Court dismisses “Pork, The Other White Meat” lawsuit

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After spending significant amounts of donor dollars, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) was dealt a significant loss in U.S. District Court on Wednesday. In what was considered to be a futile legal challenge and a very personal attack on U.S. pork producers, a U.S. district judge Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by HSUS over the National Pork Board’s purchase of the “Pork, The Other White Meat” trademark from the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).

HSUS, which was joined in the suit by a lone Iowa pork producer and the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - and Secretary Tom Vilsack – over approval of the trademark purchase and the Pork Board’s annual payments to NPPC. HSUS argued that the sale and payments were unlawful since the Pork Board is prohibited from using checkoff dollars to influence legislation. The court dismissed the HSUS case, ruling that the plaintiffs lacked standing and that no one had suffered any injury from the Agriculture Secretary’s actions.

NPPC applauded the Secretary’s willingness to defend the case and pork producers across this country. The Secretary’s actions should send a strong signal to HSUS supporters that frivolous lawsuits will not be tolerated and should not be pursued.

“If I were a donor to HSUS, I would be very disturbed that my money was wasted on yet another expensive lawsuit that had nothing to do with improving the welfare of farm animals,” said NPPC President Randy Spronk, a pork producer from Edgerton, Minn. “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.”

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kansas  |  September, 27, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Expensive for US too, eh? I would imagine there was significant cost involved in defending against this frivolous suit as well and they need to be recovered. Also, I believe it is illegal to file such suits, i.e. harassment? So, are we (producers' orbs/USDA) going to counter-sue to recover damages? If we don't, we're fools and will see more of the same. HSUS needs to be punished/penalized beyond this, as they care little for the "other peoples' money" they wasted tying us up in court as it will simply be presented to their cult as a worthwhile attempt that was blocked by evil corporate animal abusers and their allies in government. They'll suffer no loss of support. A counter-suit, on the other hand, may give producers some punitive satisfaction financially, and an opportunity to expose hsus strategy to the wider consumer community they've successful manipulated for so long. Don't quit now.

MN  |  September, 27, 2013 at 12:53 PM

I agree with Kansas' comment, and also find it ironic that HSUS and USDA are so cozy in regulatory matters, such as the amended rule APHIS released Sept 18 that will severely curtail the breeding and sale of purebred dogs and cats by ethical, knowledgeable breeders. This rule takes effect Nov 18 and will require many breeders to make expensive adaptations to their homes our adjacent kennel facilities or reduce their breeding activities to a level that cannot sustain sound breeding programs that produce healthy dogs and cats for the public to enjoy as pets unless purchasers find the pet of their choice near enough to buy it in person. Shipping ONE puppy or kitten, or selling ONE animals not born and raised on the owner's premises, will make a "dealer" (rather than a "retail pet store") out of anyone who owns more than four female animals that could be bred (not ARE bred, merely capable of being used for breeding). And that's four "breeding female ANIMALS" not four dogs or four cats or four rabbits or four guinea pigs or other common pet species. Two dogs, a cat, a rabbit, and a guinea pig will makes the breeder a "dealer" requiring a USDA license if that breeder sells an animal they did not breed or ships a puppy to a buyer who WANTS to buy the pet of choice but not fly or drive across the country to meet puppy and breeder first. This rule has HSUS's fingerprints all over it, and Pacelle has been crowing about his success in getting the rule adopted for the past 10 days, calling for APHIS to strictly enforce it to put pet breeders out of business. There must have been some awkward moments between Pacelle et. al., and USDA officials while they crafted this rule even as HSUS was suing USDA about the Pork Board.

Binnie Jensen    
Glenwood, Mo.  |  October, 01, 2013 at 03:35 PM

Very well said, I just can't understand how H$U$ gets away with this time and time again. They use contributions that are made to them to help animals, but in reality are hurting every aspect there is for, breeding, raising them! There must be some that are USDA that have infiltrated the H$US, Ya think?


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