Goehring challenges HSUS training

BISMARCK – Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring voiced concern about the animal activist group The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) inserting themselves into North Dakota's animal welfare cases by conducting training sessions for local law enforcement. The sessions teach law enforcement with HSUS materials on animal cruelty and how to seize animals.

“While it is important for law enforcement to recognize a potential animal cruelty case, it would be in their best interest to work with a veterinarian to evaluate and assess the situation,” Goehring said. “I believe HSUS's intentions behind this training are misleading as they have a long history as an animal rights activist organization with the intention of ending animal agriculture. HSUS is encouraging and training law enforcement to identify and seize animals without a veterinary inspection and assessment.”

Goehring added that proper evaluation and assessment of the animals and their living conditions should be done by a qualified vet with extensive experience in the care of the animals in question. “The North Dakota Department of Agriculture's Animal Health Division is available to provide law enforcement assistance to ensure a proper veterinary assessment is done,” Goehring said.

“Livestock producers understand it's in their best interest to take care of their animals,” Goehring said. “Giving their animals the best care is essential to their livelihood and the future of their operation.”

Goehring praised the work of local shelters and rescue operations, not to be confused with the national group HSUS. According to its website, HSUS is not directly affiliated with any local humane societies or other animal organizations but they are generally perceived as being affiliated.

County officials should contact the North Dakota Department of Agriculture for more information regarding animal welfare cases at 701-328-2231 or 1-800-242-7535.