Animal Ag Alliance cuts ties with Bank of America

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Last month, the Animal Agriculture Alliance reached out to Bank of America with concerns about its public support of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and asked the company to sever its ties to the extreme animal rights group. The bank indicated it would not discontinue its HSUS affinity card program, so the Alliance has decided to end its relationship with its bank of 25 years.

Bank of America’s Agribusiness Executive emphasized in a phone conversation with Alliance CEO Kay Johnson Smith that the affinity card program with HSUS was not new and that HSUS received no preferential treatment. He emphasized his long-time connections with agriculture and his sincere commitment to supporting agriculture through numerous sponsorships, research and service.

Bank of America does not consider the $60 from each affinity card as a donation, but rather a “fee” paid to HSUS (and other affinity program participants) for bringing in new clients. When told that HSUS spends a great deal of money of disparaging campaigns, as well as legislative and legal attacks against farmers and ranchers, yet it spends less than one percent on direct animal care, he recognized that statistic. He then discounted it by saying people believe HSUS helps animals and they enjoy having a card with cats and dogs on it.

Ironically, the bank’s representative specifically pointed out that the most critical issue right now for agriculture is the constant pressure on people in the food business.

After this conversation and careful consideration, the Alliance has decided to terminate its relationship with Bank of America. The Alliance cannot continue a business relationship with companies that are contributing financially to extreme animal rights organizations that seek to eliminate the animal agriculture industry. The Alliance appreciates the support of its members and others in the agricultural community who took action on this issue. Thanks to those who voiced their concerns to Bank of America via social media, phone conversations, and mail. We will continue to speak up for America’s farmers and ranchers who continue to provide us with a safe, healthy, and affordable food supply.

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July, 30, 2012 at 09:16 PM

I too am canceling my bank of america card............

Ernie Jay    
California  |  July, 30, 2012 at 11:48 PM

First, if anyone thinks HSUS is extreme, they don't know animal welfare groups at all. It's mild and criticized by many other animal groups as not being aggressive enough. Second, as long as (1) factory farms, feed lots, and mega dairies continue to behave as if they're hiding something, and/or (2) ag leaders refuse to own up to the fact that there ARE some bad apples out there that make true ag folks who care for their livestock look bad, then groups like HSUS are going to continue to gain momentum. I'm not cancelling anything with B/A. I'd rather see changes made so the critical animal groups wouldn't have anything to complain or write home about.

Eric Nix    
St. Aufustine Florida  |  August, 01, 2012 at 09:11 AM

H.S.U.S. wants ll animal ownership to end. In their own words-""We cannot justify the perpetuation of domestication for the purpose of keeping “pets.” ......... if there were two dogs left in the universe and it were up to us as to whether they were allowed to breed so that we could continue to live with dogs, and even if we could guarantee that all dogs would have homes as loving as the one that we provide, we would not hesitate for a second to bring the whole institution of “pet” ownership to an end. We regard the dogs who live with us as refugees of sorts, and although we enjoy caring for them, it is clear that humans have no business continuing to bring these creatures into a world in which they simply do not fit."

Ohio  |  July, 31, 2012 at 09:56 AM

Just like the 99.9% of the american urbinites, the Bank of America oficials do not know much about food production. All they see is the multi million dollar advertising done by radical animal groups. All good farmers know that good management of their livestock has a financial reward. Universities and Associations spend a great deal of money doing research and development on agricultural issues to feed us all. . Farmers are farmers because they love their way of life and their animals. It is not an easy life. And the economic risk of growing food is very high. I will cancel my credit card as well.

Colo  |  July, 31, 2012 at 10:19 AM

I wish everyone would realize that BOA is nothing more than a TBTF casino and the banksters need your money so they can continue to gamble. That they support HSUS, which is another fraudulant front designed to suck up big bucks in order to support the lobbyists, lawyers, pension fund, investments, commercials . . . anything but animals, is typical. One bunch of crooks shilling for another bunch of crooks.

New Jersey  |  July, 31, 2012 at 02:41 PM

HSUS "extreme" -- ??? --- Are you kidding? And the money spent on legislation and other campaigns does, in fact, help animals. I may have to reconsider and move my money TO Bank of America to support this decision. It's time that the animal agriculture industry made a lot of the changes HSUS works for.

PA  |  July, 31, 2012 at 04:40 PM

Yes, extreme. They use deceptive advertising to part people from their money. Why would you support an organization that won't tell the truth about what it does with your funds?

Las Vegas, NV  |  July, 31, 2012 at 06:33 PM

ANOTHER reason for me to close my account

Biloxi, MS  |  August, 01, 2012 at 06:02 PM

well, let's put it this way, when HSUS gets backing from a Senator or a Representative concerning animal rights, and the bill reflects on your pet ownership - it passed on the Federal level - and the authorities come knocking on your door, to confiscate your pet - then you can thank yourself for donating to the HSUS, cause they were the power behind getting that bill passed into law. They want to END pet ownership - do your homework people - educate yourself.

SD  |  August, 02, 2012 at 11:47 AM

It is time for BOA's CEO Johnson to live up to his claim of "long-time connections with and support of agriculture" and recall the cards favoring HSUS with HUGE donations and issue new cards supporting agriculture with equally generous donations of OUR own money (spent for the cards and use thereof) toward ag organizations and/or Land Grant Universities for ag research.

Bellingham, Wa  |  August, 03, 2012 at 05:26 PM

I LOVE the HSUS --their legislative fund has brought public awareness to down cows, pigs in gestation crates, the disgrace of dog fighting, etc. etc. --they go after the BAD guys --IF HSUS comes to your door , there is a REASON --PUPPY MILL????? I donate as much money as I can to the legislative fund for the HSUS !! we need people to PROSECUTE and hopefully JAIL ALL people that don't treat animals with respect and kindness -- When I pass I'm leaving 50% of my estate to the HSUS--My estate is considerable --nothing gives me more satisfaction knowing I will have contributed to the care, protection, and health of ALL animals --- guess I'm going to move more money to B of Am !!

kansas  |  August, 04, 2012 at 10:56 PM

Gail, of Livestock Knowledge Central - Bellingham, WA - LOVES HSUS and is thrilled with their jack-boot intimidation and bullying strategy of jamming junk science and demonizing propaganda down the throats of her and her fellow suckers, because it's for a Good Cause. A good cause HSUS invented and nourished with money gathered by blatantly lying and casually deceiving logic-challenged but Deep Feeling Naifs. Blind Zealots like Gail are the fools who neglect their humanity and obligations to their own to benefit hateful bigots and petty minority tyrants like the HSUS. They are the Leona Helmslys who spit on their fellow humans and leave trust funds for their corgies. Pitiful and repulsive at the same time, nothing can be done to educate those who refuse to learn.

SD  |  August, 06, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Do you who support HSUS and claim it isn't among the extreme not KNOW that they kill animals in their care when it gets too costly to feed them? Do you not know that they are aligned with some of the more extreme animal RIGHTS groups? That they would deny your right to benefit from any experimentation on animals, even to save your life? That they divert much of the money they solicit into their OWN financial benefit coffers? AND that they supported that famous abuser/dog fight promoter and put him on their board after he 'said' he had changed???? Why do you believe housing designed by animal science experts for the ultimate in safety, comfort, and welfare of animals should be ended? The farmers using those systems spent huge amounts of money to install such systems. You obviously are ignoring the benefits to animals in your zeal to end all food animal production and see the end of people being allowed to have pets, if you even understand that is the STATED GOAL of HSUS and other animal RIGHTS groups, right after their zeal for more money for their own lifestyles!

Seattle  |  August, 06, 2012 at 07:40 PM

It’s ridiculous that the Alliance would sever its ties with BofA because of its relationship with HSUS. HSUS, like most decent Americans including farmers and ranchers, support the humane treatment of animals. Criticizing HSUS’s organizational strategy by citing that it provides little direct care to animals is uninformed. I would argue that their high level strategy ultimately raises industry standards thereby benefiting many more animals than though direct care. For those of us that want to do the right thing by consumers, the planet, and the animals, it’s the Alliance’s actions that are a little extreme in this case. Cancel your BofA if you’d like, but do it for a legitimate reason.

phoenix, az  |  August, 08, 2012 at 04:40 PM

Ag livestock producers care about and for their animals. To think otherwise is misinformed. Groups like the Humane Society should stick to running small animal rescues and pet adoption services and not a livestock treatment watchdog business which promulgates false and emotional statements to raise funds to wage wars against livestock producers. Not sure when they got in that game or who allowed them in the ballpark, but the public should get out of the city and learn about livestock production before it hands its checkbook and backing to such "misguided activist organizations." I applaud the action of the Ag Alliance for withdrawing their affiliation with BOA. The Humane Society is doing nothing more than using the uninformed public to fund their own personal dislikes against ag producers. Knowledge of the facts is the key to making good decisions. Be informed. Visit the country. See for yourself.

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