Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Update: Humane Society Clarifies Their Position on FPA Ordinance

Jamie with her Nigerian Dwarf goat, Kosi.
The Colorado director of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) recently weighed in on the proposed Food Producing Animals ordinance with this letter to City Council, sent last Friday. On Monday, she sent a follow-up email to the Denver City Council to clarify the HSUS position on the FPA ordinance. (Ms. Tarry also attended the public hearing on Monday night, and spoke in favor of the ordinance.)

Dear Council Members,

I’m writing to clarify The HSUS position on the ordinance you are considering.  We are not opposed to this ordinance.  We have been active in several efforts to allow urban egg-producing hens in other cities and have developed our position on that issue well.  Our letter on the topic was aimed at raising important welfare considerations for chickens.  Our position on urban goats is far less refined.  It’s an issue that raises several questions for us but we have not developed guidelines on urban goat care nor researched successful attempts to house urban goats and use them for food.

Since sending our letter I’ve been in touch with Sustainable Food Denver and learned many details about urban homesteading.   I understand this issue to be well researched by SFD and, in many cases, already in practice.  In short, I think our letter posed questions that have long since been satisfactorily answered by the progressive, professional and well-organized sustainable food movement in Denver.  Most importantly, I understand Denver animal control to be in favor of this ordinance.  I hope their support will weigh heavily in this debate- as the enforcing agency their support is a clear sign of a broad-based community effort.

I am grateful for the relationships that have resulted from our involvement in this issue and thankful for SFD’s effort  to bring people closer to their food and further from factory farmed products that cause animals to suffer immensely.  I apologize for any insinuation that The HSUS is opposed to this ordinance.

Thanks so much for your time.

Holly Tarry
Colorado Director, State Affairs

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