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Published March 11, 2013, 09:47 AM

HSUS aims to end animal ag

Group overlooks what farmers do to properly care for animals.

By: Curt and Marty Taylor, Agweek

ADRIAN, Minn. — Howard Goldman, Minnesota lobbyist and state director for The Humane Society of the United States, and the industrial activist group that he represents want us to think they are defending agriculture and promoting sustainability.

What they are trying to force feed the American public through misinformation campaigns will reverse the strides we as pork producers have made in animal care and environmental stewardship.

Compared with 50 years ago, pork producers use 41 percent less water and 78 percent less land to produce 1 pound of pork.

We made these gains with better genetics, improved housing and nutrition for our pigs, barn equipment that saves on water, feed and energy, the use of precision agriculture methods when fertilizing cropland with manure and all-around better care of the pig.

I think the success of caring for sows depends on the skill of those who provide the daily attention to the animal.

On our farm, gestation stalls enable us to provide each sow individualized care and a safe work environment and ensure our sows are healthy and comfortable. Our experience shows that sows fight with each other — often causing severe injuries — and create a hierarchy when in group pens. When a new sow is brought into the group, the fighting starts over.

In Bonnie Stennes’ Feb. 19 letter to the Worthington (Minn.) Daily Globe, she states that restaurants such as McDonald’s, Burger King and others will not buy pork from farms that use gestation stalls because they think they are inhumane.

What she fails to tell you is that HSUS coerced and manipulated the chief executive officers of those companies into making those uneducated decisions based on its own agenda.

Make no mistake, when you send in your donation to help the homeless cat or hungry puppy you see on TV, you should know that more than 98 percent of your money will be used to pay the huge salaries of HSUS lobbyists, attorneys and executives who are all working together to put an end to all animal agriculture. Readers, please use common sense and don’t buy into their rhetoric.

Different ways, similar goal

There are just as many ways to raise hogs as there are hog producers. The one thing we all have in common is our commitment to animal care and food safety.

With input from my veterinarian and access to science-based research, I will determine the best animal care practices for my farm. I sincerely hope those decisions are never turned over to groups that advocate for vegetarian diets, such as the HSUS.

Howard and Bonnie: enjoy your veggie-burgers.

Editor’s Note: This letter originally appeared in the Worthington (Minn.) Daily Globe. Agweek and the Daily Globe are owned by Forum Communications.