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News 1298 views last update:Oct 19, 2012

US pork council: HSUS uses scare tactics against farmers

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has stated the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is using scare tactics after the welfarist organisation announced steps to go to court against 51 US pig farmers.


Earlier this week, the HSUS announced to sue 51 intensive pig operations located in the states Iowa, North Carolina and Oklahoma for what it claims were unreported releases of the hazardous pollutant ammonia.

This move comes after ‘months of HSUS research’ into the issue. The organisation states that each targeted operation confines thousands, if not tens of thousands, of pigs “with the females typically in gestation crates – and emits hundreds of pounds of airborne ammonia per day.”

HSUS action
The new HSUS action appears to be another dimension to the HSUS fight against sow stalls. Typically, some executives at firms that received notices also hold executive or spokesperson positions for pork lobbying groups like the NPPC.

The NPPC is reviewing the statement made by the HSUS and issued this initial statement.

“Regardless (of the lawsuits), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is still evaluating air emissions data gathered from livestock and poultry operations to develop a better understanding of emissions rates, which vary considerably from farm to farm. This will allow the agency to better apply environmental laws to these complex biological systems.

“It is important to point out that HSUS is not alleging environmental harm but rather paperwork violations of EPA’s emissions reporting rule. Additionally, it is worth noting that when the reporting rule went into effect in 2009, there was widespread confusion about it, with some states refusing to accept reports, one state claiming EPA notices to report emissions were an Internet hoax and EPA’s Region 4 office initially telling producers and states there was no reporting requirement.

Scare tactic
“HSUS’s action obviously is another scare tactic to get NPPC to back off its opposition to the HSUS Egg Bill and to the animal-rights group’s truth-twisting campaign against family farmers who use individual sow housing. (In April, HSUS threatened NPPC with a meritless Federal Trade Commission complaint.)

“In addition to not telling the truth about how hog farmers raise and care for their animals, HSUS now is lying about hog farmers' stewardship of the environment, which is exemplary.

The NPPC closed off stating: “We also wonder why a so-called animal welfare group is sticking its nose in environmental issues.”

National Pork Board
Allan Stokes, director of enviornmental programmes for the National Pork Board (NPB) stated: "The equation EPA placed on its website was meant only as an aide for livestock producers and not as a regulatory tool or an absolute determinant of whether a livestock operation in fact exceeded any regulatory reporting thresholds."

Among the pork production companies involved are Christensen Farms & Feedlots, Iowa Select Farms, The Maschhoffs, Seaboard, The Hanor Company of Wisconsin and Austin 'Jack' Decoster.

Related websites:
National Pork Board
National Pork Producers Council (NPPC)
Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)

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