The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) President and CEO Wayne Pacelle is seeking a seat on the board of directors of Tyson Foods Inc., with the full support and advice of high profile investor Carl Icahn.
Pacelle says the goal of joining the board of the Springdale-based processor is to convince Tyson to set a timetable for phasing out the use of gestation stalls throughout its pork processing operation.
The HSUS has been asking Tyson to phase out gestation stalls for several years but shareholders have not approved that measure despite several attempts with resolutions over the past five years.
Icahn says he supports the HSUS position on gestation stalls, adding in a statement that “a fresh voice on the Tyson board would be good for the company.” Icahn says he hopes enough shareholders will elect Pacelle to the board or that Tyson’s current management puts him on the board without what he calls “the cost or inconvenience of a proxy fight.”
Tyson has seven sitting members on its board but left the seat of Don Tyson unfilled. The senior Tyson died from cancer complications in 2011.
The company posted a 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."