Animal Ag Engage

Leave a comment

HSUS’ Trojan Horse Ag Councils

Here at the Animal Agriculture Alliance, we keep a close watch on the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). HSUS raises millions of dollars each year through their sad puppy and kitty advertisements. But we know that only 1% of their annual donations go to pet shelters. A large amount of the money raised is used in efforts to limit and eventually end animal agriculture. HSUS certainly does not have the best interests of farmers and ranchers in mind and would prefer if animal agriculture would disappear altogether.

Recently, HSUS has formed Agriculture Councils in Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, and Ohio. These councils, in their words, are being formed to “better animal welfare and environmental stewardship,”But many farmers and ranchers are skeptical about what HSUS has in store for the animal agriculture industry with this Trojan horse approach.  Farmers and ranchers are constantly evolving to become more efficient and sustainable. Farmers don’t have to join councils to understand the value of environmental stewardship, they know that if they do not care for the land then they cannot efficiently run their businesses. Moreover, most farmers want to leave the land in a better condition than when they inherited it–so that younger generations will be able to sustain the farming lifestyle. Farmers and ranchers work hard to ensure the land is healthy to continue to raise their crops and animals efficiently.

The Humane Society is constantly proposing new regulations and restrictions on animal agriculture to lawmakers. So why should farmers and ranchers trust them to give advice in these Ag Councils? It is still unclear what underlying objectives the councils have but the farmers and ranchers that are willing to participate should be aware of HSUS’s true agenda which is to do away with animal agriculture by whatever means necessary.

HSUS is not our friend and does not have the agriculture community’s wellbeing in mind. Farmers and ranchers know that to produce a safe and healthy product they have to care for their animals and the land they are raised on year after year. Farmers and ranchers don’t need the help of the Humane Society to tell them how to raise healthy animals–it’s something they’ve been taught to do by the generations of farmers and ranchers before them.  And they will teach the next generations the same pride and dedication to animal care, environmental stewardship and food safety–all without the “help” of an organization dedicated to puppies, kitties and ending animal agriculture.

Leave a comment

New York City Horse Carriages

A moonlit carriage ride through New York City with the one you love snuggled up beside you…sounds romantic right? Well if this is on your bucket list, book your ticket to NYC right now because horse-drawn carriage rides may not be allowed much longer.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has formulated a proposal to ban horse-drawn carriages in New York City, stating, “They are not humane… It’s over.” But is Mayor de Blasio only doing this for the horses or does he have a hidden agenda? A lot of city space is needed for stables to house the horses and give them adequate space during their resting periods. If the ban of horse-drawn carriages is passed the horses will be required to leave the city and retire to adopted homes or horse sanctuaries. That means the stable space will no longer be used and will be available for new real estate.

So let’s think about the horses for a moment. These horse-drawn carriages are are strictly regulated. by the NYC Administrative Code and the New York State Agriculture and Market Law. There are rules on how long the horses can work, the outdoor temperature, the stable temperature, where and when they can work, veterinary inspections, and much more. These horses might not be able to graze on pasture but they are given feed and forage in the stables. While the horses are pulling the carriages they are staying physically fit, and the constant human interaction is also keeping them mentally fit.

Animal rights activists are using myths and misinformation– saying the horses are in frequent accidents with cars on the busy streets of Manhattan. The truth is there have only been three accidents in thirty years in which a horse has been killed. That is not a bad track record, if these horses roamed in pastures over those thirty years there could have been more deaths from natural environmental causes.

Now let’s think about the carriage drivers. Currently there are 68 carriage companies with medallions in NYC. If this proposal is passed all of the carriage drivers operating under these medallions will be out of work. The horse-drawn carriage drivers are seeking help from The Calvary Group, a lobbying firm that advocates against animal rights groups. The drivers are also concerned with their horses being taken from them. If the proposal is passed the horses will have to be placed outside of the city in adopted homes or animal sanctuaries and become yard ornaments. This means no job and no horse for the carriage drivers in NYC.

Animal rights activists are becoming very vocal in this debate. They want the animals to be sent out of the city. In my opinion they are doing more and more to ensure that we can no longer own animals. If they had it their way all animals would roam free and would never be allowed in a fence or a pen. But the reality is, the world has changed immensely since the days when animals roamed free on the plains. Humans now live in animals’ natural habitat. Animals have become dependent on us and there is not enough land for us to turn all captive animals out into “the wild” to live on their own without our help. The NYC horses should stay because they are under strict regulations, well cared for and bring smiles to many city faces every day.

There’s certainly nothing more quintessential “New York” than a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride, and it would be a shame to see a fixture of New York “put out to pasture” simply because animal rights activists have made carriages their latest target.