Saturday, July 24, 2010

Viewpoints: Group's goal is for an egg-less America

Since HSUS's view is that a vegan diet is the only "humane" way to eat, this whole "cage-free" egg campaign is a sideshow. It's a temporary step toward the group's larger goal.

By David Martosko
Special to The Bee
Published: Saturday, Jul. 24, 2010 - 12:00 am | Page 11A

Everyone with a head on his shoulders believes in the humane treatment of animals. But egg farmers and American consumers will soon face a choice between what's actually humane and what some animal rights radicals claim is humane. It may seem like a hair-splitting exercise, but the wrong choice will send American egg farmers the way of the telegraph operator.

In 2008 California voters passed Proposition 2, which, among other things, required egg farmers to build facilities by 2015 that allow laying hens to have more freedom of movement. And a newly signed California law expands this requirement to the 49 other states by requiring that all eggs sold in California come from producers who abide by Proposition 2 standards.

Is this good? Is it bad? It's unclear, because nobody can agree on what Proposition 2 actually means.

Egg farmers have one way of looking at it. One farm in Modesto just spent $3.2 million installing "enriched cages" to give its hens more room.

But America's wealthiest animal rights group, the Humane Society of the United States – not to be confused with your local pet shelter – sees things differently. HSUS, the main financial backer of Proposition 2, believes all California egg farmers – and out-of-staters who sell eggs in the Golden State – now must eliminate their cages.

So who's right – the farmers or the animal rights activists? And which solution is better for the hens?


Thursday, July 22, 2010

HSUS downgraded again to "D" charity rating

July 19, 2010
What a way for the Humane Society of the United Sates to start the week. The American Institute of Philanthropy - a highly respected charity watchdog-just released its quarterly rankings for selected charities all across America. HSUS and the Fund for Animals (which became part of HSUS in 2005) have both been downgraded to a letter grade of "D". More at the link Humane Watch

Thursday, July 15, 2010

House Subcommittee hearing on livestock anti-biotic ban

Reuters. Legislation to ban the decades-old practice is unlikely to pass this year, said sponsorLouise Slaughter, but her plan is to move further next year. The Food and Drug Administration recommended on June 28 that antibiotics be used only to prevent or treat livestock disease.

"Before we go down a path that will have a devastating economic impact on our agriculture industry, we must assure science drives this debate," said Illinois Republican John Shimkus at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on Slaughter's bill.

Democrats and Republicans on the subcommittee expressed concerns about the science behind the ban, but Democrats said evidence favored action.

Major U.S. livestock groups oppose the bill, citing high potential costs and possible shortage of veterinarians to oversee drug use in livestock.

Full story at link

Related articles:
NPPC: No evidence of antibiotics link. Brownfield Ag News. July 14, 2010

Coyote trapper receives death threats

Coyote trapper receives death threats
FBI, police investigating after man hired by Wheaton to kill coyotes was contacted by others, threatened
By Jenn Zimmerman, reporter, July 1, 2010

A trapper hired by Wheaton in the spring to cull coyotes received phone and e-mail threats, leading the FBI and police to investigate unnamed animal-rights activists.

After the city's contract with Rob Erickson containing his phone number and e-mail address was made public, Erickson said, one caller threatened to kill him like he killed the coyote, and another targeted his house to burn.

"It's really frustrating, but that is how the political process works," said Erickson, who trapped and killed five coyotes perceived as a threat to residents.

FBI spokeswoman Cynthia Yates would not provide details, but confirmed this week that the agency was investigating along with Wheaton police.

Full story at the link

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

CA Sen. Dave Cox, R-Fair Oaks, dead at 72

With the sad passing of Senator Dave Cox on Tuesday July 13, 2010, Tina Perriguey writes:

California state Senator Dave Cox (R) has passed away, at age 72, after a 13 year battle with prostate cancer. May you rest in peace, Dave. We will be forever grateful for all you did to help us in the fight against mandatory spay/neuter legislation.

As someone who was standing in the Committee Hearing room - I know I will never forget the pivotal moment when Dave (through a series of questions that turned into a classic interrogation) got Los Angeles Animal Services Director Ed Boks to admit (regarding AB 1634)... "No Senator, this bill is not about saving dogs and cats." If memory serves, this historic moment was recorded. Hopefully, it will go soon go viral again, in a tribute to Dave, and the pivotal moment when that terrible bill went down in flames.

--Permission to cross-post---

Saturday, July 10, 2010

State sells out some animal owners

July polls show Republican John Kasich leads Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland by as much as 7 points in the Ohio governor's race. Will Strickland's concessions to HSUS seal a win for Kasich in November?

State sells out some animal owners
By Butch Hash • July 10, 2010 • Newark Advocate

June 30 was a dark day for livestock, exotic animal owners and dog breeders in Ohio, thanks to Gov. Ted Strickland, The Ohio Farm Bureau and HSUS. The Ohio Farm Bureau is supposed to protect the interest of the farmers. They handed poultry, pork and beef farmers over to HSUS on a platter, along with the exotic animal owners and dog breeders.

We should think about all the rights that are taken from us by the government. Now they attack the backbone of America: the American farmer. Mr. Strickland, you will not have my vote in November this year or that of a lot of the farmers and meat-eaters in Ohio. I don't like seaweed. Mr. Strickland, I am sure you sit down to a good steak dinner every now and then. Mr. Strickland, try living on the diet Wayne Pacelle would have the rest of us eating. But now that you have sold out all types of animal owners, we will not forget you this November. I would like all the readers who like freedom, meat, eggs and a pet dog to call Mr. Strickland and the Ohio Farm Bureau to let them know that the people who gave them power can take it away.

Full opinion piece at the link.

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.

North Carolina HSUS dog bill shelved

North Carolina HSUS dog bill shelved
July 7, 2010 by Julie Harker Brownfield Ag News

A bill backed by the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) aimed at regulating dog breeders in North Carolina has been shelved as that state’s legislative session winds down. One of the groups fighting the measure is the Sportsmen’s and Animal Owner’s Voting Alliance. President Susan Wolf says the bill, which passed the North Carolina Senate by one vote last year, was “reactive legislation” to a large substandard kennel taken over by animal control officials. Wolf says the HSUS proposal would regulate dog owners with 15 or more dogs,

“For somebody that has one pet dog, it may sound like a lot of dogs, but anyone that has any husbandry knowledge or raising dogs or has a pack of hunting dogs knows that’s not a lot of dogs.”

Wolf says there’s no doubt that it’s part of an HSUS campaign against North Carolina agriculture, “They are working the restaurants, trying to get them to buy cage-free eggs. They have started to work the Farm Tours with their propaganda to drive a wedge between the ag community.

Wolf says they all must work together to fight HSUS, “If we don’t all learn the agenda and work together, we’re going to be buried under legislation.

While the bill got hung up in committee at the tail end of the North Carolina legislative session, which likely ends this Friday, Wolf says the fight isn’t over because the HSUS-backed bill WILL be back next year.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act (PUPS)

The Sportsmen’s & Animal Owners’ Voting Alliance (SAOVA) is OPPOSED to HR 5434/S 3424 Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act (PUPS) in its entirety.

For over a decade the Humane Society of The United States (HSUS) and other anti-animal use groups have introduced federal legislation to restrict breeding of dogs and/or cats at the retail level. Their proposed legislation would amend the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) with strict regulations on retail breeders.

As with all previous versions of HSUS introduced bills to break the commercial / retail barrier, PUPS subjects home breeders and rescuers of dogs to USDA licensure and its 60+ pages of regulations. PUPS misleads legislators and the public into thinking this legislation will put an end to puppy mills when in fact PUPS will serve to eliminate many fine sources of home-bred puppies and close down rescue efforts.

As written, PUPS will negatively impact many in-home breeders who cannot comply with commercial standards or who refuse to have their rights to privacy invaded by federal inspectors. PUPS will drive many midsize producers of pets and working dogs away from their hobbies and livelihoods. PUPS poor language and arbitrary use of numbers for licensing criteria will negatively impact even the rescue community.

Read the full SAOVA statement. View links to previous bills to remove the commercial/retail sales barrier and related documents.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

State's deal with HSUS might not be end of conflict

"Raising 10 billion land animals in the United States annually for food is simply not a sensible plan of action," Pacelle wrote. "The science is clear that a diet that is primarily plant-based is better for our personal health, and it's obviously better for animals and the environment." Wayne Pacelle. A Humane Nation blog October 8, 2009

That quote sums up the HSUS philosophy on animal agriculture. There is no common ground with an agenda that removes animal-use.

State's deal with HSUS might not be end of conflict
Chillicothe Gazette July 3, 2010

For months, the spectre of a fall statewide issue related to animal cruelty promised to create a showdown between animal activists and the farming community in Ohio.
But a last minute deal brokered by Gov. Ted Strickland brought together the animal rights and farm groups for a deal that boosts both sides.

The deal calls for Strickland, the Humane Society, the Ohio Farm Bureau and their partners to join forces in favor of tougher laws governing farm animals, including provisions that ban certain crates and cages and the use of strangulation as a form of euthanasia.

It also calls for setting felony-level penalties for cock fighting, cracking down on puppy mills and promoting a ban on future exotic pet purchases.

The farming community took a hit recently when a video from a Plain City farm showed brutal treatment of cows there.

Animal rights groups, including the Humane Society of the United States, were accused of harassing and dishonest practices to get the signatures needed on petitions.

As Strickland said in a Wednesday press conference, the still-unsigned deal was necessary to avoid a bitter campaign war.

But a closer look reveals Ohio isn't out of the woods just yet.
Full story at link

Friday, July 2, 2010

HSUS extortion in Ohio

Earlier this week California’s AB1437 cage-free egg bill was sent to Governor Schwarzenegger for signature. The bill extends Prop 2 standards to out-of-state eggs by criminalizing importation of eggs that are not cage-free. According to a U.C. Davis study, one third of California eggs are imported. Schwarzenegger, who opposed Prop 2, has until Tuesday to sign or veto the bill.

Following on the heels of this addition to the Prop 2 saga, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and state agricultural leaders compromised with HSUS to prevent a November ballot initiative. Governor Strickland has been quoted as saying, “The agreement represents a joint push to find common ground."

It is unlikely this deal will keep HSUS satisfied for long in their insatiable drive to undermine animal agriculture and any other animal related venues in Ohio.

In brokering this deal, HSUS extortionists went beyond the livestock initiative threat to bludgeon Ohio dog breeders by demanding “legislation to crack down on puppy mills”, which generally translates to mean over-regulating dog breeders to a point that defies common sense.

The following press release from our friends at Animal Agriculture Alliance says it all.

Agriculture Industry Must Learn From Disappointing Outcome in Ohio