WASHINGTON – The Humane Society of the United States announced it has filed a complaint against the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The group is alleging deceptive advertising related to animal well-being on the part of NPPC.
In response to the HSUS action, NPPC issued a statement saying the council would “analyze the complaint once it actually is made public and will vigorously defend against the absolutely false claims made by HSUS as set forth in a press release it issued today”.
“The FTC complaint is the latest attack by animal-rights activists on America’s hog farmers, an assault that seems obviously in response to the U.S. pork industry’s strident opposition to congressional legislation that would allow federal bureaucrats to tell farmers how to raise and care for their animals,” NPPC said.
The complaint alleges that the industry’s “We Care” initiative and the Pork Quality Assurance Plus program are “fundamentally inconsistent with the Pork Council’s public claims”.
“The pork industry spends millions misleading the public about its animal-welfare record, while allowing pigs to be crammed into tiny gestation crates where they can’t even turn around for months on end,” says Jonathan Lovvorn, senior vice president for animal protection litigation at The HSUS. “Rather than investing in real animal-welfare reforms, the Pork Council is betting the farm on a deceptive PR campaign designed to mislead consumers with false assurances.”
NPPC said hog farmers are committed to providing humane and compassionate care for their pigs.
“US hog farmers are the ones who ensure the well-being of their animals and who are dedicated to producing safe, affordable and healthful foods for consumers – using standards and practices that have been designed with input from veterinarians and other animal-care experts – not groups that spend well-over half of the donations they receive on soliciting more contributions and, apparently, the other portion on suing American farmers,” NPPC said.