By JIM MATTHEWS
The Humane Society of the United States, an organization that does little to nothing for animal shelters, but sues, badgers and lobbies politicians and businesses into adopting its radical animals rights agenda, is getting a taste of its own medicine.
In a little-reported ruling by a judge in the District of Columbia earlier this month, the HSUS is going to court to face charges under RICO statues on racketeering, obstruction of justice, malicious prosecution and other charges for a lawsuit it brought and lost against Ringling Brothers Circus' parent company Feld Entertainment, Inc.
After winning the case alleging mistreatment of elephants in its circuses brought by Friends of Animals (later merged into HSUS), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), lawyers at Feld filed a countersuit with a litany of charges ranging from bribery to money laundering to racketeering. The attorneys for the animal rights groups asked the judge to dismiss all charges, but most stuck because the evidence was overwhelming. So in early August, HSUS will be facing the music in a case that should attract the attention of hunters, ranchers and farmers, and anyone impacted by HSUS radical animal rights agenda.
While district judge Emmet G. Sullivan did dismiss allegations of mail and wire fraud, but he only did so because Feld didn't have standing to file this charge. His ruling all but set the stage for a class-action RICO lawsuit against HSUS for misrepresenting itself in its fundraising campaigns across the nation. This future lawsuit could easily bankrupt HSUS and put it out of business – and send some of its top executives to prison.
For the first time, a group has fought back against the animal rights and environmental extremists who have been setting policy in this country for the past 20 years or more. Now, instead of getting rich off their lawsuits and fund-raising schemes that misrepresent their efforts and accomplishments, they could be driven out of business when they start getting larger doses of their own medicine. These animal rights groups have cost the farming and ranching industry jobs and raised the price of products we all buy every day. They are behind the efforts to ban sport hunting across the nation. They have forced state wildlife and fishery agencies to waste countless millions of dollars on lawsuits, and they have spearheaded policies and legislation like the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA), which has ruined livelihoods in recreational and commercial fishing without helping marine resources.
These groups operate with surly arrogance, and they believe they are above the law. Thankfully, that is not the case. Stay tuned. I'm sure there will be more to talk about in the near future….
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