December 3, 2016

Humane Society Files Complaints Against Costco’s Egg Supplier

The Humane Society of the United States has filed complaints with the FDA and FTA over Costco's egg supplier Hillandale Nearby Eggs. The complaints call for asking the feds to investigate potential "violations of federal false advertising and health and safety laws." The complaints allege that Hillandale farms "deceived consumers concerned about animal welfare and that the filthy and unsanitary conditions at Hillandale present serious food safety concerns." An undercover investigation found that hens were locked in cages so tightly they couldn't spread their wings. Live birds were forced to be in the same cages as dead birds, and fly infestations were common throughout the facility. The depiction of the farm on Hillandale's Nearby Eggs cartons show hens roaming in a pasture. The … [Read more...]

HSUS Exposes Animal Abuse at Plant in Butterfield, Minnesota

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is exposing animal abuse at a "spent" egg-laying hen slaughter plant in Butterfield, Minnesota. The undercover investigation was conducted at Butterfield Foods. Video showed hens scalded alive, forced upside down into tanks of hot water, where they drown. Hens are not covered under the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, even though chickens and turkeys make up 90% of the animals killed for food in the U.S. The spent hens are egg-laying birds that are no longer profitable as egg producers. They are used for cheap meat, often so unsafe that these battery cage facilities can't sell it for human consumption. In addition to the scalding alive, the hens arrived at the plants packed in so tightly they could barely move. Many birds had … [Read more...]

Humane Society Launches Whistleblower Program

The Humane Society of the United States has launched a whistleblower program for factory farm workers. The hotline will let employees at those farms, in slaughterhouses, and at livestock auctions report cruelty and animal abuse. The hotline (1-888-209-7177) offers a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of people who have committed acts of cruelty to farm animals. The hotline will be distributed to factory farm workers with the help of the United Farm Workers union. Hotline callers can remain anonymous if they want. Paul Shapiro, vice president of farm animal protection for the HSUS said in a statement, "the bleak conditions endured by animals on factory farms are often made worse by overt violence an neglect. Pigs are often beaten. Chickens are … [Read more...]

Perdue and HSUS Reach Settlement over Chicken Labeling

The Humane Society of the United States and Perdue Farms have reached a settlement of two federal cases over Perdue's "humanely raised" claim on its Harvestland chicken labels. HSUS will dismiss their claims with prejudice, in exchange for Perdue removing the label claim. Peter Petersan, Director of Animal Protection Litigation for HSUS said in a statement, "we are pleased to see the claim removed from Harvestland's packaging, which we view to be misleading. We will continue to work to protect both animals and consumers." HSUS sued Perdue twice. The first was in New Jersey. Perdue tried to have a similar case dismissed, which paved the way for that action to proceed. The second lawsuit, a class action matter, was filed on behalf of Florida consumers and alleged that Perdue raised … [Read more...]

Piglets Fed to their Mothers at Iron Maiden Hog Farm in KY

The Humane Society has released a disturbing undercover report about conditions at the Iron Maiden Hog Farm in Owensboro, Kentucky. The investigation, which was conducted in early 2014, found that more than 900 piglets died from a diarrheal disease in a two-day period. The piglet's intestines were ground up and fed back to their mothers and other sows, which is a practice prohibited by state law. The Humane Society statement said, "this practice appears to be fairly widespread within the industrial sector of the pig industry." In addition, Iron Maiden Hog Farm's practices are harsh and inhumane. HSUS is asking the Kentucky Livestock Care Standards Commission to end gestation crate confinement of pigs and to examine the practice of feeding diseased piglets to surviving pigs. The … [Read more...]

Legislators Urge USDA to Ban Downer Calf Slaughter

Based on the Humane Society investigation last month into a calf slaughter plant in New Jersey, 72 members of Congress are asking the USDA to ban the slaughter of downer calves. They say that animals that are unable to stand  because they are too sick, injured, weak, or tired should not go into the food supply. A loophole in federal regulations allows this. The USDA granted a 2009 Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) petition last year requesting an end to the inhumane practice of slaughtering downer calves, but no more action has been taken. That video showed employees at the plant kicking and shocking non-ambulatory calves in their faces, necks, and torsos to force the baby animals to move off the trucks and into holding pens. These actions took place right in front of a USDA … [Read more...]

Consumer Groups Sue EPA for Withdrawing Clean Water Act Rule

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the Center for Food Safety, Environmental Integrity Project, Food & Water Watch, and Iowa Citizens for Community filed a lawsuit last week against the Environmental Protection Agency for withdrawing a rule that would have allowed the government to collect information from factory farms. The rule would have required CAFOs, or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, to comply with the protective standards of the Clean Water Act. There are about 20,000 CAFOs in the United States, and they produce three times as much waste as humans. EPA does not require those facilities to meet waste management and treatment requirements, even though the animal waste released into the environment contains pathogens, heavy metals, antibiotics, and … [Read more...]

Humane Society Opposes Farm Bill

Note: On June 20, 2013, the House failed to pass the Farm Bill 195-234. Of the 273 votes against the bill, 172 were from Democrats and 62 were from Republicans. The current Farm Bill expires in September 2013. The Humane Society is opposing the Farm Bill proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives because of the "King Amendment", proposed by Steve King (R-IA) that may let states repeal laws on farm confinement, horse slaughter, and shark finning.  The amendment is titled the "Protect Interstate Commerce Act". In addition, House Republican leadership is refusing to add any animal welfare-related amendments to the Bill. Humane Society advocates say that the King amendment "undermines the longstanding Constitutional rights of states to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their … [Read more...]

Ag Gag Bill Fails in Indiana

The Indiana legislature failed to pass S.B. 373, a bill which would have criminalized whistleblowers who expose animal abuse. These so-called "ag gag" laws have been introduced and passed in several states in the past year, after exposes by groups such as the Humane Society have informed the public about animal cruelty and unsafe working conditions. The bill passed in the Senate on Friday, April 26, 2013, but when the measure was sent to the House, Democrats said that the Senate version was a "gag all" bill. Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma pulled the bill from the calendar and did not allow another vote. That evening, Senator David Long said that the Senate would not vote on "ag gag" in 2013, killing the bill. The Senate version also made it a crime for someone to text damaging … [Read more...]

Five Workers at Wyoming Premium Farms Convicted of Animal Cruelty

The Humane Society has released a press statement about the five employees from the Wheatland, Wyoming Premium Farms facility that have been convicted on multiple counts of cruelty to animals after that agency conducted an undercover investigation. Tyson Foods severed its relationship with that farm after the videos documenting cruelty and abuse were released. The videos show Wyoming Premium workers "kicking live piglets like soccer balls, swinging sick piglets in circles by their hind legs, striking mother pigs with their fists and repeatedly and forcefully kicking them as they resisted leaving their young, among other abuses." The HSUS investigation also found breeding pigs confined day and night in gestation creates, which are tiny cages that immobilize animals for their entire … [Read more...]

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