Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pacelle's Growing Concern Over Farmers Who Tell Their Story

This letter was written by Wayne Pacelle, CEO and President of the Humane Society of the United States

Notice: Beware Farm Bureau Bait-and-Switch

Dear Friend,

As we turn into the new year, I write to alert you to an emerging issue I hope you'll take note of, and to ask for your heightened attention to the subject.

While dog and cat welfare of course remains a core issue for America's animal welfare movement, our cause has always been grounded on a broader concern for protecting all animals from cruelty. The humane movement is built around a concern for any mistreatment and abuse of any animal—whether domesticated or wild or by individuals or institutions. Increasingly, there has been a more careful assessment of how animals are treated in the agribusiness industry. HSUS has done a series of investigations that have exposed inhumane slaughter practices across the nation and the awful mistreatment of animals at stockyards and intermediate transport points. There have also been pointed criticisms focused on the lifelong confinement of certain farm animals—such as veal calves, breeding sows, and laying hens—in cages and crates barely larger than their bodies. Whether you are a devoted carnivore or a committed vegetarian, these inhumane production and slaughter practices should be a concern to every humane advocate.

Two slaughter plants we have investigated have been shuttered, and there is a new national policy prohibiting the slaughter of downer cattle. And in recent elections, citizens in Arizona, California, and Florida have voted by overwhelming margins to phase out the use of certain intensive confinement practices that do not allow animals the opportunity to move in any meaningful way.

The trend toward improved treatment of farm animals is spreading, and that has agitated agribusiness interests, particularly the American Farm Bureau Federation and perhaps even your own state or local Farm Bureau. With a few exceptions in some states, where we worked with reasonable voices in the agriculture industry to negotiate standards for more humane treatment of farm animals—Colorado, Maine, Michigan, and Oregon—state farm bureaus are digging in and mounting counter-measures to thwart reform, especially in states where there are no laws at all to provide for farm animal welfare.

The newly crafted plan of some local, state, and federal Farm Bureau organizations is to try to divide the humane community, in order to undermine support for humane reforms in agriculture. As such, some state Farm Bureaus across the country are now making a concerted effort to forge relationships with local humane organizations, arguing that the care of pets is a laudable goal, but that the broader movement to promote new policies to protect farm animals is wrong and misguided. In some limited number of cases, the Farm Bureaus are even donating to sheltering organizations in order to buy goodwill. These agricultural organizations have never stood for policies to protect companion animals, and it is obvious that this is a strategic effort to block reform and not a sincere effort to associate themselves with our cause.

Although The HSUS welcomes sincere dialogue on farm animal welfare and has spoken with the American Farm Bureau Federation and state Farm Bureaus across the country, their newfound interest in animal protection groups should be treated with some skepticism based on their consistently hostile record on animal welfare issues. Typically, they are the biggest impediment to humane reforms at the state and national level:

Many leading agriculture groups have opposed the imposition of felony-level penalties for cruelty, and they have sought and gained exemptions in anti-cruelty statutes for livestock.

They have lobbied against prohibiting the worst abuses at large-scale puppy mills.

They actively oppose federal legislation to crack down on horse slaughter for human consumption. They believe long-distance transport and slaughter is an appropriate option for these animals, rather than urging individuals to provide lifetime care for their horses or see that humane euthanasia is performed for unwanted horses.

At the federal level, they support indiscriminate and inhumane predator control methods, such as trapping and poisoning which kill and injure non-target wildlife and companion animals.
They have opposed virtually all farm animal reform efforts, including efforts to include poultry under the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, to stop the abuse of downer cattle and pigs who are too sick or injured to walk, and to allow animals on large-scale operations the ability to stand up, lie down, and turn around.

Sadly, even on the clearest policy questions of right and wrong, such as upgrading penalties for animal fighting, Farm Bureau organizations have stood on the sidelines. We urge you not to be deceived by this newly hatched effort by the Farm Bureau to enlist you in opposing legitimate and mainstream animal welfare reforms for animals used in agribusiness. As humane organizations, we have an obligation to confront all forms of cruelty, including the mistreatment of animals raised for food. All public attitude surveys, and the ballot initiative votes in several urban and rural states, indicate that all Americans are concerned about the well-being of these animals, too.

We are pleased as an organization to commit resources to sheltering issues—from Animal Care Expo to Animal Sheltering magazine to The Shelter Pet Project and much more. We think your work on companion animal care programs is critical and it is highly valued. And we are confident you agree that other work in the field of animal protection is important and worthy of support as well. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely Yours,

Wayne Pacelle
President & CEO
The Humane Society of the United States

Link to this letter

It seems that Wayne Pacelle from the Humane Society of the United States is getting more concerned with farmers and ranchers who are actively telling the accurate story of agriculture and food production. The reason he is concerned is because family farmers and ranchers are much more believable than an animal rights group who has called for abolishing animal agriculture and ending hunting. Even their over-flowing coffers can't compete with the truth. So keep up the good work everyone.


Anonymous said...

Looks like you are doing something right in this fight if the masters of "bait and switch" aka HSUS and Waynie are concerned enough to comment. Keep up the good work!
From a former farm girl in Colorado.

Texas Cattlewoman said...

Thank you Troy for once again pointing out how misguided an individual Wayne Pacelle's idea of Agriculture is. I know our Texas Farm Bureau does not in any shape form or fashion support Puppy Mills. And a resounding YES to the Texas Farm Bureau and our Legislators for getting the "Right to Farm" legislation passed in our state! I deserve the right to live the lifestyle I want in rural Texas with our cattle well cared for. People just need to follow the Paper Trail for HSUS to see where the money goes. In 2008 less then 1/2 of 1% of their donations went to helping pets. Please Wayne, justify that one vs. your advertising campaigns. I had the pleasure of turning a shelter organization board member against the tactics of HSUS last week showing her proof of what they stand for.

Anonymous said...

HSUS is an animal rights social movement and really has nothing to do with animal welfare. They try to appear to be mainstream because they know that being and animal rights "abolitionist" (look that one up if you want to know what HSUS is about). They have to appear in the mainstream because we all know PETA is crazy, but they are truthful in their agenda. HSUS has the same agenda. Their money is spent on lobbying, advertising and salaries and if you really delve into how their funds are spent and on how they are spent on programs you will find they spend very little money on much of anything but they do have a gift of gab.

Tom said...

The HSUS spends a lot of effort twisting and turning so that even though they have stated their abolitionist agenda in public, they have people who claim to speak for them who claim that they don't intend to abolish agriculture. Then I look bad when I mention it online.

Wayne is an utter nob and the only reason that he "confronts cruelty" is to make money from it and destroy animals or prevent them from being born.

Anonymous said...

Special interest groups like HSUS has lead California into a tail spin when it comes to agriculture. We were once leaders in agriculture and could produce enough food to feed the world, now we have to import food from other countries to feed hungry familes in our farming communities. Thanks for your efforts to keep agriculture issues a top priority.

-Dawn said...

"Many leading agriculture groups have opposed the imposition of felony-level penalties for cruelty, and they have sought and gained exemptions in anti-cruelty statutes for livestock." I don't think there is a single sole of us in the animal ag-business that condone any form of animal cruelty... it is that any type of 'compromise' with HSUS is a way for them to get themselves further through the door. A compromise with HSUS is a defeat to us. And of course he continues to turn and twist it all around.

Thanks for the article, Troy. I can't wait to post this on the Stop the Humane Society of the United States group on Facebook. The word is getting out there, the have grown to well over 14,200 members. Our stories are being heard! Keep up the awesome work!

Bea Elliott said...

HSUS for Animal Rights? Gosh darn... might want to tell Google to correct it's search engines. Google "animal rights" - there are 69,800,000 results. I tried to find HSUS and gave up on page 7... Still nothing for "animal rights/HSUS".

Neither HSUS nor peta are "animal rights" organizations. They support "welfare measures" which only regulates animal use. There is a world of difference between them and the ideology that says we should abolish the exploitation of animals all together.

It makes little difference... Just saying you might want to grasp the philosophy on who you allege your "enemy" to be...

Tom said...

Since pet owners fought tooth and nail to put themselves under oppressive rule, one can't blame farmers when they decide to exempt themselves instead of helping save pet owners from themselves.

Ann_Ominous said...

There could be more to H$U$ than just social activism. Check out the allegations at this site:

Sarah Fruit said...

Thank you so much for posting this letter up. All of us that are involved in animal agriculture need to work together to fight the threat of HSUS. Keep up the great work.

Tom said...

Dawn, farmers deserve the exemptions. You're out there facing reality so that a lot of us don't have to and you're feeding an ungrateful lot. Some of us are grateful, any of us who have any self-respect.

Anonymous said...

Folks, this isn't really about farmers, but about all animals. The animals rights groups HSUS , PeTA, THLN, and now the ASPCA have all been taken over by animal rights extremists except for PeTA which has always been AR. We have in our present government administration and influx of animal rights people who have been pouring money into politician’s pockets. The USDA recently hired a former HSUS employee and she has gone after rabbit breeders. The helm of this movement is Cass Sunstein hired by President Obama to run the regulatory agency. He is an avowed published animal rights cult member who is behind the ban on children under 18 working with animals on farms that was put out by the USDA. These groups want to ban all use of animals. The PUPS bill in congress is the first step on controlling what you do with your dog. This bill claims you are a volume breeder with only one intact female dog in your possession. This bill also declares that anything you sell over the Internet for profit is under their control. It also lists 4-month-old puppies as of breeding age to be counted in the intact female dog category. Instead of separating yourself from the attack on dogs and cat breeders or other pets know that all use of all animals is under attack by this cult. They do not want the use of any animal for any purpose. Know they are now after school kids to bring about the prejudice they need toward ending all farming with animals. This group wants money and power to do as they please with our lives. Just as they have been attacking farmers and ranchers know that they have also been attacking all forms of and use of animals by pet breeders, hunters and anglers. They attack any industry that uses animals in any manner. They have managed to reduce the number of medical studies that require animal subjects by lying to the federal agencies. They have reduced your rights to hunt and fish by getting themselves hired by the fish and game agencies. This cult has also gotten into the USDA. Whole Foods coupled with HSUS is trying to control what the public buys by setting up an external inspection agency and advertising their food as the only humane food source. They want to put all others out of business. Whole Foods Market CEO and founder John Mackey formed global Animal Partnership (GAP) (AKA Animal Compassion Foundation). Their website states that they were formed in 2008 Per Whole Foods Market website: They require farmers to abide by Global Animal Partnership's 5 step process to sell their products to Whole Foods. These inspections are being run by third party companies. This company formed by Whole Foods CEO founder John Mackey and Wayne Pacelle Director of HSUS is an attempt to control our foods supplies. John Mackey and Wayne Pacelle were the only two people on the board of directors at first. Per the website today, Wayne Pacelle is on the board of directors but is not mentioned on the tax return as an officer. Ron Burkle AKA Yuciapa Companies, bought into this company at the tune of 9.81 million shares in January of 2009 as an active, not passive, participant. To read all about it
This cult of animal rights people is being carefully groomed by Cass Sunstein our regulatory Czar and Ingrid Newkirk of PeTA along with Wayne Pacelle of HSUS to take over the food supply of the US by strangling it with more regulations through fear and intimidation. Special interest groups like HSUS has led California into a tail spin when it comes to agriculture. Instead of standing alone just fighting for the right to farm you should join in with the hunters, anglers, pet breeders and exotic animal owners to fight this attempt to end your rights. This is not about one animal, but about all uses of animals in our lives. Once they end medical research nearly five hundred medicines used everyday to keep millions of people alive will no longer be available.