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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Wayne Pacelle Running True to Form Using Animal Wellness Action as a New Base


Wayne Pacelle, President of Animal Wellness Action is soliciting funds from cupid donors using sentiment over companion animals to disguise his true mission of opposing intensive livestock production. Always quick to capitalize on adversity, he is using the COVID-19 outbreak to justify an appeal for funds to provide veterinary services to the indigent and prevent owners from having to euthanize their pets. 


His E-mailed appeal of March 19th in the Political Animal is laser-focused against intensive livestock production. In his diatribe Pacelle conflates both China’s “dangerous animal-use practices” with livestock production in the U.S.  While CHICK-NEWS can find very little common ground with Pacelle in almost every instance, we are agreement that consumption and trade in exotic animals and reptiles is abhorent. We are also in agreement that wet markets are an anachronism and unnecessary in the context of contemporary U.S. society.  Arguments relating to ethnic traditions to justify the holding and slaughter of poultry and goats and even reptiles for consumption, cannot be justified.  Outbreaks of avian influenza, associated not only with wet markets, but with the farms that supply them, represent a danger to the poultry industries of the U.S. Export markets are impacted by outbreaks of catastrophic diseases. Shipments of chicken parts represent 16 percent of production and are critical to the stability of the agricultural sector of our economy extending from row crops through production to export.


Pacelle trots out the canard of “factory farms” dosing billions of animals with antibiotics to promote growth.  Pacelle is probably aware, but finds  the reality inconvenient that the livestock industry operates under FDA restraints imposing severe restrictions on antibiotic administration including a ban on the use of antibacterials for performance enhancement.


He cites MRSA and other drug resistant pathogens within the context of livestock production which is false and misleading.  The majority of infections caused by drug-resistant organisms are associated with nosocomial infections and imprudent use of antibiotics by physicians.  An exception may be the emergence of mcr-1 resistance gene attributed to misuse of colistin in Southeast Asia as a growth promoter, despite international pressure to ban the compound.


Pacelle condemns the exotic animal trade for introduction of pathogens and disturbance of ecosystems.  The problem of release of pythons in Florida is an obvious example and in this respect, most ecologists and scientists would agree is an undesirable downside of exotic pets.


The hallmarks of Pacelle rhetoric are exaggeration and distortion of fact in an attempt to weave a case for opposition to intensive livestock production.  He even invokes the recently litigated Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Rule as an example of political and industry pressure to restrict organic farming. Although opposed to livestock production he regards limited 19th Century husbandry and crop production as a solution to the world’s disease and welfare problems. He fails to acknowledge that organic production cannot feed burgeoning billions. 


In most of his entreaties for funds, Pacelle manages to push the right buttons to appeal to potential donors with diverse issues including welfare, food safety, environmental stability, and wildlife preservation.  What he fails to acknowledge is that the money collected will mostly be used for lobbying, solicitation of even more funds and supporting a lavish lifestyle. If any of the proceeds are surplus to immediate requirements there is always a “no-questions asked” bank in the Cayman Islands.  Clearly Pacelle is rebuilding his reputation and financial security after his ouster from the Humane Society of the United States.  Animal Wellness Action and the Animal Wellness Foundation are merely new vehicles for his preoccupation with a vegan agenda, promoting his his image and advancing his personal wealth.

Copyright © 2020 Simon M. Shane