The Humane Society of the United States is offering a $2,500 reward for information related to the recent animal-rights-related firebombings and acts of domestic terrorism focused on researchers at University of California-Santa Cruz. Is the offer sincere or just another effort to gain positive publicity?

The Animal Agriculture Alliance says the $2,500 reward is only a mere fraction of the funds HSUS spent fighting passage of domestic terrorism legislation in several states and the Animal Enterprise Protection Act in the past few years, which passed in spite of HSUS’ efforts. Concurrently, the California state legislature is considering a bill to protect researchers that use animals as study models.  Assembly Bill 2296 would make it easier for police to cite individuals for trespassing and makes it illegal to post personal information about a researcher with the intent to incite violence.

The Animal Agriculture Alliance is correct in pointing out that HSUS spends a lot of money trying to put you out of business. But, since I have devoted a lot of this space to criticizing HSUS this year, I must applaud HSUS president and CEO Wayne Pacelle for his recent comments regarding the firebombs in California. “One cannot claim to be an animal protection advocate and threaten violence against other people, even if we disagree with what they are doing,” he said. “This behavior is antiethical to the core principles of the humane movement.”

While we’re in a charitable mood, HSUS also took an admirable stance on pet cloning. At issue are the five clones of a pit bull created by Seoul-based RNL Bio at a cost of $50,000 for an American woman. HSUS executive vice president Michael Markarian noted that approximately 6 million to 8 million dogs and cats enter animal shelters each year, many of which are euthanized. “Pit bulls are in crisis, and the addition of five pit bull clones to the dog population is an inhumane and unnecessary endeavor,” Markarian said. “Fifty-thousand dollars could have funded thousands of spay and neuter surgeries, provided toys and beds for numerous pit bulls in shelters, or provided law enforcement agencies with rewards for tipsters and other new tools to aggressively pursue dogfighters. We couldn't agree more.” — Greg Henderson, editor