our farms," said Gov. Strickland.

Referencing HSUS’s "extremism," candidate Kasich said, "No outsiders ought to come in here and try to destroy our farms."

Last week a HSUS watchdog Web site, was launched which plans coverage on HSUS’ efforts at the national as well as state levels. “Ohio and Missouri are big battlegrounds for HSUS this year and we will be covering them extensively,” says David Martosko, Center for Consumer Freedom, the site's sponsor.

"The Ohio pork industry demonstrates to its consumers that the well-being of hogs in the state is a top priority," says Dick Isler, executive vice president, Ohio Pork Producers Council. “I would add that HSUS should try to work with the Animal Care Standards Board, not try to highjack it."

The Ohio governor candidates join Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern and Ohio Republic Party Chairman Kevin DeWine, who also condemned the HSUS plan during a broadcast of OFBF's radio program Town Hall Ohio.

"We don't need extreme out-of-state groups coming into Ohio. It just shows the political angle of the Humane Society," said DeWine.

"It's pretty remarkable. We haven't even had a chance to write the rules and somebody else is going to tell us what the rules should be," said Redfern. He added that HSUS "is clearly out of touch with Ohioans."

HSUS, which is not the parent of locally operated humane organizations, advocates for reducing and eliminating consumption of animal products.

Source: Ohio Farm Bureau Federation

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Getting to Know HSUS

By Rick Jordahl | Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Layer by layer, the facade of the Humane Society of the United States is being peeled back revealing the group’s far-reaching objectives. The world is learning that at the center is an animal rights group with much more on its agenda than saving dogs and cats.

Australian wine maker, Casella Wines, learned the hard way. After the company’s commitment to donate $100,000 was roundly criticized by many consumers of the wine makers’ Yellow Tail wine, the company reevaluated their commitment to HSUS.

In exchanges with the Animal Agriculture Alliance, Casella has decided that “future support for animal welfare will go to organizations specifically devoted to hands-on care, such as rescue, sterilization, feeding, or disaster assistance.”

Casella Wines’ wish to aid and support animals seems genuine and the company’s misdirected donation, while unfortunate, is understandable. HSUS fund-raising tactics excel at generating donations from those who are unaware of the group’s extensive agenda.

More layers of the HSUS exterior will be peeled back with last week’s launch of the Web site . Sponsored by the Center for Consumer Freedom, the site’s objective is to educate the public about what HSUS is and what it is not. CCF is a non-profit organization supported by over 100 companies and thousands of individual consumers.

“People mistake HSUS for an animal welfare group that manages pet shelters,” says David Martosko, CCF director of research. “Part of the objective of is to correct that misperception.”
Full story at Pork Magazine link

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Wisconsin farm groups counter HSUS efforts

February 23, 2010 by Bob Meyer

Members of four Wisconsin farm groups will be visiting the State Capitol Wednesday to hand deliver a letter to members of the State Legislature. The letter calls into question the activities and actions of the Humane Society of the United States. Among other things, the letter states; “HSUS isn’t your local animal shelter; it’s a lobbying organization,” pointing out many Americans donate thinking the money is going to the local humane society when in fact it is funding the anti-animal agriculture motives of HSUS. The letter reiterates charges that less than 4 percent of HSUS’ budget actually goes to animal shelters.

The letter closes with the farm groups cautioning the lawmakers not to be fooled by people who say they care for animals while attacking those who actually do. “We feed animals. We feed people. We are the Wisconsin farmer members of:

Wisconsin Dairy Business Association Wisconsin Pork Association

Wisconsin Corn Growers Association

Wisconsin Soybean Association

They will also present the legislators with an empty plate bearing a label:

An Empty Plate

That’s what the Humane Society agenda promises.

HSUS deceptively uses this name to fund a PETA-inspired anti-meat campaign. Don’t be fooled.

HSUS isn’t your local animal shelter.

HSUS cares about fund-raising.

Wisconsin farmers care about animals.

Get the facts at

HSUS has been the driving force behind referendums in several states outlawing the use of gestation crates for pigs, calf crates and battery cages for chickens.

Jolley: Five Minutes With David Martosko & RICO, The HSUS Dog

Cattle Network 02/23/2010 07:46AM

It was a busy Monday, much like any other Monday this winter. The old bones were aching from clearing the driveway of the output of still another snowstorm. I was thinking a couple aspirins and a nap might be a good idea when Rob Cook perked things up. He had just forwarded a press release to me.

“Did you get this?” he asked in his email.

I looked at the headline: ”Racketeering Lawsuit Fingers Humane Society of the United States?.”

Now that’s an attention grabber. A vision of the ever dapper Wayne Pacelle, the top gun at HSUS, decked in prison stripes instead of Armani, flashed through my head. “Who,” I thought, “was giving HSUS the finger?”

Turns out it was Ringling Brothers, those kindly circus folk that HSUS and a few other animal rights organizations hammered with an animal cruelty charge a few years ago. In October, 2008, Federal Court proceedings began in a case involving a 2007 lawsuit filed against Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, claiming their famous elephants were subjected to ‘cruel and inhumane treatment.’

The suit alleged that the circus staff “routinely beat elephants, chain them for long periods of time, hit them with sharp bull hooks, break baby elephants with force to make them submissive, and forcibly remove baby elephants from their mothers before they are weaned.”

After some top flight lawyers on both sides of the issue fought it out in court, ‘mano a mano,’ Ringling Bros was exonerated. On January 27, the Entertainment Law Digest reported “A federal judge dismissed for lack of standing an animal cruelty lawsuit against the owner of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, saying the lead plaintiff, a former elephant caretaker, had received nearly $200,000 in illegal payouts from animal rights advocates.”

It didn’t take long for Barnum lawyers to strike back with that RICO suit, did it? Uncovering the existence of the suit were the folks at Center for Consumer Freedom who posted a link to the papers on their just opened web site David Martosko, one of the more outspoken folks at CCF and their Director of Research, was my first call.

“Would you be able to respond to a few questions?” I asked. Damn right, he would. Here’s the story from his side of the fence.
Interview at link ..

Racketeering Lawsuit Fingers Humane Society of the United States

Multi-Million Dollar Animal Rights Group Accused Of Corruption; Lawsuit Available At HumaneWatch

Washington - In a landmark RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) lawsuit certain to have far-reaching implications for the animal rights movement, Feld Entertainment and the Ringling Brothers circus sued the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), its lawyers, and several other animal rights groups last week. The nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) unearthed the lawsuit in federal court records today. CCF is making the lawsuit available online at its newest website,

"America's farmers, ranchers, hunters, fishermen, research scientists, fashion designers, and restaurateurs have seen for decades how the animal rights movement can behave like a mobbed-up racket," said CCF Director of Research David Martosko. "But it's still shocking to see the evidence laid out on paper. In a treble-damage lawsuit like this, a jury could actually do the humane thing and finally put HSUS out of business completely."
Full Story ....

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Legislation Introduced to Start Animal Welfare Commission

Commission would combat efforts by Humane Society of the United States
by Tim Thornberry February 16, 2010

LEXINGTON, KY - As animal rights organizations look to press a stronger anti-cruelty agenda with the state's legislators during the next session, pro-farm groups are hoping the formation of a new commission will allow the state to manage its own standards for animal care.

On a recent visit to Kentucky, Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) visited with supporters to rally the troops for the legislative session. The organization's agenda included shoring up existing anti-cruelty laws including those against cockfighting and the practice of soring as it pertains to walking horses.

When asked if his association was against animal agriculture, he said the HSUS is not against it by any means, adding that theirs is not an anti-meat campaign but an anti-abuse campaign.

But not everyone is convinced of that.

Even in a slow economy, the agriculture industry in Kentucky, and the animal agriculture sector in particular, has been a major contributor to economic development throughout the state. Last year, livestock production accounted for nearly $2.5 billion in cash receipts. Over the years, anti-cruelty groups have voiced concerns over the treatment of livestock — so much concern that they have worked to introduce legislation in many states to change laws governing how the animals are kept.

But pro-farming organizations are hopeful that a new piece of legislation recently introduced in the state Senate will keep such initiatives out of Kentucky.

Senate Bill 105 was brought before the Senate Agriculture Committee by Sen. David Givens with a full meeting room of supporters and non-supporters present.

The bill would create a 14-member Kentucky Livestock Care Standards Commission which would set rules for the treatment of animals on the farm, be administered by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and chaired by the state's agriculture commissioner. The legislation would also prevent local governments from passing standards that are stricter than those set by the commission.
Full Story ..

Sunday, February 14, 2010

R-CALF: Group Takes Proactive Stance On Animal Welfare Issues

Due to concerns about how groups like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and other extremist organizations are railroading animal-care regulations in several states, R-CALF USA members who attended the group’s recent annual convention in Rapid City, S.D., felt it was imperative to get policy on the books to emphasize that cattle farmers and ranchers are the experts when it comes to the proper management of their livestock.

Statistics show that the U.S. live cattle industry generates to the national economy about $50 billion dollars per year.

R-CALF USA members will vote on the following proposed resolution this spring via a mail-in ballot:

Be it resolved: R-CALF USA opposes extremist animal rights individual’s or groups’ views and tactics that impair animal owners’ Constitutional rights to the pursuit of life, liberty and the right to own property.

“Our animals are a tremendous investment in our livelihoods, so of course we’re going to give them what they need to be healthy and productive,” said R-CALF USA Member Jim Foster, who sponsored the proposed resolution. “These extremists’ threats are real and come in various forms, including media attacks and ever-increasing state ballot initiatives whereby these activist organizations end up deciding how we ranchers should manage our animals and then convince unknowing voters to approve these radical restrictions in a general election.”

“Having this sort of policy on the books will simply make it official where we stand on the matter,” said R-CALF USA President/Region VI Director Max Thornsberry, a Missouri veterinarian who also chairs the group’s animal health committee. “Farmers and ranchers, without doubt, are the best stewards of their land and livestock because that’s what they rely on to pay their bills.”
Source: CattleNetwork

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Farm Bureau draws a line against animal activists groups

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Erma Harris, Managing Editor
Educating the public about animal activists and encouraging farmers to pay attention to what has happened in other states already, was the main focus of a meeting held recently by the Oregon County Farm Bureau.

Kelly Smith, director of maketing and commodities for Missouri Farm Bureau, said the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is getting signatures on a petition to place dog breeding limitations on the November ballet so that owners of these businesses cannot have more than 50 dogs for breeding purposes. Smith said the HSUS is using photos of puppy mills, in horrible conditions to get the public to join this movement and donate money. He said Missouri has been targeted by HSUS because Missouri is among the top dog breeders in the United States.

According to the Missouri Federation of Animal Owners Web site, the ballot measure is sponsored by animal rights groups: Humane Society of United States (HSUS), American Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Humane Society of Missouri and Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation, The HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) has filed with the Secretary of State a ballot measure titled "Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act" against dog breeders to be presented on the November 2010 ballot for a vote of the people of the state of Missouri. It applies to breeders with 10 or more intact female dogs, limits the number of breeding female dogs to 50 per kennel, limits breeding to no more than twice in any eighteen-month period, requires daily exercise, veterinary care for any injury or illness, and requires controlled temperatures not to exceed 85 degrees or fall below 45 degrees. Facility and pen size requirements far exceed that which legal, licensed breeders currently must have to be in compliance with state and federal laws. Many of the requirements are virtually cost prohibitive when allowing only 50 breeding dogs maximum for generating income.

Smith said this is only the beginning of a campaign that will set regulations on all animal agriculture. "Those of us in agriculture livestock production had better pay attention to what's happening," he said. "This is a very, very important issue and quite frankly, we've faced a lot of challenges, but this issue, is not just an agricultural issue, it's a grain farmer issue, anybody that eats across the nation, this is an issue for them, too."
Full story ....

Animal welfare initiative could divide Ohio veterinarians

February 11, 2010
By: Jennifer Fiala
For The VIN News Service

A war that waged between two factions of California’s veterinary profession in 2008 could repeat itself in the Buckeye State as the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) works to determine its stance on a proposed constitutional amendment designed to cement minimum housing requirements for pigs, veal calves and hens.

Veterinary insiders are calling the initiative Ballot X — a currently nameless proposition pushed by an activist consortium led by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The immediate goal: to collect the 600,000-plus signatures needed to guarantee a spot for the “anti-cruelty measure” on the Nov. 2 ballot.

“If they don’t collect the signatures, this will all be a moot point,” says Jack Advent, OVMA executive director.

Yet Advent and others doubt that will be the case. If history is any guide, attracting supporters will be no problem for HSUS, a political powerhouse with an undefeated record in terms of pushing ballot measures across the country in the name of animal welfare.

Much like its cousin initiatives that have passed via citizen referendum in Florida, Arizona and California, Ballot X seeks to mandate that egg-laying hens, pregnant sows and veal calves live in quarters that allow them to extend their limbs and turn around, effectively banning traditional sow gestation stalls, veal crates and battery cages. It also requires that cows and pigs are slaughtered in manners deemed humane by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

If enacted, the law would give the state’s newly minted Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board — an entity proposed last year by the Ohio Farm Bureau and other agribusiness groups — six years to set the new humane requirements in a state that ranks second in egg production and ninth in swine production. The proposed mandate also requires the board to adopt minimum standards for euthanasia and downer animals. Violators would face misdemeanor charges that carry a maximum $1,000 fine and/or a yearlong jail sentence.

At face value, the push for greater welfare requirements is hard to object to. But it's not so simple for the OVMA, whose leadership remains uncertain about where the association ultimately will stand on Ballot X. Among veterinarians, animal welfare is a polarizing and politicized topic. Even as practitioners spend their lives promoting the well-being of animals, it is non-DVM activists who appear to be guiding American attitudes on welfare. Some veterinarians are sympathetic to public sentiments; others find the position overly simplistic.

Considering the controversial nature of Ballot X, the OVMA is determined to take it slow. Within the next few months, officials plan to poll the group’s membership, hold a welfare forum in Columbus and start traveling the state to take the pulse of veterinarians.

“We need time to discuss this and have an open exchange with our members,” says Jack Advent, OVMA executive director. “Obviously no one wants to go to the ballot; it’s not going to be a pleasant experience for anyone. We’re going to look at animal housing, and there’s no rushing to judgment on this. These issues are too complex.”

What feeds the uncertainty? The answer boils down to politics, emotion and the push and pull between agriculture science and society’s ethics. For starters, there’s no consensus about whether veal crates, sow gestation stalls or battery cages are harmful or inhumane, even from the AVMA, which states that all housing systems carry pluses and minuses. As far as the nation’s largest veterinary membership body is concerned, science doesn’t point in any one direction when determining, for example, whether free-range housing is superior to battery cages. Case in point: While the public might suspect that tight quarters might be harmful to animals, free-range housing — a system favored by many activists — leaves livestock greatly exposed to communicable diseases, parasites and animal-on-animal aggression, the AVMA contends.
Full story ....

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Proactive or reactive? Kentucky starts process to create livestock commission

by Kristy Foster Farm and Dairy.
FRANKFORT, Ky. — In an effort to stop animal rights activists from invading the Bluegrass State, the Kentucky Senate Ag Committee passed a bill Feb. 4 to create the Kentucky Livestock Care Standards Commission.

New bill
The bill that would create a commission to set rules for how animals are treated and cared for on farms.

The Senate Bill 105 is sponsored by Agriculture Committee Chairman David Givens.

The full Senate is expected to consider the bill the week of Feb. 8. The bill would create a 14-member Kentucky Livestock Standards Commission chaired by the state agriculture commissioner. The state veterinarian would be a nonvoting member.
Full story ...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Turning Dogs into Vegans: Proof that HSUS Follows the Animal Rights Religion

HSUS announced its new dog food, inappropriately labeled Humane Choice. The meatless product uses no animal protein among its ingredients. Why are we even surprised at the total arrogance of HSUS in marketing a product that will impose their vegan philosophy on canines.

Turning Dogs into Vegans: Proof that HSUS Follows the Animal Rights Religion
Friday, February 5, 2010, 12:39 PM by Wesley J. Smith

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is the richest animal rights organization, I think, in the world, with assets of more than $200 million. Unlike the SPCAs around the country and other humane societies that have no connection to HSUS, it is not an animal welfare organization that merely seeks to improve the treatment of animals. It is animal rights all the way.

But it is also very cleverly hides its true goals. HSUS’s leader, Wayne Pacelle, is very professional. He wears suits, he speaks softly, and unlike PETA’s alpha wolf Ingrid Newkirk, he doesn’t openly spout the animal rights dogma. But he is a true believer, and HSUS–which owns no [update: pet] shelters–is in a cold war of attrition against all animal industries, albeit one that employs legitimate tools of democracy, such as the lawsuit and public democratic initiative, to make life difficult for animal industries.
Full story ...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Will California increase bear hunt limits?

State officials say the bear population, which stands at 38,000, would remain healthy with increased hunt limits. Wayne Pacelle (HSUS) immediately announced that if the California Fish and Game Commission widens the hunt, HSUS will put a measure on the California ballot by 2012 to ban hound hunting of bears. Pacelle continued by bragging they have won 5 ballot initiatives in a row and could win a hound hunting ban by a large margin.

California considers dramatically expanding the number of black bears hunters can kill
By Paul Rogers

Watch out, Smokey. Keep your head down, Yogi.

Saying that California's black bear population has quadrupled in the past 25 years, state Fish and Game Department officials are drafting new rules that could increase the number of black bears killed by hunters each year in the state by 50 percent or more.

The proposal also would allow hunters for the first time to use global positioning system devices on the collars of hounds that they use to track bears, along with automatic triggers that alert hunters when their dogs have treed a bear.

State hunting managers say the rules — which would increase the current limit of 1,700 killed annually — would offer more people the opportunity to hunt and wouldn't significantly affect the health or size of the overall black bear population in California, now at 38,000. The growing bear population also is increasingly causing problems, they note.

"There are more reported incidents of bears causing private property damage," said Doug Updike, a wildlife biologist with the state Department of Fish and Game. "People are moving into bear habitat, and we have more bears that are more widely distributed. We are having more interactions between bears and people."

But animal rights groups promise to fight the proposed new rules, starting Thursday when the state Fish and Game Commission holds a hearing in Sacramento. A final vote is expected April 21.

Full story ....