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Senator Claims HSUS Setting USDA Agenda

Editor's Note:  The following article courtesy of was released January 9, 2012.

The Humane Society of the United States continues to try to remake its public face so that ordinary citizens will think it’s a group mainly concerned about protecting lost pets and giving them new homes.

HSUS tried to enhance its quest to become a mainstream organization by partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture during November 2011, but a U.S. Senator, Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) uncovered the attempt.

In Nov. 2, 2011, comments on the U.S. Senate floor, Moran said he discovered U.S. Department of Agriculture memos authorizing the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to hold a forum on animal rights and agriculture dominated by HSUS speakers and supporters, at taxpayer expense. Another USDA memorandum noted a prior meeting with HSUS and USDA staffers was held to “set the agenda” for the upcoming forum.

Moran noted in Senate testimony USDA met with HSUS, despite it being an animal-rights organization and “no friend to rural America, farmers or ranchers,” according to a U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance report.

“HSUS spends their dollars lobbying against rural America and farmers and ranchers,” Sen. Moran said. “Tax documents show HSUS spends less than 1 percent of its budget on animal shelters.”

In a March 2011 HSUS news release, the group applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture for launching a new database to increase public access to information regarding research facilities and other entities regulated under the Animal Welfare Act. The new database came about as a result of a lawsuit settlement agreement between USDA and the HSUS about access to animal-research records under the Freedom of Information Act.

The HSUS sued the USDA, and taxpayer dollars were spent defending against the suit filed in 2005. Other HSUS actions showcase efforts to attack and infiltrate the agriculture industry, USSA said.

A September 2011 HSUS news release revealed other groups are joining HSUS in ballet initiatives directed at farms, ranches and agriculture.

In Ohio in 2010, HSUS —and many of its traditional allies such as Farm Sanctuary, Mercy For Animals, the Toledo Area Humane Society, the Ohio Environmental Stewardship Alliance, and others — waged a campaign to place a measure on the statewide ballot to phase out a variety “of the most-inhumane factory-farming practices.” HSUS also focused its agriculture sights on Nebraska. A Sept. 14, 2011 blog by HSUS director Wayne Pacelle decried Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman as “ill-informed and patently dishonest.”

Pacelle’s ire apparently was inflamed after Heineman held a series of meetings with Nebraska ranchers and farm groups to tell them HSUS was attempting to force its way into the state and was no friend to farming or the agriculture industry.

HSUS claims it has “hammered out agreements in California, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, and Ohio on farm-animal welfare,” but most of those agreements appear to follow lawsuits or threats of ballot initiatives.

USSA president/CEO Bud Pidgeon said in a news release: “Sportsmen and Americans should be concerned that the nation’s largest animal-rights group has become advisors and partners to the agriculture industry. This group’s recent pushes to pass animal-rights legislation that affects farms nationwide should be a warning of what to expect in the future.”

To view Senator Moran’s comments on HSUS and ties to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, visit

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