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Head of Humane Society Accused of Sexual Harassment

Wayne Pacelle, the scourge of the U.S. meat industry in his role as chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States, is the subject of three complaints of sexual harassment in an investigation commissioned by the animal welfare group, said the Washington Post. The Humane Society has won a series of state referendums to outlaw so-called battery cages for chickens, sow crates, and veal-calf stalls, most recently in Massachusetts in 2016.

An internal investigation by a law firm hired by the Humane Society “identified three complaints of sexual harassment” by Pacelle “and found that senior female leaders said their warnings about his conduct went unheeded,” reported the Post, based on two sources and a memo by the Humane Society. “The investigation also found the nonprofit agency … had offered settlements to three other workers who said they were demoted or dismissed after reporting Pacelle’s alleged behavior, according to the Humane Society memo.”

Pacelle “denied the complaints from all three women” during an interview with the Post. “This is a coordinated attempt to attack me and the organization,” he told the newspaper. “And I absolutely deny any suggestion that I did anything untoward.” The Humane Society launched the investigation last week.

Produced with FERN, non-profit reporting on food, agriculture, and environmental health.
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