Speaking Monday, Maine Gov. Paul LePage had some choice words for HSUS. Speaking at an agriculture event, LePage unleashed on HSUS for its hypocrisy in conducting farm investigations—while not reporting the results of the investigations in a timely manner.
LePage’s beef is specifically with an undercover investigation HSUS did at an egg farm, which it used for a political campaign last fall in neighboring Massachusetts. State authorities investigated the farm following HSUS’s claims, and found no evidence of animal cruelty, they announced this week.
Speaking about the situation, LePage said: “They [HSUS] hired a gentleman to come in (and) take care of the chickens. So what did he do? He brought his camera and he was watching chickens doing things where they were being hurt. And he never lifted a finger. In fact, he was cruel to animals. And then [HSUS] used the whistleblower laws to protect themselves. I don’t think that political organizations that are nonprofit that claim to be doing something while they do something else should get protected by the whistleblower act.”
It is quite hypocritical. The idea that HSUS can conduct vigilante undercover filming and then withhold evidence from authorities for weeks or months (while it prepares a media campaign) is preposterous. If HSUS wants to stop animal cruelty, then it should report it immediately. Even kindergarteners can understand “See something, say something.”
In fact, we’d argue that withholding evidence of animal cruelty—perhaps allowing it to continue while a self-appointed activist keeps filming—makes HSUS complicit.
HSUS is not a law-enforcement or investigative agency. It’s a vegan advocacy group. Since HSUS is betraying the public trust and the animals HSUS and Wayne Pacelle claim to speak for, LePage is right to seek legal reforms to correct these shenanigans.