Several farm publications recently had an interesting article about the Humane Society of the United States losing a lawsuit against a circus, which cost them $15.75 million.
Hoard's Dairyman, a well-respected dairy farm publication, had this to say about the lawsuit in a May 23 article, ''Last week in a federal district court in Washington D.C., HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) and other animal activist groups chose to settle a lawsuit claiming they had violated federal racketeering laws. A $15.75 million settlement was paid to Feld Entertainment, owner of Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus, in a case dating back to 2000 over alleged mistreatment of its elephants.''
The abuse allegations were made by a former Ringling Bros. barn worker, who Judge Emmet Sullivan eventually ruled had been secretly paid at least $190,000 by the groups to file the charges and who had also lied to the court.
The case was dismissed in 2009 and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was ordered to pay $9.3 million to Feld Entertainment, which then sued HSUS and the animals rights groups under federal racketeering statutes to recover its legal costs. It claimed they used bribery, witness payments and other illegal practices in the earlier case.
After last week's ruling, HSUS went immediately into public relations spin control that previous and future donors will hopefully see through as more examples of its ''say anything to keep the dollars coming in'' business model.
One of the control measures was a statement by HSUS president and Chief Executive Officer Wayne Pacelle, who said that the settlement was made because the case had reached the point that it ''could bring no good to the elephants.''
An editorial in the Orange County (Calif.) Register called the statement ''less than honest'' and said a more likely reason was ''the very distinct possibility that they would be ordered to pay triple damages.''
Pacelle also told the International Business Times, ''I don't think this is anything more than a small bump in the road in the public relations fight against the mistreatment of animals.''
But we hope it turns out to be an impossibly high mountain for HSUS and other animal rights groups, and that donors finally open up their eyes to their deceptive agenda and dirty methods - and close their pocket books.
Humane Watch, an animal rights watchdog group commented on the issue and said this, ''The animal liberation movement has long been associated with extremist, bullying and sometimes even terroristic tactics in pursuit of the radical goal to institute prohibition on how we use animals, whether for food, fiber or entertainment. The FBI cracked down on the terroristic fringe over the past two decades. And the suit-wearing, lawyered-up part of the movement had its day in court. It came up $15.75 million poorer, but with its inner workings exposed, the rest of society should be better off.''
Local livestock farmers, as well as others across the U.S, spend a lot of time, effort and money taking good care of their livestock. They know they have to because their living depends on getting top milk production from their dairy cows or good rate of gain with their beef animals.
Income to pay expenses, have money for family living and make some profit depends on taking the best of care for their livestock. They don't need the harassment and false information put out by these animal rights groups.
Parker is an independent agricultural writer.