The Human Society of the United States has released undercover video footage it reportedly took of non ambulatory cattle being sold at livestock auctions in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Texas and New Mexico. Much as they did in January with footage of the Hallmark/Westland Meat Company, chose to release the footage at a press conference Wednesday.
After being criticized by Ag Secretary Ed Schafer about not notifying authorities for several months about the Hallmark allegations, HSUS did send Schafer a letter telling him of their investigation; however they did not specify which auctions the footage came from.
"We requested a meeting with HSUS officials when we learned of the materials they furnished to the Secretary of Agriculture", says Livestock Marketing Association President Jim Santomaso. "Apparently, HSUS is not interested in having a meeting to discuss their findings with us, since they scheduled a news conference prior to responding to our request."
According to Santomaso HSUS admitted in their letter to Schafer that those filming the mishandling did nothing about the animals in distress and did not tell the market operators, which he says call into question their genuine concern for animal welfare.
"HSUS is clearly not supportive of the livestock and meat industry," says Santomaso. "America’s 1,200 livestock marketing businesses annually handle an astounding number of livestock. The overwhelming majority of those markets practice appropriate handling of all livestock moving through their businesses because proper handling is both a humane and economic necessity."