In one of his last acts before resigning amid accusations of sexual impropriety, Wayne Pacelle, then- president of anti-farm and animal rights activist group the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) put out a plea for farm bill funds to be used to feed pets of welfare recipients.
In a blog from HSUS president Wayne Pacelle on Jan. 24, he cites and supports a petition which “calls on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to allow food stamp beneficiaries to buy pet food for their animals if they deem that essential. The food stamp program, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), allows recipients to only buy food meant for human consumption.”
Pacelle said the petition had already received 83,000 signatures.
“Congress needs to take action now and revise the definition of food in SNAP to include pet food,” Pacelle blogged. “Lawmakers should understand the power of the human-animal bond, and that it’s alive and well in all communities in our nation, including those where so many struggle to make ends meet.”
Ironically, HSUS, which, according to Humane Watch received $715,000 in 2016 from the federal government, including $99,000 for “training on new penal code to improve enforcement of wildlife laws in Vietnam” and $65,000 for testing the contraceptive drug PZP on feral horses in northwest Arizona from the Department of the Interior,” claims that allowing food stamp recipients to use money to feed dogs and cats “is not an abuse of the system, nor an affront to taxpayers. It is a matter of survival for animals.”
Such spending ideas are an affront to taxpayers, said John Kran, national lobbyist with Michigan Farm Bureau.
“Farmers who are in the middle of severe economic hardship, who continue to grow enough food to feed the world even at a financial loss, would likely not look favorably on taxpayer funds being used to support an effort like this,” he said.
Before Pacelle resigned, the HSUS also accepted the resignation of Paul Shapiro, who headed the group’s anti-farming campaigns, due to allegations of sexual misconduct.
Politico Magazine reported that Shapiro suggested a female employee should “take one for the team” by having sex with a donor, sent pornography and lewd emails to male employees and discussed with colleagues his sexual philosophies, such as having as many sexual partners as possible.