The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) on Wednesday filed a complaint with USDA’s Office of the Inspector General claiming that funds from the National Pork Board’s (NPB) Pork Checkoff are used by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) in support of U.S. pork producers.

The action follows a similar complaint issued in September alleging that the transfer and payment for the advertising slogan “Pork. The Other White Meat” from NPPC to NPB is an “unlawful” act. In August, HSUS also attempted to undermine a similar beef industry checkoff program.

According to the HSUS complaint issued Wednesday, “At issue in this complaint is NPB’s involvement with NPPC’s Pork Alliance program, which is explicitly and exclusively dedicated to lobbying and other legislative efforts.” An announcement on HSUS’s website also says NPPC continues to “support policies which harm animals, favor industrial producers and undermine family farmers.”

"The (NPPC) website publicly identifies the (NPB) as an Alliance Partner which requires $20,000 in annual dues," according to the HSUS complaont. The claim was promptly rejected by NPB spokesperson Cindy Cinningham. “The National Pork Board is not a member of the Pork Alliance. The (NPB) sponsors a dinner at the fall meeting of the Alliance to give the board the opportunity to showcase pork products and to talk about the National Pork Board program and activities.”

NPPC released the following statement Wednesday following the HSUS action: “HSUS's charges are without merit and frivolous. Its claim that Pork Checkoff funds have been misused is patently and demonstrably false. This attack shows HSUS's desperation following its failure to get the so-called egg bill approved by Congress and its stunning defeats during the November elections."