Interview with Humane Society of the United States state director Darci Adams | TSLN.com

Interview with Humane Society of the United States state director Darci Adams

Courtesy graphic"I think we have great farmers and ranchers in this state; we don't have anything we want to see changed," said Darci Adams, the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) state director for South Dakota.

Darci Adams, the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) state director for South Dakota, invited fellow lobbying friends to Pierre on Feb. 15, 2011 for an event dubbed, “South Dakota Humane Lobby Day.” A dozen members of the group showed up to visit with the state’s elected officials.

Representing dogs and cats in name only, it’s no secret that HSUS is a powerful lobbying organization with an empire worth $191.3 million that uses less than 1 percent of its budget to fund hands-on pet shelters, according to Humane Watch. Instead of putting those dollars to use helping dogs and cats they vow to protect, HSUS spends millions of dollars on pension funds, retirement plans, salaries and, of course, lobbying. In 2010, 97 new state laws and regulations for animals were enacted, many relating to the way food is produced in the U.S.

In an exclusive interview with Tri-State Livestock News, Adams visited about the priorities of HSUS in South Dakota, stating that she’s “very companion animal focused.”

Yet, when asked how much money the South Dakota HSUS gives to local animal shelters, Adams said, “We have no affiliation with local shelters; we try to complement them, not oversee them. We offer various forms of training, manuals and networking opportunities, and our efforts focus on policy.”

While many local shelters are extremely under-staffed and under-funded, Adams doesn’t think her organization takes away dollars from these facilities.

“Our members know what we do,” she explained. “I used to work for the Sioux Falls Humane Society, and we were always needing funds. I encourage people to give money to HSUS and their local shelters.”

Recommended Stories For You

Adams is quick to deny HSUS’ apparent “vegan agenda and platform.”

“I eat meat,” she noted. “One-third of our employees and most of our board eat meat. I know where my food comes from. It’s humanely raised.”

Her one-third figure is hard to believe when Pacelle insists on a vegetarian menu in the cafeteria at the HSUS Washington, D.C. headquarters.

Adams said as a young child she briefly lived on her dad’s farm located outside of Sioux Falls, SD, and she insisted that she understands South Dakota agriculture, despite what HSUS represents.

“I was born and raised in South Dakota; I know the importance of animal agriculture,” she said. “I get criticized for other things happening in other states. The beauty is, I can focus on what’s important to this state. Right now we are working on the prairie dog issue, HB 1047, and horse slaughter is a big concern of ours, too.”

Adams’ reference of “other things” includes legislation and ballot initiatives that have been passed into law in states such as California’s Proposition 2, Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act (2008), which “requires that calves raised for veal, egg-laying hens and pregnant pigs be confined only in ways that allow these animals to lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs and turn around freely.”

When asked what Adams would like to see changed in South Dakota’s livestock industry, she said nothing.

“I think we have great farmers and ranchers in this state; we don’t have anything we want to see changed,” she replied. “I don’t get a lot of pressure from national headquarters; our South Dakota members get to set our state priorities. To see our platform on animal issues, you just have to look at the national Web site.”

Despite Adams’ reassurances, it does little to ease concerns of the state’s farmers and ranchers. Many producers were at the capital the day of Adams’ event to visit with legislators, as well. Although Adams insisted HSUS wasn’t focused on changing laws for food producers in South Dakota, her volunteers lobbied to state legislators and told many, “Next year, we will introduce a felony animal cruelty bill in this state.”

HSUS makes an annual ranking of states on animal policies, which it will more than likely use to push this bill forward next year. According to the report, South Dakota ranked 51st. A few of the categories HSUS uses to rank each state include: prohibiting bear, cougar, dove hunting; prohibiting hunting on Sundays; prohibiting gestation crates for hogs; prohibiting battery cages for hens; prohibiting tail docking of dairy cows; and limiting the number of breeding dogs at a facility.

“I have been a member of HSUS for 12 years where I have volunteered as a citizen lobbyist and activist for the organization,” Adams added. “Now I have the chance to get things done here in South Dakota as a lobbyist for HSUS.”

While she refused to admit to any agenda relating to animal agriculture, ranchers continue to pay close attention to the priorities HSUS sets for South Dakota and other regions.

Adams says she is open to hearing what producers are concerned about, but has refused dialogue with ranchers on two occasions already in her first year on the job.

PHOTOCUTLINE:

humane-lobby-day-2011-map:

Darci Adams, the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) state director for South Dakota, invited fellow lobbying friends to Pierre on Feb. 15, 2011 for an event dubbed, “South Dakota Humane Lobby Day.” A dozen members of the group showed up to visit with the state’s elected officials.

Representing dogs and cats in name only, it’s no secret that HSUS is a powerful lobbying organization with an empire worth $191.3 million that uses less than 1 percent of its budget to fund hands-on pet shelters, according to Humane Watch. Instead of putting those dollars to use helping dogs and cats they vow to protect, HSUS spends millions of dollars on pension funds, retirement plans, salaries and, of course, lobbying. In 2010, 97 new state laws and regulations for animals were enacted, many relating to the way food is produced in the U.S.

In an exclusive interview with Tri-State Livestock News, Adams visited about the priorities of HSUS in South Dakota, stating that she’s “very companion animal focused.”

Yet, when asked how much money the South Dakota HSUS gives to local animal shelters, Adams said, “We have no affiliation with local shelters; we try to complement them, not oversee them. We offer various forms of training, manuals and networking opportunities, and our efforts focus on policy.”

While many local shelters are extremely under-staffed and under-funded, Adams doesn’t think her organization takes away dollars from these facilities.

“Our members know what we do,” she explained. “I used to work for the Sioux Falls Humane Society, and we were always needing funds. I encourage people to give money to HSUS and their local shelters.”

Adams is quick to deny HSUS’ apparent “vegan agenda and platform.”

“I eat meat,” she noted. “One-third of our employees and most of our board eat meat. I know where my food comes from. It’s humanely raised.”

Her one-third figure is hard to believe when Pacelle insists on a vegetarian menu in the cafeteria at the HSUS Washington, D.C. headquarters.

Adams said as a young child she briefly lived on her dad’s farm located outside of Sioux Falls, SD, and she insisted that she understands South Dakota agriculture, despite what HSUS represents.

“I was born and raised in South Dakota; I know the importance of animal agriculture,” she said. “I get criticized for other things happening in other states. The beauty is, I can focus on what’s important to this state. Right now we are working on the prairie dog issue, HB 1047, and horse slaughter is a big concern of ours, too.”

Adams’ reference of “other things” includes legislation and ballot initiatives that have been passed into law in states such as California’s Proposition 2, Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act (2008), which “requires that calves raised for veal, egg-laying hens and pregnant pigs be confined only in ways that allow these animals to lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs and turn around freely.”

When asked what Adams would like to see changed in South Dakota’s livestock industry, she said nothing.

“I think we have great farmers and ranchers in this state; we don’t have anything we want to see changed,” she replied. “I don’t get a lot of pressure from national headquarters; our South Dakota members get to set our state priorities. To see our platform on animal issues, you just have to look at the national Web site.”

Despite Adams’ reassurances, it does little to ease concerns of the state’s farmers and ranchers. Many producers were at the capital the day of Adams’ event to visit with legislators, as well. Although Adams insisted HSUS wasn’t focused on changing laws for food producers in South Dakota, her volunteers lobbied to state legislators and told many, “Next year, we will introduce a felony animal cruelty bill in this state.”

HSUS makes an annual ranking of states on animal policies, which it will more than likely use to push this bill forward next year. According to the report, South Dakota ranked 51st. A few of the categories HSUS uses to rank each state include: prohibiting bear, cougar, dove hunting; prohibiting hunting on Sundays; prohibiting gestation crates for hogs; prohibiting battery cages for hens; prohibiting tail docking of dairy cows; and limiting the number of breeding dogs at a facility.

“I have been a member of HSUS for 12 years where I have volunteered as a citizen lobbyist and activist for the organization,” Adams added. “Now I have the chance to get things done here in South Dakota as a lobbyist for HSUS.”

While she refused to admit to any agenda relating to animal agriculture, ranchers continue to pay close attention to the priorities HSUS sets for South Dakota and other regions.

Adams says she is open to hearing what producers are concerned about, but has refused dialogue with ranchers on two occasions already in her first year on the job.

PHOTOCUTLINE:

humane-lobby-day-2011-map:

Darci Adams, the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) state director for South Dakota, invited fellow lobbying friends to Pierre on Feb. 15, 2011 for an event dubbed, “South Dakota Humane Lobby Day.” A dozen members of the group showed up to visit with the state’s elected officials.

Representing dogs and cats in name only, it’s no secret that HSUS is a powerful lobbying organization with an empire worth $191.3 million that uses less than 1 percent of its budget to fund hands-on pet shelters, according to Humane Watch. Instead of putting those dollars to use helping dogs and cats they vow to protect, HSUS spends millions of dollars on pension funds, retirement plans, salaries and, of course, lobbying. In 2010, 97 new state laws and regulations for animals were enacted, many relating to the way food is produced in the U.S.

In an exclusive interview with Tri-State Livestock News, Adams visited about the priorities of HSUS in South Dakota, stating that she’s “very companion animal focused.”

Yet, when asked how much money the South Dakota HSUS gives to local animal shelters, Adams said, “We have no affiliation with local shelters; we try to complement them, not oversee them. We offer various forms of training, manuals and networking opportunities, and our efforts focus on policy.”

While many local shelters are extremely under-staffed and under-funded, Adams doesn’t think her organization takes away dollars from these facilities.

“Our members know what we do,” she explained. “I used to work for the Sioux Falls Humane Society, and we were always needing funds. I encourage people to give money to HSUS and their local shelters.”

Adams is quick to deny HSUS’ apparent “vegan agenda and platform.”

“I eat meat,” she noted. “One-third of our employees and most of our board eat meat. I know where my food comes from. It’s humanely raised.”

Her one-third figure is hard to believe when Pacelle insists on a vegetarian menu in the cafeteria at the HSUS Washington, D.C. headquarters.

Adams said as a young child she briefly lived on her dad’s farm located outside of Sioux Falls, SD, and she insisted that she understands South Dakota agriculture, despite what HSUS represents.

“I was born and raised in South Dakota; I know the importance of animal agriculture,” she said. “I get criticized for other things happening in other states. The beauty is, I can focus on what’s important to this state. Right now we are working on the prairie dog issue, HB 1047, and horse slaughter is a big concern of ours, too.”

Adams’ reference of “other things” includes legislation and ballot initiatives that have been passed into law in states such as California’s Proposition 2, Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act (2008), which “requires that calves raised for veal, egg-laying hens and pregnant pigs be confined only in ways that allow these animals to lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs and turn around freely.”

When asked what Adams would like to see changed in South Dakota’s livestock industry, she said nothing.

“I think we have great farmers and ranchers in this state; we don’t have anything we want to see changed,” she replied. “I don’t get a lot of pressure from national headquarters; our South Dakota members get to set our state priorities. To see our platform on animal issues, you just have to look at the national Web site.”

Despite Adams’ reassurances, it does little to ease concerns of the state’s farmers and ranchers. Many producers were at the capital the day of Adams’ event to visit with legislators, as well. Although Adams insisted HSUS wasn’t focused on changing laws for food producers in South Dakota, her volunteers lobbied to state legislators and told many, “Next year, we will introduce a felony animal cruelty bill in this state.”

HSUS makes an annual ranking of states on animal policies, which it will more than likely use to push this bill forward next year. According to the report, South Dakota ranked 51st. A few of the categories HSUS uses to rank each state include: prohibiting bear, cougar, dove hunting; prohibiting hunting on Sundays; prohibiting gestation crates for hogs; prohibiting battery cages for hens; prohibiting tail docking of dairy cows; and limiting the number of breeding dogs at a facility.

“I have been a member of HSUS for 12 years where I have volunteered as a citizen lobbyist and activist for the organization,” Adams added. “Now I have the chance to get things done here in South Dakota as a lobbyist for HSUS.”

While she refused to admit to any agenda relating to animal agriculture, ranchers continue to pay close attention to the priorities HSUS sets for South Dakota and other regions.

Adams says she is open to hearing what producers are concerned about, but has refused dialogue with ranchers on two occasions already in her first year on the job.

PHOTOCUTLINE:

humane-lobby-day-2011-map:

Go back to article