Under a law signed on Thursday, Michigan will become the largest egg-producing state to require farmers to switch to cage-free egg production. The Humane Society of the United States said the decision “shows just how rapidly American views on the treatment of farm animals are evolving.”
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed a law last Friday that will require eggs sold in the state, whether they come from commercial flocks in Oregon or are produced elsewhere, to come from cage-free hens beginning in 2024. California and Washington State already have similar laws.
Less than 24 hours after a vote of confidence from the board of the Humane Society of the United States, Wayne Pacelle resigned as its chief executive due to complaints of sexual harassment. "Major donors said they would withdraw or reconsider their support," said the blog Nonprofit Chronicles. "Two of Pacelle's accusers went public with their charges. Others surfaced."
Seven of the 31 members of the board of the Humane Society of the United States resigned in protest of the decision to keep Wayne Pacelle as the group’s chief executive, said the Washington Post.
The Humane Society of the United States “finds itself ensnared in a widening controversy over sexual harassment in the upper levels of the nonprofit’s management,” said Politico Magazine. The publication describes complaints by six women of improper behavior by Paul Shapiro, an HSUS vice president.
Wayne Pacelle, the scourge of the U.S. meat industry in his role as chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States, is the subject of three complaints of sexual harassment, said the Washington Post.
The USDA is opening a 60-day comment period on potential updates to the license requirements for people who breed, sell, or exhibit animals for commercial purposes. At the same time, the Humane Society of the United States says the USDA’s new “search tool” for accessing animal-abuse records “is still virtually unusable.”
Aerial hog hunting is a booming, albeit niche, market in Texas, home to one-third of the six million wild hogs that cause millions of dollars in damage to U.S. crops and livestock annually, says Reuters.
The San Bernardino County prosecutor filed four dozen animal cruelty charges against an egg farm in Ontario, Calif., where thousands of hens were found in "inhumane" conditions said the Los Angeles Times. The Humane Society of the United States said it was the first time charges were brought under the voter-enacted Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty law, also known as Proposition 2.
After USDA removed investigation files from its website on some 9,000 animal facilities, including circuses, dog breeding operations and scientific labs, animal rights activists are crying foul, says the Humane Society of the United States. The society notified USDA that it would re-open a similar public access lawsuit it filed and won in 2005 if the agency doesn't immediately bring the documents back online.
Farm groups that said they wanted protection against out-of-state animal rights activists and anti-GMO campaigners failed to persuade Oklahoma voters, who rejected a proposed right-to-farm amendment to the state constitution by a landslide. The defeat, along with passage of a Massachusetts referendum on livestock welfare, dented the reputation of farm lobby, which failed to stop a nationwide GMO disclosure law in July.
In the past year, major food companies have trumpeted the changes they are making in how they produce food, rolling out long-term plans to remove antibiotics from livestock production, reformulating favorites like mac and cheese to get rid of artificial ingredients, and in some cases, aiming to improve the lives of animals destined to be eaten. Yet one major campaign has stood out in its inability to achieve what activists hoped — GMO labeling.
Publix, the country’s fifth-largest supermarket chain, became the last of the top 25 grocery companies to pledge to sell only cage-free eggs within the decade, reports the Orlando Sentinel.
More than a decade after it banned slaughter of "downer" cattle to provide meat for human consumption, USDA said it will ban slaughter of veal calves that are unable to stand or walk when they arrive at packing plants. The Food Safety and Inspection Service said the ban, to take effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register, will mean that the calves receive better treatment.
In a new book, "The Humane Economy," Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, says that in widely different industries, from agriculture and tourism to medicine and beauty products, consumers' purchasing power is prompting companies to improve their animal-welfare standards, says Civil Eats.
The Humane Society of the U.S. praised Perdue, the country’s fourth-largest poultry producer, for a series of animal-welfare reforms that it called “meaningful and precedent-setting.” The reforms include installing windows in poultry houses to allow more natural light; giving each bird more space; putting the birds to sleep before slaughter; and testing slower-growing breeds.
The Humane Society of the United States is calling for state and federal investigations after it released undercover video, from one of New England’s largest egg producers, that shows chickens caked in feces and packed in tiny cages, in some cases with dead and mummified birds.
The upcoming Massachusetts referendum on animal welfare standards - requiring more space for poultry, pigs and calves - boils down to "a class thing," says the executive director of a group that is challenging the proposal in court.
Mammoth retailer Walmart, also the largest U.S. grocer, said it will shift to cage-free eggs "based on available supply, affordability and customer demand by 2025." The transition applies to Walmart and Sam's Club stores and was the latest in a string of announcements by food chains.