In what is becoming an embarassment for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), a federal judge has dismissed another frivolous lawsuit that the animal activist group filed targeting the U.S. pork industry.
After spending significant amounts of donor dollars, the HSUS was dealt a significant loss in U.S. District Court on Wednesday. In what was considered to be a futile legal challenge and a very personal attack on U.S. pork producers, the federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by HSUS over the National Pork Board’s purchase of the “Pork, The Other White Meat” trademark from the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) in 2006. The HSUS lawsuit was filed last year.
HSUS, which was joined in the suit by a lone Iowa pork producer (Harvey Dillenburg of Creston, IA) and the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack over approval of the trademark purchase and the Pork Board’s annual payments to NPPC.
HSUS argued that the sale and payments were unlawful since the Pork Board is prohibited from using checkoff dollars to influence legislation. The court dismissed the HSUS case, ruling that the plaintiffs lacked standing and that no one had suffered any injury from the agriculture secretary’s actions.
NPPC applauded the secretary of agriculture’s willingness to defend the case and pork producers across the country. The secretary’s actions should send a strong signal to HSUS supporters that frivolous lawsuits will not be tolerated and should not be pursued.
“If I were a donor to HSUS, I would be very disturbed that my money was wasted on yet another expensive lawsuit that had nothing to do with improving the welfare of farm animals,” says NPPC President Randy Spronk, a pork producer from Edgerton, MN. “This is clearly a vendetta against the U.S. pork industry by the leadership of HSUS, which has made their mission to permanently end animal agriculture very clear. It was frivolous and a waste of the taxpayers’ money and the court’s time. HSUS donors deserve better than that.”
For more information regarding the case of HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES et al v. VILSACK, click here.