HSUS criticizes Tyson’s animal well-being audits

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The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is not impressed with Tyson Foods’ launch of a new animal well-being auditing program for its suppliers, but that should not come as a surprise.

“Audits are valuable if farm inspectors ask the right set of questions. We’ve not suggested that Tyson contractors are denying food to animals or intentionally abusing them, but that they are denying them enough space to even turn around,” says Wayne Pacelle, HSUS president and chief executive officer. At issue is gestation-sow stalls. “Tyson’s announcement would mean more if the company was getting its pork from farmers who do not confine sows in crates that immobilize the animals,” Pacelle says.

HSUS has attempted to pressure Tyson into eliminating gestation-sow stalls from its supply chain, as it has with 34 other food companies (at last count). Last winter, HSUS submitted a shareholder resolution to attempt to force the meat and poultry processor to embrace group-sow housing. The effort failed, but the topic will reappear at the company’s next annual meeting as HSUS has submitted another shareholder resolution. It is requesting that the Springdale, Ark.-based pork producer/packer disclose how it plans to meet—as HSUS puts it, “the growing demand for pork produced without the use of gestation crates.”

In May, HSUS filed a legal complaint with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) asserting that Tyson Foods is making deceptive public statements related to animal well-being. The animal rights group argued that “the company (Tyson) lacked any meaningful audit program.” Pointing to Tyson’s FarmCheck auditing program, announced last week, HSUS says it “rings hollow” because it does not address gestation-sow stalls.

Also in the works, HSUS has filed the paperwork for Pacelle to pursue election to Tyson Foods’ board of directors. According to HSUS, billionaire investor Carl Icahn has agreed to serve as an adviser in Pacelle’s effort to join the board.



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Charlie D    
NE  |  October, 17, 2012 at 08:35 AM

If Pacelle is allowed to join the board of Tyson, it will mean higher prices. His tactic is transparent and for someone that is an avowed Vegan, disingenuous at best. This is just another form of terrorism that is about to played out on the American public. Please don't let it happen!!!!

michael    
kansas  |  October, 17, 2012 at 09:03 AM

I'm with Charlie D... An acknowledged Vegan and an ultra-rich corporate pirate, who's religion bars him from consuming pork, "rush" the board of a meat/pork processor based on a claim of concern for stockholders' interests? An obvious fraud and deceipt, and no one is calling them out on these specific points? Are we really that Poorly Represented by our industry organization leadership and their staffs? And where do we stand on tit-for-tat demands that livestock care-givers be represented on the HSUS board of directors? Such actions would shine a spotlight on the fraud and deceits that fill the coffers of fake charities such as HSUS, which go to fund the lobbying, litigious harrassment and propaganda campaigns aimed at destroying livestock production in the U.S. Get busy fighting fire with fire, or just surrender and we'll see all livestock production moved to the 3rd world.

Laurella    
Florida  |  October, 17, 2012 at 07:40 PM

Since when does an animal rights leader have clue one about what is appropriate animal husbandry practice and what is appropriate animal welfare? Especially in this case, Pacelle doesn't even appear to like animals. He wants us all to become vegans, and seeks to force Tyson to implement HSUS guidelines for animals in order to achieve his end goals...no animal agriculture. I hope Tyson says NO DEAL.

Horsein    
ak  |  October, 21, 2012 at 12:48 AM

Humane Society International (HSI) Humane Society International (HSI) is the international arm of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), a charitable nonprofit organization founded in 1954 with a constituency of more than ten million people, and incorporates both policy and on-the-ground programs in countries around the world. HSI oversees and coordinates the work of The HSUS around the world, addressing animal issues that cross many borders and impact the lives of billions globally. Working with national and jurisdictional governments, multilateral entities, corporations, academic institutions, humane organizations, and individual animal protectionists, HSI finds practical, culturally sensitive, and long-term solutions to common animal issues, and advocates an ethic of respect and compassion for all life. Among our many efforts include the development of trade capacity building programs; providing assistance in humane control of companion animal populations; advocating for higher welfare of farm animals and recommending improved practices and systems based on scientific research; stemming the illegal trade in wildlife; protecting endangered species and marine mammals, as well as their habitats; providing educational materials and trainings for organizations, industry, governmental, and international agencies; influencing international laws and policies to effect global change; and conducting international campaigns to reduce the suffering of animals. HSI also works closely with policymakers, conducting briefings and helping to draft legislation, regulations, policy statements, international treaties, free trade agreements, and resolutions affecting animals, and has category 1 consultative status with ECOSOC.


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