Friday, December 19, 2008

No honeymoon for Vilsack with animal rights group
By Janie Gabbett on 12/19/2008

President-elect Obama's appointment of former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack was met with a round of congratulatory statements from the agricultural community, but at least one animal rights group decided to forgo the honeymoon.

"Vilsack has an uneven track record when it comes to farm animals and fighting factory farming," said Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, a self-described farm animal protection organization, in a statement.

"He has supported some animal protection measures and has at times stood up to Big Ag, yet he has also taken actions that are not in the best interest of farm animals and rural communities," Baur added, noting that during his tenure as governor of Iowa, the state saw a proliferation of massive hog farms.

"This is not a time for us to be complacent, but a time to remind Vilsack that USDA was founded as the people's department, not the factory farmers' department," he added. Link

As was to be expected, Vilsack is already taking heat from the animal rights crowd. I mentioned earlier this week when his name was announced that the new Secretary would be under a lot of pressure from people that want to eliminate production agriculture, and particularly animal agriculture. Two days after being announced, it has started.

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