Thursday, July 12, 2012

HSUS sends notices of plans to sue 51 pork producers

In its continuing campaign to disrupt animal agriculture, HSUS is now preparing to file suits against a number of North Carolina, Iowa, and Oklahoma pork producers. Does your Congressman understand the real HSUS agenda?

Feedstuffs. Rod Smith 7/11/2012
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) gave notice this afternoon that it plans to file lawsuits against 51 large-scale pork producers in North Carolina, Iowa and Oklahoma for unreported ammonia releases into the environment.

HSUS said it identified the alleged offenders "after months of research" and said the companies emit "hundreds of pounds" of ammonia per day, endangering farm animals, wildlife, the environment and rural communities.

"It was no surprise," HSUS said, that many of the producers who will receive notices are affiliated with the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), the trade group representing the U.S. pork industry that defends the use of gestation stalls for pregnant sows, a practice that HSUS finds abhorrent and is seeking to end.

The letters of notice are required under the federal Emergency Planning & Community Right-to-Know Act before litigation can start.

HSUS recognized that there are producers who are "attentive" to animal welfare and environmental issues, but said some of the wealthiest producers "apparently refuse to comply with critical" public health laws.

In response to "notices" sent today to 51 pork producers by HSUS, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) said late this afternoon it is reviewing the allegations, but regardless, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is itself still evaluating air emissions data from livestock and poultry operations to develop "a better understanding" of emission rates.

NPPC said it is important to note that HSUS is not alleging environmental harm but paperwork violations of EPA's emissions reporting rule that has created widespread confusion, including one state's claim that EPA notices are "an internet hoax."

NPPC said the notices represent "another scare tactic" to get NPPC "to back off" its opposition to the HSUS-United Egg Producers agreement on hen housing and the congressional legislation that would codify the agreement into law, as well as NPPC's efforts to correct the record on the HSUS "truth-twisting campaign" against producers who use gestation stalls for pregnant sows.

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