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Animal Law Podcast #4 — Pork Check-Off Litigation with Matt Penzer

By Mariann Sullivan — September 23, 2015
Matt Penzer

Matt Penzer

It’s time for Episode 4 of the Animal Law Podcast, hosted by me — Mariann Sullivan! This brand new episode features Matt Penzer, who has been heading up the “check-off” litigation for HSUS. Matt will rip the lid off the machinations of the pork industry to funnel millions of dollars collected by the USDA into financing its lobbying efforts. And what do you suppose the pork industry spends its time, and money lobbying for? To a large degree, it is lobbying against the legislative efforts of animal rights advocates to ban things like gestation crates. Pretty sleazy, right? Matt will be filling us in on the details of the recent decision from the DC Circuit allowing this litigation to move forward. If successful, this lawsuit could result in the pork industry losing millions of dollars in lobbying funds. We’ll also chat a bit about some of the other uses (and misuses) of the largely invisible checkoff programs, including the recent revelations about the use of egg checkoff money to take down vegan mayo producer Hampton Creek Foods.

10245431_10152106620353196_2736863228159955816_nI’ll also be offering a few opinions of my own about when litigation on behalf of animals is useful. Sometimes it’s so frustrating that the changes we can make via the law, even when we’re successful, seem so small. In a legal landscape where opportunities for legal change are limited, when is it worth it? It’s a tough question, and one we all have to think about all the time.


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