HSUS not satisfied with Tyson audit plan

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Last week, Tyson Foods announced the launch of its “FarmCheck” program, through which the company plans to conduct animal-welfare audits with its suppliers. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), predictably, does not think the program goes far enough.

Earlier this week, we reported that R-CALF USA also objects to the plan, calling it “a means by which the mega-corporation can exert its muscle to violate the privacy of hard-working, independent family farm and ranch cattle producers; extract from those independent family cattle producers valuable marketing information at no cost; and then charge consumers a premium price for the information it has extracted for free.”

While R-CALF believes the audits will go too far, HSUS says, in a news release, they will not go far enough. “Audits are valuable if farm inspectors ask the right set of questions,” says the organization’s president and CEO, Wayne Pacelle. “We’ve not suggested that Tyson contractors are denying food to animals or intentionally abusing them, but that they are denying them enough space to even turn around. Tyson’s announcement would mean more if the company was getting its pork from farmers who do not confine sows in crates that immobilize the animals.”

The statement apparently refers to a Tyson news release about the program, in which the company says it has begun using the program on a trial basis with some hog farms that supply the company. “Auditors are visiting the farms to check on such things as animal access to food and water, as well as proper human-animal interaction and worker training,” the company says.

The HSUS filed a complaint last May with the Securities and Exchange Commission alleging that Tyson’s claims to audit its suppliers under the pork industry’s “Pork Quality Assurance Plus” program were false, because that program has no enforceable animal welfare standards.

Tyson, meanwhile, has not even released the standards for the program. They currently are assembling a group of veterinarians, ethicists and animal scientists to develop the audits, and the beef and poultry programs will not be underway until 2014. So much of this complaining takes place in the absence of program requirements.

HSUS, of course, will not be satisfied unless Tyson, and all the farmers and ranchers who supply their livestock, went out of business.

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Jim Temple    
Illinois  |  October, 18, 2012 at 09:36 AM

Being a 67 year old cow/calf man all my life; I'm appalled at how an organization like HSUS, PETA, and all the other "impose my will on others"groups can hold a big company hostage because they won't do what that organization wants them to do. Any producer that sells direct to Tyson Foods should rebel against selling their livestock to Tyson, if they allow Wayne Pacelle to sit on the board of directors !! This country has GOT to get government and special interest groups out of citizens lives !! We are very far removed from the freedoms and beleifs that this country was founded on. I say do away with HSUS and their likes; instead of doing away with animal agriculture !!! Any one that eats food...........should feel the same way !!

TX  |  October, 18, 2012 at 09:52 AM

Thanks Jim! I agree 100%.

KS  |  October, 18, 2012 at 10:21 AM

GREAT comment Jim! I am still amazed that the majority of our population still cowers to the demands of the few. Everyone is entitled to their own ideas but I think when it threatens the people who are putting the food on our tables enough is enough!

James T    
Illinois  |  October, 18, 2012 at 11:26 AM

In many situations, it is not the 99% of service providers who do wrong, and most people know how to do their practices in the right way - the bad apple in a bunch is always less than 1% of the total. The bad apple makes it bad for the rest when people die, get sick, or are horrified by some abusive practices, whether to humans or animals. It is not always easy to pick the bad apple, in some instances the bad apple only gets known after the fact - after people have gotten sick, etc.

Nebraska  |  October, 18, 2012 at 03:59 PM

Jim, I agree with you 100%, too. Until we change the attitude and direction of the government in this country, these groups will continue to plague honest, hardworking farmers and ranchers. Hopefully in November we can make a change and get us back on the road to the individual freedoms that the writers of the Declaration set down in print! By the people, for the people and NOT from the government down!

Dwain Holmes    
TX  |  October, 18, 2012 at 04:30 PM

I do not understand people who support them along with PETA!!They are both terrorist groups!!!

NE  |  October, 18, 2012 at 07:02 PM

Never be able to enforce it, I wouldn't worry about. They got the money thats why they have the power. Corn market will put me out of business long long before HSUS will.

October, 19, 2012 at 12:27 PM

HSUS and PeTA are animal rights cults and homeland terrorists. They have the money to put bounty's on the heads of all who breed animals, but unfortunately they do not have the proper knowledge to raise animals. In fact they tried to make cats into vegans. They refuse to acknowledge that only active VB12 comes from animals and that human beings especially children cannot grow properly without Active VB12. Lack of this vitamin causes irrational thinking and overly emotional responses. These people are a danger to our society and to all human beings. Its time to stop listening to them. Somehow they paid someone to have the HSUS name removed from the homeland terrorist papers that defined the internal terrorists groups. Its time to weed them out of government as well.

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