Nebraska's HSUS battle heats up

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Things between the agriculture community in Nebraska and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) are heating up.

It’s no secret that the Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman is not a fan of the animal rights group. He has taken a firm stand regarding animal activists and some of their tactics, including undercover videos and voter referendums. Heineman has essentially told the group “not in my state” and says he will continue to defending his state’s No. 1 industry and the people involved.   

Featured at a cattlemen’s event on Aug. 17, Heineman told the group he won’t be intimidated by HSUS and other animal rights groups that have pushed for stricter regulations on livestock production.

“They’re out to destroy the American way of life as it pertains to all of you and your kids,” the Columbus Telegraph reported Heineman told attendees of the Central Plains Beef Industry Day, in Howells, Neb. “They want to destroy American farming and ranching.”

But it was his reiteration of a statement made months earlier that has motivated HSUS and some other ag groups in Nebraska into action. “If they (HSUS) come to Nebraska, we will kick their butt,” is Heineman’s statement that has raised the bar.

Last Friday, the Nebraska Agriculture Council of HSUS sent a letter to Gov. Heineman to “cease his divisive rhetoric about HSUS.”  The group, which is a joint effort between the Nebraska Farmers Union and HSUS also are requesting a meeting with the governor.

“We are deeply committed to opening markets for humane, sustainable family farmers and ranchers,” the group stated in the letter. “Our effort will help put the farmers and ranchers and their animals back on the land right here at home, and restore our rural communities to prosperity.”

Meanwhile, other Nebraska ag groups, such as the pork producer, cattlemen and dairy associations along with Nebraska Farm Bureau and the poultry industry have organized “We Support Agriculture.” The effort was formed to “defend the responsible animal welfare practices of Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers from attacks by outside animal rights groups, such as the HSUS.”

"The primary purpose is to bring awareness to the community about how important agriculture is," according Levi Fisher, a member Lincoln County Cattlemen (LCC).

One such effort will occur on Sept. 25, as the North Platte Area Chamber and Development Corporation's agriculture committee and LCC have scheduled an “informational meeting” for the public to discuss the animal rights group. The meeting will be held at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds beginning at 5:30 p.m. Space is limited, so attendees will have to RSVP to the North Platte Chamber.

Gov. Dave Heineman will be the featured speaker, along with three others. The program will conclude with a question and answer session.

Fisher notes that HSUS challenges is “no different than the drought or anything else. But, the HSUS isn't going to go away anytime soon. We're going to have to keep raising awareness"

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Dr. Mauck    
Sullivan, IL  |  August, 27, 2012 at 09:06 AM

Dave Heineman for President!

kansas  |  August, 27, 2012 at 09:45 AM

Three cheers for Gov. Heineman, and for Mr. Fisher, who seem fully aware that the subversive, lying intimidators of HSUS will not give up easily. Their overbearing arrogance, sense of moral superiority and massive egos will not allow them to accept any kind of defeat. They are a Cult of Zealots with tens of millions of dollars set aside for various forms of law-fare, legis-fare and propaganda campaigns aimed at the weak-willed and weak-minded. Givem' heck Heineman and Nebraska!... other states and organizations should follow your lead.

marvin Wastell    
Omaha, Ne  |  August, 27, 2012 at 09:56 AM

We in Nebraska and in all states who care about future of the livestock industry and nutritious food to eat need to Support Governor Dave Heineman!!! For those who believe that HSUS is correct need to look at what happened to the Swine industry in England several years ago. The animal rights people nearly destroyed the English Swine industry. England ending up having one of the highest cost of pork production in the world. We all need to understand the long term goal of HSUS. I strongly believe that their goal is to eliminate the Livestock industry. Having said the above, those involved in raising livestock and those of us who are associated with the livestock industry need to be Good Stewards of raising livestock and encourage and support Sound Husbandry Practices Marvin Wastell PhD

IA.  |  August, 27, 2012 at 05:35 PM

H$U$ sucks fight them all the way! They are no good to anyone.

Jerry Schleicher    
Parkville, MO  |  August, 28, 2012 at 09:35 AM

It's a proven HSUS tactic to begin a campaign gradually, show a beneign face, then ramp up to a state referendum to force egg or swine producers to entirely change their production practices. They will lie when it suits them, i.e. claiming that Missouri dog breeders did not provide veterinary care of their animals. Mr. Wastell is dead on, HSUS goal is to abolish meat animal production in the United States.

Laurella Desborough    
Florida  |  August, 28, 2012 at 12:22 PM

We have seen the results of the work of the animal rights agenda in the EU countries where they have attacked the pork producers and the egg producers. Now eggs are scarce in the EU and the UK and the price is high. We have seen the results of their work in Florida. The pork producers left the state after an amendment to the Florida constitution was passed regarding husbandry practices for swine. We have seen the results of the HSUS and the egg amendment in California...complaints now of scarcity of eggs for making vaccines for humans, as well as poultry facilities shutting down. Make no mistake, the HSUS agenda is to ELIMINATE ANIMAL AGRICULTURE. Why would any reasonable cattleman or farmer cooperate with HSUS?

Howard Hail    
Santa Rosa  |  August, 28, 2012 at 01:58 PM

HSUS is definitely out to end all use of animals for food, companionship and medical research. This isn't about animal welfare or the good of humanity. Since it is very clear the results of this movement in Europe with high food prices and we are not talking about a few cents more but dollars more per egg. In fact it is so bad that you cannot find eggs or bacon anymore. British pig farmers are warning European consumers that the price of bacon will rise significantly next year as European producers quit the industry ahead of new animal welfare laws. The Guardian’s Jamie Doward claims the predicted decline in the number of European producers comes while many of their counterparts in the UK industry, who account for 40% of all domestic bacon sales, are battling to stay in business. Experts claims a partial ban on sow stalls due to take effect throughout Europe from 1 January 2013, will have a major impact on the EU pig meat market. BPEX, who represent the interests of pig producers in England, claims similar animal welfare legislation at the start of this year has caused serious disruption with the price of eggs up 75% compared with a year ago. One has to ask why HSUS is attacking farmers and ranchers since American farmers feed the world. Could it be that HSUS is working for AGENDA 21 whose goal it is to end American Agriculture because Maurice Strong told the UN that unless they take down American Agriculture they would never be able to take over America or the world. As silly as it sounds that is the goal and STrong is on record as saying that HSUS is the organization to do it because they can reach the public through their pets. NO more Pets, NO more food, No more people.

Oklahoma  |  August, 28, 2012 at 05:16 PM

I think it's important to look at the animal rights groups from the view of where they came from. PETA lived as a cult church on Charlie Manson's ranch. The current CEO for HSUS was friends with them. They started the Fund for Animals. There was a murder at HSUS so the current CEO came running. With maffia ties to his bloodline the CEO of HSUS denies being the nephew of the maffia kingpin who designed the St Valentines Massacure.

SD  |  August, 30, 2012 at 12:23 PM

The comments such as HSUS ties to Mafia, etc. may be interesting, but we in agriculture need to keep our focus on our science based animal care designed for the optimum benefit of the animals, our very real NEED for well cared for animals so that we may have an opportunity for enough profit to stay in business, and our very real love of the animals we care for. It is truly sad and sickening that some ag groups are partnering with HSUS and others determined to end all use of animals. Some of us are not very surprised they would stoop so low, apprently in the belief it will somehow put them above other animal agriculture organizations and somehow give them more political power over other ag groups.

CT  |  August, 30, 2012 at 06:07 PM

I'm not sure statements such as "our very real love of the animals we care for" makes a whole lot of sense, given the actual reason they're being raised in the first place (i.e. you don't usually allow loved ones to be killed)

Terry Ward    
Pa.  |  September, 02, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Anyone notice yet that the general public is paying no attention to these illucid rants?

Terry Ward    
Pa.  |  September, 02, 2012 at 07:31 PM

But of course "all those ag groups partnering with HSUS" won't mean squat when the use of all animals is ended. Lord have mercy on us all. Where do you folks come up with this nonsense.. Is it possible that you don't know how crazy this sounds?.

Maryland  |  September, 04, 2012 at 10:14 PM

I wonder if Wayne Pacelle and all of the other wonderful animal lovers have pondered where their 6 figure income will come from if they ever do shut down all animal ag? Who would be donating then?

Maryland  |  September, 04, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Everything dies, if you love it you don't let it suffer. You definately don't understand the lifestyle. Animals (even those being raised for meat) overall are better cared for than humans. Ever been in a nursing home? True animal lovers would never let their animals end up like those people. Unfortunately society does not allow us to care and show as much compassion for our family as it does for animals. Haven't you ever thought it would be more humane if someone died quickly rather than suffer with a dehibilitating disease? Maybe it was a blessing when they finally did pass?

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