The Humane Society of the United States has made a move against the National Pork Producers Council, claiming that the group is "engaging in deceptive advertising related to animal well-being in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act."
The move is a legal complaint filed with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that alleges that the pork industry's public descriptions of its "We Care Initiative" and what it calls the "deceptively titled" Pork Quality Assurance Plus program are "riddled with numerous false claims regarding the welfare of pigs."
The organization claims that abusive practices allowed by the We Care and PQA Plus programs "are fundamentally inconsistent with the Pork Council's public claims. The HSUS and other organizations have regularly documented practices in the pork industry that most consumers do not consider humane such as the extreme confinement of breeding sows in two-foot-wide metal cages, and painful procedures such as tail "docking," which is typically performed without any form of pain relief."
In response to news of the FDA complaint, NPPC offered this response:
"NPPC has learned that the Humane Society of the United States has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, claiming that NPPC is "engaging in deceptive advertising related to animal well-being."
"NPPC will analyze the complaint once it actually is made public and will vigorously defend against the absolutely false claims made by HSUS as set forth in a press release it issued today.
"The FTC complaint is the latest attack by animal-rights activists on America's hog farmers, an assault that seems obviously in response to the U.S. pork industry's strident opposition to congressional legislation that would allow federal bureaucrats to tell farmers how to raise and care for their animals."