JoAnn Alumbaugh
JoAnn Alumbaugh

This past Wednesday was a great day for pork producers, as a U.S. District Court judge threw out a lawsuit filed by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The lawsuit was in regard to the sale of the “Pork, The Other White Meat” trademark from the National Pork Producers Council to the National Pork Board. In its petition, HSUS lawyers accused the Pork Board and NPPC of “evading federal restrictions against the use of pork checkoff dollars for purposes of influencing legislation and government policy.”

It was interesting to read the words HSUS lawyers used in their petition, since in reality the verbiage applies more accurately to HSUS itself. Here are examples:

  • “Gross misuse of funds” – A huge majority of your members donate to HSUS with the impression their money will be used to protect the abuse of cats and dogs – as your emotional ads imply. How much did you spend on this bogus suit? I would like to know, and I’ll bet your members would, too. No doubt they would be furious. It’s legal actions like this that clearly illustrate your ultimate goal of eliminating animal agriculture in the United States. NPPC President Randy Spronk, a pork producer from Edgerton, Minn., agrees: “This is clearly a vendetta against the U.S. pork industry by the leadership of HSUS, which has made their mission to permanently end animal agriculture very clear. It was frivolous and a waste of the taxpayers’ money and the court’s time. HSUS donors deserve better than that.”
  • “The $3 million annual payment from the Pork Board to NPPC constitutes a major source of NPPC’s annual revenue, which furthers its lobbying and other efforts to fight HSUS’ advocacy for humane care for farm animals.” – Thank goodness NPPC is working on behalf of producers, otherwise the shady tactics you use to “persuade” food companies and retailers to support your agenda would go unchallenged. However, to think the majority of NPPC’s efforts are directed toward defending producers against HSUS is naïve and arrogant. Staff members at both NPPC and Pork Board work tirelessly on producers’ behalf to improve animal health, nutrition, environmental and animal welfare practices, in addition to promoting pork to consumers in an effort to help producers be more profitable.
  • HSUS, the legislative reforms you demand are not necessarily in the best interest of the animals, and you would know that if you spent any time at all in pork operations. Animals receive as much if not more individualized care when they are housed in stalls than when they are in open pens, and they’re less able to hurt one another. Are there improvements that can be made? Certainly, and that’s why the industry is constantly looking for better ways to produce safe, healthy humanely raised pork.
  • Rather than putting forth frivolous lawsuits that are a waste of your members’ and taxpayers’ dollars, HSUS, why don’t you fund applied production research to determine best-management practices instead of what you "think" is best? That's where members' donations could have a signficant, long-term impact. 

What do you say? Will you put  your money where  your mouth is? Or are you afraid additional science-based research will be counter to your positions, as it already is in some cases?

In reality, your resistance to this approach proves you care less about animal welfare than you do your ulterior goal of decreasing animal production and meat consumption in this country. This most recent example simply shows your true colors once more.