As you can learn on our award-winning ActivistCash.com website, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is an animal-rights organization masquerading as an animal-welfare group. HSUS does not run a single animal shelter, instead spending its millions opposing modern livestock and poultry farming, circuses, and dog breeding. HSUS has managed to fool millions of Americans with its fundraising letters featuring the furry faces of Fluffy and Fido. Now it appears to have fooled the federal government, too.

Last week the government awarded HSUS $500,000 “to support environmentally sustainable and humane agriculture as well as the protection of wildlife and habitat” in Central America. United States Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick made the announcement at Shuchil, an El Salvador-based company that HSUS is supposed to help with its half mil. Shuchil produces organic soaps, including pet soap, out of a woman’s home.

The USTR notes that HSUS “will work with Shuchil to have its products certified and sold as ‘Certified Humane’ in the United States and Europe.” HSUS is one of many environmental and animal-rights group that have joined the highly lucrative third-party certification business. For the right amount of money, activist groups will give producers “eco-labels.” HSUS is behind the newly introduced “Certified Humane Raised & Handled” label.

This racquet doesn’t come as a surprise to us. But apparently the USTR was not aware that HSUS continually gets low scores from established charity watchdogs. Charity Navigator gave the group only one star (out of four). Many of HSUS’ affiliates earned only one star as well. Worth magazine gave it a “D” rating for spending as much as 53 percent of its expenses on fundraising. And let’s not forget that HSUS sent John “J.P.” Goodwin, a former spokesman for the terrorist Animal Liberation Front, as its emissary on an anti-fur junket to China in April 2000. Less than a year later, HSUS identified him as a legislative affairs staffer.