Here in good ole South Dakota, the reach of HSUS and PETA seems so far away. As the agenda of these organizations continues to blaze a trail across the nation, South Dakota remains unscathed in the political warfare that is the animal rights vs. animal welfare debate. Because these groups stand for complete animal liberation, it’s certainly no surprise to hear that PETA is now targeting South Dakota 4-H and FFA members in their livestock projects.
PETA fired off a letter to Jerome Hertel, manager of the South Dakota State Fair, urging him to ensure that all animal exhibitors who are invited to the fair will be in full compliance with the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). In the letter, PETA points out that its offices are inundated every year with complaints that exhibitors at fairs and festivals across the country have abused animals or endangered the public. PETA explains that although animal exhibitors are required to be licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a license is no guarantee that exhibitors will provide adequate animal care or follow public safety measures. The group also points out that many exhibitors fail to comply with the minimal federal standards established in the AWA.
While I firmly believe in ridding the industry of bad apples, I don’t believe that young people should be “inspected” prior to showing their livestock projects that they work all year on. Leave the kids out of it. What do you think about PETA’s latest campaign? To read the required guidelines, link PETA’s press release.