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Vet
05-10-2004, 05:31
Iams Ends Event Sponsorship of HSUS-(04/27)

(Columbus) - A leading dog food manufacturer has ended an event sponsorship of the largest anti-hunting group in the country. The announcement came in the wake of a storm of protests from sportsmen and sportsmen’s groups.

In January, the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance alerted outdoorsmen that the Iams Company, maker of Iams and Eukanuba pet foods, joined forces with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) as Grand National Sponsor of the Pet Fest America tour. The tour is a series of animal shows, developed by HSUS, which were being presented in major metropolitan areas, nationwide. They debuted in early 2003 and ended in mid-April 2004.

Literally a flood of sportsmen’s calls, faxes and letters ensued. In the end, the Iams Company, a division of Proctor and Gamble, decided to listen to the sportsmen’s point of view and discontinue support to the anti-hunting group. They announced the decision in a letter to Bud Pidgeon, president of the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance.

“We want to inform you and the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance that the Iams Company is officially announcing that we are not funding the Petfest America events with the HSUS again next year,” stated Kelly Vanasse, Associate Director, External Relations. “We appreciate the feedback we have received from the sporting dog community and apologize for the frustration that this sponsorship has caused.”

The U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance and Steve Smith Editor of Pointing Dog Journal magazine are working with Iams to settle the issue of an HSUS veterinarian that is still involved on one of the company's advisory boards. More information about this issue will be forthcoming.

The announcement Iams made in regard to the event sponsorship ended a four month stand-off that caught the company in the middle between hunters and anti-hunters.

“We are very pleased that Iams has seen the light about this situation,” said Pidgeon. “It was a very difficult situation for this company that has been a good supporter of sporting dog events and for those groups accepting the sponsorship dollars. These sporting dog groups were perplexed at the companies’ support of the largest anti-hunting group in the country.”

Unfortunately, much of the situation could have been avoided had someone within the Iams company consulted with a group such as the Alliance. However, Iams is not the first company to fall prey to the antis’ propaganda.

Some of the nation’s major consumer product and service firms, including General Mills, Accor Economy Lodging, Sears and Ace Hardware have ended relationships with HSUS after thousands of sportsmen levied strong protests.

“Part of our work to defend hunting, fishing and trapping is an educational function that transcends the general public to include companies that make unwise decisions,” said Pidgeon. “In this case, it took a long time for Iams to admit their mistake, but in the end and to its credit, the company made the right call and should be recognized for that also.”

Sportsmen can thank the Iams Company for ending its relationship with HSUS by contacting President Jeffery P. Ansell, The Iams Company, 7250 Poe Ave., Dayton, OH 45414. Phone (937) 898-7387. Fax (937) 264-7264. Toll Free (800) 675-3849.

The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance protects the rights of hunters, anglers and trappers nationally in the courts, legislatures, at the ballot, in Congress and through public education programs. For more information about the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance and its work, call (614) 888-4868 or visit its website, www.ussportsmen.org.

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http://www.wlfa.org/interactive/features/read-print.cfm?id=1311