Court stops millions of dollars in additional government payouts to pork lobby

By on July 20, 2018 with 0 Comments

The National Pork Producers Council, the main lobbying group for the pork industry, will not get its hands on two $3 million payouts from a mandatory checkoff fund that pork producers, including small family farmers, are forced to pay into each year. The Trump administration had aggressively tried to bypass an injunction – ordered by a court following a lawsuit brought by the HSUS – in order to send these funds to NPPC ahead of the fall elections.

In February, the Humane Society of the United States won a case seeking to prohibit the government from unlawfully sending almost $30 million to NPCC over the next decade. NPCC was diverting these funds —which are required by federal law to be used for non-political agricultural promotion—from their lawful purpose in order to fuel lobbying operations, including opposition against our work on behalf of animals.

Since the initial February ruling, the federal government has made two attempts to alter or evade the court’s injunction with the goal of sending millions of dollars of additional checkoff funds to NPPC. The HSUS defeated both of these tries, securing a clear and broad injunction against such payouts, and assuring that those funds would be lawfully used. They certainly won’t be available to NPCC in its anticipated campaign against the HSUS’s legislative priorities.

The government and NPPC have now appealed the court’s rulings, but our two post-judgment victories put an immediate block on any of these funds being distributed. The government has conceded that it will not make the post-judgment payments it attempted.

This is the latest skirmish in a 10-year battle that began when lawyers from our Animal Protection Litigation group obtained an injunction to prevent the government from improperly injecting $3 million of federal checkoff funds into a Prop 2 opposition campaign in California in 2008. Since then APL lawyers have successfully continued their fight to prevent abuses of these massively funded, but loosely scrutinized, federal checkoff programs.

With Prop 12 on the upcoming fall ballot in California, the Humane Society of the United States is determined to ensure that the federal checkoff programs—which generate hundreds of millions annually—are not used against the family farmers who have resisted the practices and philosophy of the industrial pork industry, and the animal protection efforts of the HSUS. We are also actively working on legislation that would bring much-needed reform to these federal programs.

Since our founding in 1954, we’ve always taken on the big fights, and this is one of the biggest out there. I’m very proud of my colleagues and our partners in this fight, as I hope you are. When you support the work of the HSUS, you’re investing in strategies and campaigns that are tough-minded, thoughtful and professional. We’ve stopped NPCC dead in its tracks, time and again, and we’ll continue to fight illicit and unprincipled schemes that misdirect public funds in the service of interest groups like Big Pork.

Breaking: Trump administration proposes new changes to weaken Endangered Species Act

By on July 19, 2018 with 0 Comments
Breaking: Trump administration proposes new changes to weaken Endangered Species Act

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson During the past year and a half, the Trump administration and the 115th Congress have launched over a hundred attacks on the Endangered Species Act, the bedrock law that protects endangered and threatened animal species and their habitats. Today, . . . 

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Coyote trapped in plastic tubing and bare bear make remarkable recovery at the Fund for Animals Wildlife Center

By on July 18, 2018 with 3 Comments
Coyote trapped in plastic tubing and bare bear make remarkable recovery at the Fund for Animals Wildlife Center

For the last few months, our Fund for Animals Wildlife Center in Ramona, California, has been home to two high-profile residents: a coyote found with plastic construction tubing wrapped around her neck, and a bear, Eve, who came to us severely underweight and completely bald. . . . 

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Pathbreaking DC Cat Count project would help humanely manage outdoor cat populations

By on July 17, 2018 with 0 Comments
Pathbreaking DC Cat Count project would help humanely manage outdoor cat populations

An estimated 30 to 40 million cats live outdoors in the continental United States at any given time. These are bright and intelligent creatures who are no different from your house cat, and the Humane Society of the United States has long advocated for their . . . 

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On World Chimpanzee Day, let’s celebrate progress and seek a better future for our ‘closest cousins’

By on July 14, 2018 with 0 Comments
On World Chimpanzee Day, let’s celebrate progress and seek a better future for our ‘closest cousins’

When Dr. Jane Goodall went to Africa to study wild chimpanzees exactly 58 years ago today, she embarked on a career that forever changed the way the world views chimpanzees. Over time, learning of the threats to chimpanzees in both captivity and the wild, Dr. . . . 

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Victory! Rhode Island bans battery cages for egg-laying hens

By on July 13, 2018 with 3 Comments
Victory! Rhode Island bans battery cages for egg-laying hens

It’s official: a long-fought-for piece of legislation in Rhode Island to protect hens abused for eggs just became law. The measure phases out the extreme confinement of egg-laying hens and mandates that the birds be housed in cage-free facilities. Rhode Island joins six other states . . . 

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Defying the world again, Iceland kills what may be an endangered blue whale

By on July 12, 2018 with 5 Comments
Defying the world again, Iceland kills what may be an endangered blue whale

The images are sickening and reminiscent of the photos trophy hunters tend to post with their safari kills. Workers for the Icelandic whaling industry are seen posing with and sitting on top of what appears to be the corpse of a blue whale — the . . . 

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Breaking: Nearly 100 dogs, cats rescued from large-scale cruelty situation in Mississippi

By on July 11, 2018 with 17 Comments
Breaking: Nearly 100 dogs, cats rescued from large-scale cruelty situation in Mississippi

On the outside, it appeared to be a well-maintained property in Jones County, Mississippi, with several buildings, a neatly mowed lawn and pine trees scattered around 161 sprawling acres of land. But what our Animal Rescue Team and local law enforcement officials from the Jones . . . 

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Wild Neighbors program offers humane solutions for urban wildlife conflicts

By on July 10, 2018 with 0 Comments
Wild Neighbors program offers humane solutions for urban wildlife conflicts

The Humane Society of the United States has been working to reduce and humanely resolve human-wildlife conflicts in urban areas for over three decades, and during this time – as development and urbanization have grown apace — we have seen incidents continue to increase. Wild . . . 

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At White House meeting, breeders and other stakeholders agree on need for puppy mill reforms

By on July 9, 2018 with 21 Comments
At White House meeting, breeders and other stakeholders agree on need for puppy mill reforms

The Humane Society of the United States fights puppy mills on many fronts, from working with local law enforcement to rescue animals in puppy mills to urging state and federal lawmakers and federal agencies to create and improve laws that protect animals in such facilities. . . . 

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