To the editor:
Stan Butt with Farm Animal Care Coalition of Tennessee made misleading claims regarding The Humane Society of the United States and our work ("Farm animal coalition forming in county," Feb. 25).
The mission of the Humane Society of the United States is to fight animal cruelty and to promote the proper care and treatment of animals- all animals. We are an organization representing the mainstream views of more than 160,000 Tennesseans. The HSUS has responded to more than a dozen large-scale animal cruelty, animal fighting, and horse neglect cases in Tennessee, resulting in the rescue of more than 2,300 animals in the last three years. Just two weeks ago, our team assisted the Marshall County Sheriff's Department with the rescue of 98 animals from a Lewisburg puppy mill. We are proud to help the people and animals of Tennessee.
Farmers regularly support our campaigns. We proudly claim cattle ranchers, pork and poultry producers among our members. Contrary to Butt's opinion, many farmers find the practices employed by industrialized factory farms to be both inhumane and detrimental to family farmers. This is why they support phasing out extreme abuses and it is why they argue in favor of better animal welfare in certain sectors of the agriculture industry.
The HSUS has never been involved in seizing animals from farmers in Tennessee. We have assisted law enforcement with the rescue of many dogs and cats and 84 starving equine from a horse trader. It was the organizations which form FACTT (Tennessee Farm Bureau, the Tennessee Cattleman's Association and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture) who assisted the Bedford County Sheriff's Office with the seizure of 600 starving cows and the successful prosecution of the owner. We applaud the organizations efforts to provide assistance to livestock owners in order to avoid or alleviate animal suffering.
Readers who would like more information can visit our web site at humanesociety.org.
Tennessee State Director for HSUS