A lawsuit filed last week may have far-reaching implications for the animal-rights movement.

Feld Entertainment and the Ringling Brothers Circus sued the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), its lawyers and several other animal-rights groups under the auspices of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO. Full story.

The nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) unearthed the lawsuit in federal court records.

“America’s farmers, ranchers, hunters, fishermen, research scientists, fashion designers and restaurateurs have seen for decades how the animal-rights movement can behave like a mobbed-up racket,” says David Martosko CCF director of research. “But it’s still shocking to see the evidence laid out on paper. In a treble-damage lawsuit like this, a jury could actually do the humane thing and finally put HSUS out of business completely.”

In its Feb. 16 lawsuit, Feld leveled bribery, fraud, obstruction of justice and money-laundering charges against HSUS and two of its corporate attorneys; three other animal-rights groups; the Washington, D.C., law firm of Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal, and all three of that firm’s named partners.

Last week, CCF launched www.HumaneWatch.org, an online watchdog project dedicated to analyzing HSUS' activities. Here's news on the Web site of a full-page advertisement that the Center for Consumer Freedom took out in Tuesday's editions of The New York Times.

"The new HumaneWatch Web site is the only place the public will be able to read this lawsuit," Martosko added.

Also, read "HSUS one step closer to Ohio ballot initiative."

Source: Cattle Network, Center for Consumer Freedom