Last week the Rapid City Journal (RCJ) ran a story and interviewed a good friend of ours. It’s not everyday a South Dakota Rancher gets an in color picture on the front page of the Journal.
East Coast Group Ranks South Dakota Least Humane State was the name of the article. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) gave South Dakota a poor status due to lack of producers following HSUS’s recommended farming regulations. According to HSUS’s 66 item list of humanitarian animal policies South Dakota meets eight of the standards. In addition, all of our neighboring states have relatively low ranks too.
The article states HSUS’s “checklist includes a dozen recommended animal-fighting restrictions, a half dozen animal-cruelty penalties, 18 hunting, trapping and sale restrictions and seven farm animal restrictions. The list also includes rules for horse protection, dog breeding, exotic pet ownership and animal research.”
The South Dakota State Veterinarian reported that his office receives close to 100 livestock maltreatment complaints per year. Of those 100 cases about 10 turn out to be actual cases of inhumane animal abuse. There is an estimate 17,000 livestock producing farms and ranches in our state. The State Veterinarian is confident in the system South Dakota uses to handle maltreatment of livestock.
According to the State Veterinarian local Humane Societies handle cases of inhumane and abuse of small animals. Primarily dogs and cats.
I read the RCJ article and was okay with it. I think it brings a real issue to the table hinting at HSUS’s “one size fits all” political campaign. I was happy with the individuals the Journal visited with, real life people involved with agriculture on a daily basis.
Our friend sent me a message asking if I had read the comments section of the article. Well no, so I went back and did so.
Several comments were from livestock or dairy producers encouraging individuals outside the agriculture community to make sure to do their homework. Sharing that HSUS is NOT a local Humane Society. In fact, they are a Washington D.C. based lobbying group that spends ½ of 1% of their budget supporting animal shelters.
One commenting individual from Lead, SD is a HSUS member. After reading the comments, I have the feeling “luv4animals” is misinformed about the organization he/she belongs to. They stated the huge need for laws to protect companion animals and that HSUS has no agenda concerning the abolishment of animal agriculture. Actually “luv4animals” was not the only commenter that said the legislation HSUS proposes has nothing to do with animal agriculture.
Several people expressed worry about dogs and cats, stating there is research to support that many serial killers started their careers by torturing and abusing small animals.
I wanted to share this article with you for a couple of reasons:
1. For the agriculture community this article is proof that telling our story and sharing the truth about our livelihood is being heard. We have come a long way “agvocating.” After reading some of the comments related to this article, we have a ways to go to reveal the truth behind anti-animal agriculture groups.
2. For the non-agriculture community I hope this article gives you some food for thought. I hope you do some honest research and know the truth behind the agendas of organizations like HSUS.