Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, has announced that he is seeking a seat on the board of directors of Tyson Foods Inc. in order to urge the company to commit to a phase-out of its use of gestation crates for pregnant sows.

“It’s certainly unusual for a lifelong animal advocate to run for the board of the second-biggest meat company in the world,” said Pacelle, who has been CEO of The HSUS for more than eight years. “Nonetheless, it is imperative that a voice on Tyson’s board speak for the company’s many customers, partners, and investors who are demanding the end of gestation crates and more humane treatment of animals.”

Reknown investor Carl Ichan has agreed to advise Pacelle in his quest. Ichan, a supporter of HSUS, said in a statement, “A fresh voice on the Tyson board would be good for the company, and I am hopeful that enough shareholders will be receptive to the campaign to put Wayne Pacelle on the board so that either he will be elected, or that Tyson will reach the right conclusion and put him on the board without the cost and inconvenience of a proxy fight.”

Tyson issued the following statement in response to Pacelle's announcement: "We’re not surprised Wayne Pacelle wants to sit on our board. We’re handling the nomination according to the law and our company’s by-laws. We’re committed to humane animal treatment and expect the same from the independent family farmers who supply us with chickens, hogs and cattle."

Source: HSUS, Los Angeles Times