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April 19, 2012

New Membership Drive in Nebraska Launched

“We are Nebraska, We are The HSUS” Campaign Launched at Gathering of Nebraska Farmers, Consumers and Animal Advocates

The Humane Society of the United States launched a new membership drive entitled “We are Nebraska, We are The HSUS” to provide Nebraska animal advocates with an opportunity to engage in campaigns demanding more humane practices on farms and ranches, as well as to fortify other animal protection efforts related to companion animals and wildlife in Nebraska. The membership drive was announced at the Humane Lobby Luncheon in Lincoln where area members of The HSUS were in attendance.

The HSUS initiated the Nebraska membership drive, which includes TV ads, direct mail and telemarketing to animal advocates throughout the state, as a response to polarizing political figures in the state who mistakenly believe that Nebraska residents don’t support animal welfare. The HSUS has received positive feedback from Nebraskans interested in supporting The HSUS’ new Nebraska Agriculture Council, created to pursue market opportunities for more humane, sustainable farmers and ranchers.

“The Nebraska Agriculture Council has brought new awareness to our work protecting farm animals, and the response from Nebraskans wanting to engage has been exciting to see,” said Jocelyn Nickerson, The HSUS’ Nebraska director. “Through this membership drive, The Humane Society of the United States invites consumers to join other Nebraska members in demanding more humane treatment of farm animals and to show support for the farmers and ranchers who are good stewards of their farm animals. Our new members will also support a broad range of other animal protection programs, such as closing down puppy mills, saving wildlife from poachers and cracking down on dogfighting and cockfighting.”

“We won’t back down from polarizing political figures in the state who want to retard progress on animal welfare and who take their marching orders from the factory farming lobby,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States stated, “Nebraskans oppose cruelty to animals, and that includes animals raised for food.  By building our membership numbers in every county in Nebraska, we will enhance our capacity to protect animals and to see that farmers have an actual connection to the animals they raise.”

A 2011 statewide public opinion survey conducted by Lake Research Partners revealed that Nebraska voters support the humane treatment of farm animals and want all interested parties with a stake in the animal welfare debate to come together to discuss the issues, with 79 percent agreeing that farmers, consumers, animal welfare groups and food safety experts all should have a seat at the table when it comes to discussing agricultural issues. The poll, conducted between Jan. 31 and Feb. 3, 2011, had a sample size of 500 registered voters who had voted in the 2008 presidential election or had registered to vote since then. The margin of error for the full sample was +/-4.4 percentage points.

Additionally, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln Rural Poll of 2011 found that 69 percent of those polled in rural Nebraska agree that good animal welfare for farm animals means more than just adequate food, water and shelter, but also adequate exercise, space and social activities.

“I applaud the membership drive and ask consumers and producers to support the agriculture council by joining the cause,” said Kevin Fulton, Nebraska cattleman and chair of the Nebraska Agriculture Council of The HSUS. “I am Nebraska, I am The HSUS.”

Nebraskans interested in becoming members of The HSUS are encouraged to call (866) 720-2676.

Media Contact: Raúl Arce-Contreras: 301.721.6440, rcontreras@humanesociety.org

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