HSUS muddies the truth about its real mission

2010-07-24T06:00:00Z HSUS muddies the truth about its real mission Rapid City Journal
July 24, 2010 6:00 am

We think that Darci Adams "doth protest too much" when she attempts to defend the Humane Society of the United States as an organization concerned about animal care.

The only thing she got right in her recent editorial (July 7, "Humane Society responds to critics) is when she admits that the HSUS is not your local Humane Society that takes care of stray dogs and cats.

We applaud the work of the local humane societies. They truly are heroes in the effort to make sure pets have good homes.

The HSUS, on the other hand, is a multi-million dollar lobbying effort aimed at eliminating animal agriculture in all forms and turning us all into vegans.

For Adams to claim that the organization is concerned about animal well-being is simply not supported by the facts. For example, according to reports filed with the Internal Revenue Service, HSUS shares less than one-half of 1 percent of its budget with hands-on pet shelters.

This is an organization whose 2008 Federal IRS form reveals 555 employees and an annual payroll of $37,792,786. 

This is the organization that had a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) suit filed against it on February 16 for bribery, fraud, tax evasion, obstruction of justice, and money laundering. 

The HSUS is the group that plants one of its own as an employee within a farm operation to stage instances of "animal abuse" to be videotaped. 

These staged videos are then artfully edited to "prove" that animal abuse is rampant on farms and ranches across the country - only to be discounted later when third-party investigations reveal the truth. 

HSUS is the group that at first took credit for helping with the dog raid in Turner County last September, but then became strangely quiet when it turned out the raid was illegal. 

Perhaps that is why the HSUS is currently under a Congressional and IRS investigation to determine whether its wide-ranging lobbying efforts violate its 501(c)(3) charity status. 

There are also questions about the apparent conflict of interest in Michael Markarian's role as head of HSUS's lobbying arm -the Humane Society Legislative Fund) -and his positions as HSUS Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

HSUS takes credit for passing a total of 470 new state laws in the last seven years, including 121 new laws last year alone.

Adams' diatribe is an insult to South Dakota farm and ranch families who often sacrifice personal comfort to ensure the well-being of their livestock.

Animal scientists, veterinarians, and those who depend on healthy, comfortable livestock are in a far better position to determine animal well-being than a Washington, D.C. lobbying machine intent on pushing a financial and political agenda.

By all means, support in any way you can your local humane society. Donate. Volunteer.  Adopt a pet. But don't fall into the clutches of an organization that confounds the truth about its true mission.

This article was written by:


President, S.D. Farm Bureau Federation.


Executive Drector, S.D. Dairy Producers Assn.


President, S.D. Pork Producers Council.


Executive Director, S.D. Cattlemen's Assn.


Executive Director, Ag United for South Dakota.


Copyright 2015 Rapid City Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(8) Comments

  1. ellie
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    ellie - August 30, 2010 9:46 pm
    Hillary - "The HSUS's factory farming campaign works to eliminate the worst abuses in modern industrial agriculture, such as confining animals in cages barely larger than their own bodies."
    Firstly you can't write laws to eliminate the worst abuses w/o hurting the farmers that are doing it right! It just won't work!
    You think you know what is best for confined animals? Have you actually worked with any kind of livestock confined or open range? Well I have worked in a hog confinement and raised hogs w/o the hog crates. The confined hogs are much more content, relaxed, healthier, easier to handle, and all around better mothers. The hogs with more then enough room will get aggressive and down right dangerous. They will lay on and eat their young start fights and rip into other pigs in the herd and become cannibals. It is not pretty! They are not only dangerous to themselves but to their handlers too. YOU don't have a clue, so quit pretending like you do!
    This is only one example I know there is similar examples in every field of livestock.
  2. FarmersDaughter
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    FarmersDaughter - August 30, 2010 9:24 am
    Let's get this straight. It is not consumers and it is not society that is running this vendetta against farmers. It is the HSUS. Society wants good healthy clean food at a REASONABLE PRICE. That will not happen with the HSUS agenda. All of their proposals will increase the prices of food as the increased costs for the producer will be passed on. In this time of economic crisis for so many can we afford to pass legislation that will only raise the price of food and cut down on supply? HSUS by it's on admission has only 1.5 million followers. That sounds like a lot but not when you compare it to the 300,000,000 people who live in our country. When they represent the views of so few why should we allow them to control our food supply. Those who contol the food control the nation and that is a very scarey thought.
  3. FarmersDaughter
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    FarmersDaughter - July 29, 2010 7:15 pm
    Hillary_HSUS said: "Unfortunately farm animals can and do produce in poor conditions, given the widespread use of antibiotics. The question isn't whether animal agriculture will remain viable but how quickly it can adapt to changing demands from consumers and society. "

    The most wide spread problems associated with poor living conditions as any farmer or rancher will tell you can not be cured by antibiotics. So to claim that overuse of antibiotics can overcome "poor conditons" is a statement made by someone who knows nothing of the care of animals a.k.a. HSUS.
  4. FarmersDaughter
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    FarmersDaughter - July 29, 2010 7:09 pm
    Farmer's by nature are an independent lot. So for this list of farm organiztions to come together to put their signatures at the bottom of this letter shows the importance of this issue. There is no one issue that will affect us all in this state as the intrusion of the HSUS into SD. We are an agricultural state and admit it or not the vast majority of our state relies on agriculture for it's financial support. HSUS whether the locals will admit it or not are dead set against any kind of animal ownership be it companion animals or livestock. We must learn from the mistakes of California, Ohio, Florida, and Iowa. HSUS starts with dog breeders simply because of the emotions we feel about our pets and to what lengths we will go for them. It's much easier to raise money with a photo of a poor puppy than a fat hog. But this is their start and they will not stop til they have agriculture under their thumb. There is no secret to dealing with animal rights activists. You don't. There can be no compromise. Do not let them pass any legislation or laws of any sort in South Dakota. They are no friend of anyone who raises live animals. Do not let them in.
  5. spotdot
    Report Abuse
    spotdot - July 29, 2010 10:39 am
    Hillary_HSUS when you say adapt to changing demands from consumers and society, do you mean adapt to HSUS' vegan agenda?

    Also I assure you animals are not over fed antibiotics so they can produce in poor conditions. Only happy healthy animals will produce a product, living in poor conditions would not help them grow or produce a product. Also they are not being overfed antibiotics, as this would cut Largly into profits. Have you been to the doctor when you were sick to recieve antibiotics? Why wouldnt producers help their animals when they are sick? Wouldnt it be inhumane to not treat them? Antibiotics are used ONLY when needed again it is an added expence to an already small profit margin. Also in animals like beef cattle you can not continually feed them antibiotics as after a few days the good bactiria in the stomach will be killed, thus leading to a more suseptiable animal to disease. Farmers and Ranchers care for their livestock and want to do everything they can to keep them healthy and happy.
  6. Hillary_HSUS
    Report Abuse
    Hillary_HSUS - July 29, 2010 9:05 am
    Unfortunately farm animals can and do produce in poor conditions, given the widespread use of antibiotics. The question isn't whether animal agriculture will remain viable but how quickly it can adapt to changing demands from consumers and society.
  7. Bunny
    Report Abuse
    Bunny - July 28, 2010 4:00 pm
    Great article. Told the truth. HSUS "factory farming" is no such thing. They have named farming and ranching this as a derogatory name to make all farmers/ranchers out as bad people who do not care about their animals. Is there abuse? Yes, but not near as much as HSUS wants you to believe or there wouldn't be any farms. There is no profit in sick or dead animals so most all agriculture take good care of the animals. Is a human couple a factory family farm because they have children and may abuse them or because they have children? If HSUS truly cared about the animals the would teach people how to care for the animals instead of take them away. But their goal is to eliminate all animal ownership and agriculture.
  8. Hillary_HSUS
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    Hillary_HSUS - July 27, 2010 7:59 pm
    The authors of this letter claim that the only legitimate expression of concern about animal well-being is to fund shelters, but clearly the ethic of treating animals humanely extends beyond pets. The HSUS's factory farming campaign works to eliminate the worst abuses in modern industrial agriculture, such as confining animals in cages barely larger than their own bodies. HSUS members include both meat-eaters and vegetarians. While personal diet choices vary, our supporters, like most consumers, understand that farm animals are more than units of production. Farmers need to make a living, but animals raised for food deserve basic welfare considerations such as freedom of movement and the ability to express natural behaviors. Readers can learn more at humanesociety.org.
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