Illegal Activities Come to Light

Documents show American Egg Board interfering with California anti-cruelty initiative.

| May 23, 2008

  • Chicken

    Hank Will

  • Chicken

Government documents recently obtained by the Humane Society of the United States reveal that the American Egg Board (AEB) is involved in an illegal scheme to divert $3 million of federal legislative check-off funds to lobby voters against an anti-cruelty ballot initiative that will provide basic protections to California farm animals. The same documents show that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is charged by law with overseeing the activities and expenditures of the AEB, has known about the AEB’s planned illegal activities for months.

“The jig is up for the American Egg Board and its illegal plans to use federal money to interfere with the 2008 California election,” says Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the HSUS. “The Egg Board is permitted to market eggs to consumers, not to serve as a war chest for factory farm lobbyists fighting to deny animals enough living space merely to turn around and spread their wings.”

“Apparently, the AEB holds the same contempt for the democratic process as it does for the animals in its industry’s charge,” says Gene Baur, president of Farm Sanctuary.

In November 2007, the AEB approved a resolution to reserve $3 million to oppose The Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act – which has been certified for the November general election ballot – despite the fact that it is legally prohibited from undertaking any activity designed to influence voters, legislation or ballot initiative campaigns.

In March, Californians for Humane Farms, a coalition including the HSUS, Farm Sanctuary and other animal protection groups, family farmers, veterinarians and public health professionals, requested that the USDA prevent the AEB from using the funds for illegal political activity.

In response, the USDA and AEB said the money was for general consumer education in any state, and not intended to influence the California political process.

hey rakes
3/23/2009 6:56:01 AM

i find "GRITS" stance on this subject. I assumed "GRIT" was a magazine for people trying to raise there own food and maybe enough to sell also. The Californian would put a undo burden on the small producers, just think about your chickens or rabbits in your backyard. first dealing with the American egg board is also a non-profit group to help and promote small egg production. as far as "illegal" use of funds, they are for the education of the public on issues that effect the public. As for the "HUMANE SOCIETY FOR ANIMALS", this is an organization that has has stated many times that their objective is to stop all meat consumption. Think about it most of them are veggans and would love nothing more then to force you be the same. As for the 800,000 signatures, how many of these were from people that have every even seen a cow, let alone raised one? Is the author of this article one of these? maybe "GRIT" needs to read the bill.

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