Saturday, July 10, 2010

Who is next on HSUS’ list?

Who is next on HSUS’ list?
July 6, 2010 by Ken Anderson Brownfield Ag News

Now that Ohio’s livestock industry has compromised with the Humane Society of the United States, which state might be next on HSUS’ list?

Missouri, Oklahoma, Illinois and Nebraska have all been mentioned as the next possible targets. In Nebraska, the executive director of the state’s pork producer association, Larry Sitzman, says livestock groups have been discussing strategy and are preparing for a fight.

“At this time I believe our minds are still ‘yes we’re going to fight it’,” says Sitzman. “That’s our policy. We feel that we are using facilities and the type of animal care that’s acceptable by the American Veterinary (Medical) Association and, yes, we probably will fight it unless something else changes our minds.”

And although Nebraska might be considered a very “agriculture-friendly” state, Sitzman says the industry won’t take anything for granted.

“So many people are now away from agriculture and don’t understand our production systems, and we need to reinitiate in people’s minds that we raise livestock, we care for those livestock and, yes, those livestock do need to be slaughtered humanely and able to feed them with protein– and the rest of the world,” says Sitzman.

In fact, Nebraska’s livestock industry is planning a fall advertising campaign to educate the non-farming public about the importance of the livestock industry to the state.

Sitzman says HSUS is currently advertising for an executive director in Nebraska, an indication that the organization may be readying itself for a ballot initiative effort in the state. “They would be able to ge ant initiative petition on the ballot in 2012. You can only do it in a general election year, so not before 2012,” Sitzman says.

Sitzman made his comments to Brownfield at a Lincoln meeting to discuss the future of the livestock industry in Nebraska.

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