The announcement by Rick Berman’s Center for Consumer Freedom that it had discovered 120 complaints made to the Federal Trade Commission concerning The Humane Society of the United States (Watchdog Group Calls on FTC to investigate the Humane Society, Feb. 15, 2012) is not so much news as a confirmation that, like the deceitful ward healer, Berman is not above stuffing the ballot box.
Like the CCF’s many other initiatives, it’s a con job. Berman is now three or four years into his effort to mislead the public concerning our broad mission to help all animals, the mission we’ve had since the founding of The HSUS in 1954.
But he’s losing ground by the day, to judge from the news concerning The HSUS and its work in the agricultural sector with both retail players and producers.
Within the last few weeks alone, we’ve witnessed momentous announcements from Smithfield, Hormel, and most recently, McDonald’s, concerning their intended abandonment of the gestation crate.
Moreover, in conjunction with the United Egg Producers, we’re supporting legislation at the federal level to set a standard for the treatment of egg laying hens that reflects a greater awareness for the public’s interest in animal welfare.
From the mid-1950s struggle to secure humane slaughter, to the contemporary campaign to end confinement-related cruelties, the welfare of farm animals has been a part of our agenda. Today, whether in the law, the retail or production sectors, we’re well on the way to a higher welfare standard, Berman’s efforts notwithstanding.
Rather than parrot the weak and misguided claims of Berman, Farm and Dairy should be taking stock of the sweeping changes that promise to benefit farmers, animals and the American public.
There is nothing to be said for Berman’s false claims concerning The HSUS’s advertising, save for that the organization recently earned a four star rating (the highest rating) from Charity Navigator, the most prominent of charity watchdogs, on the basis of our performance with respect to transparency and governance, financial information and results reporting.
President & CEO
The Humane Society of the United States