Earlier today, the
Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) filed suit against the United States Department of Agriculture in an attempt to void a contract between the
National Pork Board (NPB) and the National Pork Producer’s Council(NPPC).  The NPB is the entity through which pork “checkoff” dollars are spent, while the NPPC is an industry group focused on legislative and public policy issues that affect its members.  The contracts at issue involve the rights to the slogan “Pork, The Other White Meat” and related intellectual property. 

 

According to the lawsuit “the $3 million per year the NPB pays NPPC for those rights is illegal, because those funds are used for NPPC lobbying efforts. The lawsuit estimated those payments account for as much as 32 percent of NPPC’s annual budget revenue.” See Meatingplace article here. 

 

HSUS claims standing to bring suit on its own behalf because “NPPC has consistently expended significant funds to fight HSUS policy and legislative reforms related to humane practices in the care of farm animals.”  As a result, HSUS argues, “[s]ince HSUS resources would otherwise be spent on advocacy, legislation, and education related to improving the treatment of pigs and other animals, Defendant’s unlawful conduct directly impedes Plaintiff’s activities, and causes a significant drain on its resources and time.”

 
To read the complaint, click here.  The press release issued by HSUS in conjunction with the filing is available here.  As of this time, no press release has been issued by either the NPB or the NPPC.

Posted: 9/24/2012
Questions? Looking for more information? Contact Staff Attorney Elizabeth Rumley at erumley@uark.edu