Organizations representing animal agriculture are preparing to respond to an animal welfare campaign launched by animal rights organization Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

According to the United Egg Producers (UEP) newsletter, HSUS planned to launch an animal welfare campaign on March 23 through a multi-page insert in USA Today to be distributed online and in selected major markets.

HSUS’ stated goals for the insert include:

  • To raise public concern about the care of animals that are raised for food
  • To call into question animal confinement in what is described as “the shift from family farms to industrial agribusiness”
  • To indicate that “factory farms” jeopardize the welfare of animals, damage public health and harm the environment

The content will include a foreward written by Paul Shapiro, vice president of farm animal protection, HSUS. Other content will be written by the staff of Media Planet, but will not be reviewed or approved by the editorial team from USA Today, according to UEP. USA Today is the nation’s most-read newspaper, with a circulation of 2.3 million.

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Agriculture groups work to diffuse message

Several farm and food organizations have organized plans to diffuse the influence of HSUS and highlight the good animal welfare practices used in the industry.

The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) has placed advertisement with the goal of distinguishing itself from HSUS and delivering messages about farms in the United States.

The Animal Agriculture Alliance (AAA) has also formed a response strategy that includes digital and social advertising in hopes of reaching USA Today’s targeted audience and directing them to the animal care section of the AAA website.