(August 10, 2007)—The Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) applauded former Senator John Edwards’ announcement this week calling for a moratorium on concentrated animal feeding operations that have devastated rural economies and water quality. The Edwards campaign unveiled a “Hogs for Edwards” float in the Iowa State Fair Parade to draw attention to this issue. HSLF challenged other presidential candidates to match this commitment to stopping factory farms.
“Industrial factory farms have pushed out family farmers, polluted the environment, and turned animals into production machines,” said Richard Patch, HSLF political director. “Our nation’s next leader should make a strong commitment to protecting rural communities and promoting basic humane treatment of animals—including animals raised for food.”
"We hope that Senator Clinton, Senator Obama, and the other major candidates will also take strong stands against factory farming," Mr. Patch added.
As animal agriculture has become more industrialized over the last few decades, more animals are crammed into larger facilities, increasing the density and waste. Farm animals are kept in more intensive systems, such as two-foot-wide “gestation crates” where breeding pigs are confined for the entire duration of their pregnancies, biting metal bars and not having enough room even to turn around or stretch their limbs.
HSLF and other groups worked to get laws passed to ban these gestation crates in Florida (2002), Arizona (2006), and Oregon (2007). These policy reforms were followed by the nation's largest pork producers such as Smithfield Foods making pledges to phase out gestation crates and switch to group housing where sows have more freedom of movement and socialization. Food industry giants such as Burger King and Wolfgang Puck are also making the transition away from gestation crate pork.
HSLF has not yet made any endorsement in the presidential race, and is calling on candidates to exhibit leadership on animal welfare issues.
Media contact: Heather Sullivan: 301-548-7778, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. On the web at www.hslf.org.
Paid for by Humane Society Legislative Fund and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. HSLF, 519 C Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002.