by Sen. Mike Parson
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is a political action machine masquerading as an umbrella
organization for local humane societies. It may market itself as an animal care group, but just 1 percent of
its $100 million annual budget goes to hands-on pet shelters. Instead, the money is used to push its anti-
meat and farming agenda. In the past, leaders of the organization have called for the end of all animal
It was ironic, then, that the HSUS recently announced it would be forming a national agriculture advisory
council. Almost immediately, farmers, ranchers and officials, myself included, called the move a
disingenuous ploy to disguise its true anti-agricultural agenda. Those familiar with the Society’s true goals
understood the cynical political motivation behind the move. This is a group that wants nothing more than
to destroy modern livestock and farming operations. It has no interest in “helping” agriculture.
Six years ago, the HSUS ran a campaign of misinformation that preyed on the sympathy of Missouri voters
in order to pass a broken constitutional amendment that nearly bankrupted and put out of business
legitimate, responsible dog-breeders in this state. It took a legislative fix to undo the damage caused by
the Humane Society of the United States efforts.
Two years ago, Missouri approved the Right to Farm amendment in order to protect the ability of Missouri
farmers and ranchers to carry out their business without unnecessary interference. The main motivation
behind that bill was to block the HSUS’ attempts to harm agricultural practices in Missouri.
This year, I continue the fight by encouraging California to roll back a farming measure that has put the
egg industry into a tailspin. Where did the California measure originate? The Humane Society of the
United States by abusing the Commerce Clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3) of the U.S. Constitution. The
Commerce Clause was designed to ensure free trade between the states by preventing any state from imposing a
tariff or other restriction on goods from another state. The power of the federal government has continued to try
to expand the limits on beef, pork, chicken, and others in the agricultural industry.
Humane Society of the United States is an organization that has again and again fought to reduce the
impact of agriculture in not only this state, but throughout the nation. It has helped implement numerous
propositions in various states that have had disastrous effects on livestock operations.
The HSUS is one of the greatest enemies of modern agriculture. More than any other organization, this
group has made concerted efforts to do lasting damage to the agricultural industry in America. They’ve
done so by spreading false information and not properly informing the public about the consequences of
their half-baked proposals.
I hope the people of Missouri can see through this deception for what it truly is: a publicity stunt that
distracts citizens from the HSUS’ true agenda. I will use all the power at my disposal to expose the truth
behind this sham organization and its real motivations. We cannot afford to let the actions of one group
harm our state’s No. 1 industry.