The head of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)—Wayne Pacelle—says the reason his group is supporting a lawsuit against the beef checkoff is because of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s (NCBA) opposition to the so-called “egg bill” in Congress.
“We’re very upset that NCBA is lobbying against progress and science and animal welfare within the laying hen industry,” Pacelle says. “We don’t want to see diversion of checkoff funds to lobby against good programs like the one called for in the HSUS-UEP agreement.”
Reminded that there are firewalls in place to prevent checkoff funds from being used for lobbying by NCBA, Pacelle says, “if that’s the case, then we have no quarrels at HSUS—and I would think that NCBA doesn’t have much to be worried about.
“Again, we’re not a plaintiff or a co-signer—we’re concerned about the misuse of checkoff funds, especially for lobbying purposes.”
The egg bill establishes cage size standards for egg laying hens. NCBA says it could open the door to similar federally-mandated housing restrictions on other farm animal species.
Pacelle disagrees and adds…
“We hope that the cattle industry stays in its lane and doesn’t continue to subvert the work of the egg industry to adopt progressive reforms that are good for the industry and align it better with consumer attitudes.”
At its annual meeting in Kansas City last week, the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) announced a new partnership with HSUS, which includes HSUS’ support of OCM’s lawsuit against the beef checkoff.