Unethical Campaigns and Growing
Litigation Building Activist’s Coffers
John Dillard
University of Richmond School of Law

...
Overview
•
•
•
•
•

Success of HSUS
Deceptive fundraising efforts
Revenues and expenditures
Ramifications for animal agric...
Factors of recent HSUS success
• Substantial disconnect between agriculture
and consuming public
• Motivated activists
– 2...
HSUS Attacks Animal Agriculture on
Multiple Fronts
• Environment
– Private nuisance litigation
– Funding environmental res...
HSUS Attacks Animal Agriculture on
Multiple Fronts
• Public Perception
– Undercover video
– Celebrity endorsements
– “Low-...
States Allowing Ballot Initiatives

24 states allow some form of citizen ballot initiatives, an effective tool
for the HSU...
How is HSUS able to accomplish its
goals?

7
Fundraising
• HSUS needs a tremendous amount of money
to accomplish its objectives
• Advertising strategy focuses on prese...
Moderate Message Trumps Shock
Value

vs.

$34 M
$125 M

Who is the average American more likely to donate to?
*

$1,000 US...
Donations to HSUS

Although damaged by the economy, HSUS war chest remains
strong through annual donations
Source: HSUS, 2...
Sources of Revenue

Total Revenue - $131 M

How is HSUS
able to take in
substantial
donations
during a bad
economy and
use...
Massive and Concerted Fundraising
Campaigns
• Television ads
• Direct-mail solicitations

• Celebrity endorsements
• Proce...
HSUS Expenditures

Only 5.4 % of HSUS Funds Are Directed Towards Animal Care
: HSUS, 2008 Annual Report

1

13
HSUS Expenditures
• Less than one-half of one percent of fund
hands-on pet shelters1
• By its own admission, HSUS directly...
But Does the Public Know?
• HSUS is not affiliated with local humane
societies
• HSUS does not operate, own, or lease any
...
What’s at Stake?
• Livelihoods
• Investments
• Efficient use of
resources
• GLOBAL
COMPETITIVENESS

Gestation Crate Ballot...
Future Battles Looming?
• Ohio
– Livestock Standards Care Board “guidance”

• Judicial Standing
– Seek to distinguish anim...
Encouraging Signs
• Pushback
– Social networking is the new grassroots
• [yellowtail]
• Pilot Travel Centers

– Charity Na...
Future Tools
• Social-networking, digital media
– Data and science-based reasoning
– “Soft touch”
• Put a “face” on target...
Remember the Big Picture

UN FAO estimates global food needs will increase 70% by 2050
Source: UN FAO, HIGH-LEVEL EXPERT F...
Questions?
Contact:
john.dillard@richmond.edu
21
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John Dillard - Unethical Campaigns and Growing Litigation Building Activists' Coffers

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Unethical Campaigns and Growing Litigation Building Activists' Coffers - John Dillard, University of Richmond Law School, from the 2010 Animal Ag Alliance Stakeholder's Summit: Truth, Lies and Videotape: Is Activism Jeopardizing Our Food Security?, April 28 - 29, 2010, Washington, DC, USA.

More presentations at http://www.trufflemedia.com/home/conference/2010-animal-ag-alliance-stakeholders-summit

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John Dillard - Unethical Campaigns and Growing Litigation Building Activists' Coffers

  1. 1. Unethical Campaigns and Growing Litigation Building Activist’s Coffers John Dillard University of Richmond School of Law Animal Agriculture Alliance Ninth Annual Stakeholder’s Summit - Ballston, VA - April 28, 2010
  2. 2. Overview • • • • • Success of HSUS Deceptive fundraising efforts Revenues and expenditures Ramifications for animal agriculture Combating HSUS efforts 2
  3. 3. Factors of recent HSUS success • Substantial disconnect between agriculture and consuming public • Motivated activists – 25,000 donated to YES! on Prop. 2 • Moderate public message achieves underlying radical goals 3
  4. 4. HSUS Attacks Animal Agriculture on Multiple Fronts • Environment – Private nuisance litigation – Funding environmental research, groups • Administrative enforcement – Whistleblower suits – USDA – Citizen suits – EPA • Shareholder Activism – Steak ‘n Shake 4
  5. 5. HSUS Attacks Animal Agriculture on Multiple Fronts • Public Perception – Undercover video – Celebrity endorsements – “Low-hanging fruit” wins give credibility • Horse Slaughter Ban • Dogfighting/Cockfighting • BALLOT INITIATIVES HSUS has not been successful in the legislative arena 5
  6. 6. States Allowing Ballot Initiatives 24 states allow some form of citizen ballot initiatives, an effective tool for the HSUS and other Animal Rights groups Source: Initiative and Referendum Institute at the University of Southern California, available at http://www.iandrinstitute.org/ 6
  7. 7. How is HSUS able to accomplish its goals? 7
  8. 8. Fundraising • HSUS needs a tremendous amount of money to accomplish its objectives • Advertising strategy focuses on presenting a message that is “simple, moderate, and resonates with the average citizen1” • HSUS has learned lessons from PETA’s radical message Jonathon R. Lovvorn & Nancy V. Perry, California Proposition 2: A Watershed Moment for Animal Law, 15 ANIMAL L. 149, 155 (2009) 1 8
  9. 9. Moderate Message Trumps Shock Value vs. $34 M $125 M Who is the average American more likely to donate to? * $1,000 USD, Source: 2008 PETA & HSUS Annual Reports 9
  10. 10. Donations to HSUS Although damaged by the economy, HSUS war chest remains strong through annual donations Source: HSUS, 2008 IRS Form 990 10
  11. 11. Sources of Revenue Total Revenue - $131 M How is HSUS able to take in substantial donations during a bad economy and use it for radical efforts? Periodic and one-time donations account for 79% of HSUS revenue Source: HSUS, 2008 Annual Report 11
  12. 12. Massive and Concerted Fundraising Campaigns • Television ads • Direct-mail solicitations • Celebrity endorsements • Proceeds from entertainment sales Familiar and trusted faces help to soften and “mainstream” the HSUS’ efforts 12
  13. 13. HSUS Expenditures Only 5.4 % of HSUS Funds Are Directed Towards Animal Care : HSUS, 2008 Annual Report 1 13
  14. 14. HSUS Expenditures • Less than one-half of one percent of fund hands-on pet shelters1 • By its own admission, HSUS directly assists only 70,000 animals through its programs – In total, we provided direct care to more than 70,000 animals in 2009.2 HSUS Budget / Animals Assisted = Cost/animal assisted $125,118,158 / 70,000 = $1,787 : HSUS, 2008 Annual Report : E-Mail from Mike Makarian, COO, HSUS to John Dillard (Feb. 1, 2010, 10:10 EST) 1 2 14
  15. 15. But Does the Public Know? • HSUS is not affiliated with local humane societies • HSUS does not operate, own, or lease any animal shelters Question % Responding “True” Familiar with HSUS name? 79% HSUS is an umbrella group representing local shelters 71% My local shelter or humane society is affiliated with HSUS 63% HSUS contributes most of its money to organizations that care for cats and dogs 59% Source: Opinion Research Corp., Feb. 25 – 28, 2010, Commissioned by Center for Consumer Freedom, Sample Size = 1,008 adults 15
  16. 16. What’s at Stake? • Livelihoods • Investments • Efficient use of resources • GLOBAL COMPETITIVENESS Gestation Crate Ballot Initiative ––2002 Gestation Crate Ballot Initiative 2002 Final Phase-out --2008 Final Phase-out 2008 Source: USDA NASS 16
  17. 17. Future Battles Looming? • Ohio – Livestock Standards Care Board “guidance” • Judicial Standing – Seek to distinguish animals from traditional property – Can you be sued by your cow? • HSUS in Law Schools – Ex. - Georgetown, GWU – Encourages animal rights litigation on the cheap 17
  18. 18. Encouraging Signs • Pushback – Social networking is the new grassroots • [yellowtail] • Pilot Travel Centers – Charity Navigator downgrades HSUS’ rating • Spreading the word – HumaneWatch.org – Letters to editor – Social networking 18
  19. 19. Future Tools • Social-networking, digital media – Data and science-based reasoning – “Soft touch” • Put a “face” on targets of HSUS’ efforts • State Consumer Fraud Protection Laws – Force honesty in fundraising, expenditures • Unite with common HSUS targets – Hunters & anglers – Local animal shelters – Targeted breeds 19
  20. 20. Remember the Big Picture UN FAO estimates global food needs will increase 70% by 2050 Source: UN FAO, HIGH-LEVEL EXPERT FORUM: HOW TO FEED THE WOLRLD IN 2050, Rome, Italy (Oct. 12-13, 2009), available at http://www.fao.org/wsfs/forum2050/wsfs- 20
  21. 21. Questions? Contact: john.dillard@richmond.edu 21

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