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HSUS’s Intimidation Tactics in Rhode Island

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When is a “Humane Society” not humane? When it launches a harassment campaign singling out a state senator.

For over a month, Rhode Island State Senator Susan Sosnowksi has endured the bullying of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The radical animal-rights group has taken out full-page ads attacking the Senator, passed around inflammatory fliers in her hometown farmers market, and accused Sosnowski of “doing the bidding of animal abusers.”

What is Sosnowski’s offense? She doesn’t support an HSUS bill that creates cumbersome regulations for egg production that would have harmed a family farm in the state. Sosnowski is herself a farmer, so she most of all would understand what’s going on here.

What is particularly unjust about the Humane Society’s harassment is that there appears to be little-to-no evidence this bill would actually improve animal welfare. Rhode Island’s Livestock Welfare & Care Standards Advisory Council said the bill’s requirements are “far in excess of any standard set forth in any state without any evidence to support this increase improves hen welfare.”

In fact, the legislation may result in worse conditions for hens with weaker chickens being left unprotected from the pecking of more aggressive chickens in the coop. The bill would also result in higher prices for eggs, and quite possibly lead to diminished food safety. Research published by Oxford Journals found that the safest housing system was a cage system that HSUS opposes.

However, the facts don’t matter to HSUS. Far from trying to improve animal welfare, what this extremist organization cares about is creating burdensome regulations that disrupt farming in every way possible. HSUS’s food policy director has compared farms to Nazi concentration camps and HSUS’s CEO has compared the treatment of animals to slavery. These guys don’t support any kind of egg farm—cage-free, free-range, or otherwise.

For years, animal-rights activists infamously used terror tactics against UCLA’s biomedical researchers. Activists set cars ablaze, placed incendiary devices on researchers’ doorsteps and under their cars, and sent violent threats to others.

What HSUS is doing here obviously doesn’t rise to the level of violence, but it’s still disturbing. Is this how HSUS donors would want their money being used, to send some someone to Rhode Island to hassle people at a farmers market? Undoubtedly no.

Since no farm will meet HSUS’s standard of veganism, it appears unlikely that HSUS will stop harassing Senator Sosnowski anytime soon.

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