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23 August 2015 - Samuelson Sez - There’s a Fox in the Hen House

“There’s a fox in the hen house!” That familiar old term was used in an article by Amanda Radke in her recent article in Beef Magazine reporting the story of the new members appointed to the USDA Advisory Committee on Animal Health.

According to the story, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack revealed the names of 19 professionals who will serve on his Advisory Committee on Animal Health. Among the names are veterinarians, academics and livestock producers, but there is one veterinarian on the list that attracted a lot of attention from people in the livestock industry in the United States.

Dr. Michael Blackwell was appointed to that committee. He is the veterinarian for the Humane Society of the United States. According to Amanda, and I am quoting her now - “What is alarming about the addition of Dr. Blackwell to the Advisory Committee on Animal Health is not only his association with this extremist animal welfare group, but also his views on today’s livestock producers. In a 2012 interview, he was quoted as saying that HSUS is the most capable organization to influence our direction as a society.”

In her story, Amanda quoted Spencer Chase, a journalist with Agri-Pulse in Washington, D.C., who wrote - “When asked to name his top priority issue, he pointed to the health of food animals ‘especially as that health is threatened by mechanized and industrial systems’ that he said ‘can and do threaten public health and environmental safety.’ HSUS critics have also spoken against the very name of the organization, claiming it is deceitful since the organization gives very little money - less than 1% of its budget - to local pet shelters.’”

Well, I certainly agree with Amanda and Spencer. And let me add another reason for my many concerns. The Humane Society of the United States has vowed to eliminate animal production from American agriculture.

That would mean our dinner plates would be void of meat, as well as poultry and dairy products, and humans would have to find a way to convert grass into protein. Oh, and no more leather in our shoes or wardrobe, either! Indeed, there is a fox in the hen house and I don’t like it. He will bear watching.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.