HSUS Goal to Rival the Power of the NRA

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HSUS Goal to Rival the Power of the NRA

November 29, 2008
Quote from Wayne Pacelle: (President of the Humane Society of the United
former Executive Director of Fund for Animals)
"We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are
creations of human selective breeding."
When Wayne said that he didn't know someday he'd be president of HSUS.
HSUS has no affiliation with local humane societies and is the largest
"animal rights" organization in the world. Coming soon to the Texas State
Legislature with an all encompassing "Puppy Mill, Pet Sales and Puppy Lemon
Law" Bill, if they find a sponsor. With assets of $225 million, there's no
doubt they'll succeed. Texas Humane Legislation Network is already selling
the T-Shirts.
So with CA's chickens under their belt, it's on to Texas with their anti-pet
agenda to end all breeding and eventually ownership of pets. Just follow
their national legislative trail.


Humane Society chief seeks animal-rights focus in D.C.
By Aurelio Rojas
[email protected]
Published: Friday, Nov. 28, 2008 | Page 1A
Few political groups have been as successful in recent years at shaping
state policies as the Humane Society of the United States under Wayne

Now that the nation's largest animal rights group has effectively banned the
caging of egg-laying hens in California, it is turning its focus to

A week after voters here overwhelmingly approved Proposition 2, Pacelle
called on the Humane Society's 10 million-plus members "to build on the
momentum of that landmark outcome."

In e-mails, the group's executive director urged "friends" to send a message
to President-elect Barack Obama urging him to "consider animal protection a
priority when appointing his secretary of agriculture."

Past secretaries, he said, have been "too closely aligned with industry, and
now it is time to appoint a secretary who balances economic concerns with
animal welfare, consumer safety, and environmental protection."

Since taking over the nation's largest animal advocacy group four years ago
after a decade as its chief spokesman and director of government affairs,
Pacelle - a glib, photogenic vegan - has continued the organization's

No longer does it just look out for dogs and cats; it's a political power
whose clout Pacelle believes one day will rival the National Rifle

"We have the potential to be one of the most powerful forces in politics,"
Pacelle says.

In 2008, the Humane Society shepherded through 88 new state animal welfare
laws and capped off the year with its crowning achievement, Proposition 2.

Under Pacelle, the Humane Society has stepped up its fundraising and doubled
its assets to nearly $225 million.

But critics accuse the organization, which turns to voters when it is
defeated by farmers in state legislatures, of advancing a radical agenda at
the polls.

"They're seeing more success with ballot measures than legislatively," said
Julie Buckner, a spokeswoman for the No on Proposition 2 campaign, which was
funded by egg producers. "The ag industry has some clout, but not
necessarily with voters."

Pacelle - who is compensated with a $207,000 annual salary and a generous
benefits package - counters that the Humane Society is merely exercising the
"mainstream ethos" of its members, who live in every community in the

"We're not telling people to become vegetarians - we're urging them to
exhibit greater decency," he said.

In February, a hidden-camera video recorded by the group showed cows being
abused at a San Bernardino County slaughterhouse and led to the largest meat
recall by federal officials in history.

But it is at the ballot box that the Humane Society has made its most
sweeping mark, aided by an army of committed volunteers.

Since 1990, when the organization worked on a ballot measure that banned the
hunting of mountain lions for sport in California, it has taken on more than
two dozen statewide measures and amassed an enviable record.

"We've had the highest rate of success of any kind of cause or constituency,
winning about 75 percent for all the ballot measures we've run," Pacelle

By comparison, between 1940 and 1990, animal rights advocates were involved
in only about a half dozen ballot measures and prevailed in only one

"The conventional wisdom coming into the 1990s was that opponents had too
much money and resources, and they could confuse and push people to vote for
them," Pacelle said.

After the mountain lion measure passed in California, the Humane Society
began running ballot measures throughout the nation.

Its victories have included bans on hunting bears with bait in Colorado,
Oregon and Washington; same-day airborne hunting of wolves and foxes in
Alaska; and cockfighting in Adminzona, Missouri and Oklahoma.

In a match pitting political titans, the Humane Society beat the National
Rifle Association in Michigan, where it banned the hunting of mourning

Measures the group has run in California have banned the use of
indiscriminate traps and poisons as well as the slaughter of horses and sale
of horse meat for human consumption.

After banning the use of gestation crates and veal crates for livestock in
Adminzona in 2006, the Humane Society this year turned its attention to

When Proposition 2 takes effect in 2015, it will prohibit farmers from
confining egg-laying hens, gestating pigs and calves in cages that severely
restrict their normal movements.

There is little veal production in California, and farmers have voluntarily
phased out confining sows in breeding crates, so the measure will apply
primarily to egg-laying hens.

Farmers predict the cost of the new law will drive egg production out of the
state - an argument Pacelle doesn't buy.

Moreover, he believes the federal government should follow California's

With oversight of the federal Animal Welfare Act and the Humane Methods of
Slaughter Act, Pacelle believes the next agriculture secretary can have a
big impact.

"The federal government can stipulate that animals raised for food cannot be
confined for the entirety of their lives in tight cages," he said, noting
European Union nations are phasing out the practice.

Obama has not indicated who will run the Department of Agriculture. But
among the names that have been mentioned are former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack;
Tom Buis, president of National Farmers Union; and John Boyd Jr., president
of National Black Farmers Association.

Tracy Grondine, a spokeswoman for the American Farm Bureau, said it would be
"too short-sighted to pick someone based on one issue such as animal

"The ag secretary has many things under his or her purview," she said. "I
think it's important to have industry knowledge as well."

Call Aurelio Rojas, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5545.

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