Friday, February 27, 2009

States Brace For HSUS

California chicken proposition draws criticism from ISU dean
Thursday, February 26, 2009, 8:55 AM
By O.Kay Henderson

The dean of Iowa State University's College of Agriculture is critical of a new California proposition which requires larger cages for chickens that are laying eggs in a confinement setting. I.S.U.'s Wendy Wintersteen testified before the Ag Committees in the Iowa House and Senate on Wednesday.

"The difficulty with the Humane Society of the United States is that they really are not about helping people understand the science of the issue. They are about, really, building to the rhetoric involved and so you have a set of people in California that are very uninformed about the issue that voted to make a decision that will, in fact, have tremendous consequences across the United States," Wintersteen said.

"We will end up, if we're not careful, having more restrictive regulations than Europe does related to animals." Wintersteen suggests an "uninformed electorate" can be convinced of anything. "For us, the issue is that the Humane Society of the United States has effectively convinced the public that there are a set of problems, when in fact that argument is not based on science," Wintersteen said. Read More

Many states are trying to prepare themselves from an attack by HSUS. Some are rewriting the rules so that HSUS can’t use ballot initiatives, and others are just trying to educate their lawmakers so when the day comes, they are informed. Whatever the strategy, everyone in agriculture should be involved in doing something to prepare. It’s time to stop being reactive and go on the offensive for a change.

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