A new publicity campaign run by a consumer-freedom organization is using a billboard in Times Square to expose the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, saying the nonprofit is a deceptive money-grabbing lobby that actually kills over a thousand animals every year.

The Center for Consumer Freedom runs a project it calls PETAKillsAnimals.com.

Times Square billboard

“Hypocrisy is the mother of all credibility problems, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has it in spades,” states the new anti-PETA website. “While loudly complaining about the ‘unethical’ treatment of animals by restaurant owners, grocers, farmers, scientists, anglers and countless other Americans, the group has its own dirty little secret.

“PETA kills animals. By the thousands.

“From July 1998 through the end of 2003, PETA killed over 10,000 dogs, cats and other ‘companion animals’ – at its Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters. That’s more than five defenseless animals every day. Not counting the dogs and cats PETA spayed and neutered, the group put to death over 85 percent of the animals it took in during 2003 alone. And its angel-of-death pattern shows no sign of changing.”

While PETA in 2003 adopted out 14 percent of its animals, the Center for Consumer Freedom notes, other animal shelters had a much higher placement rate. That same year, the Norfolk, Va., SPCA found adoptive homes for 73 percent of its animals, while the Virginia Beach SPCA adopted out 66 percent.

The organization announced this week it had secured space on a 60-by-60-foot billboard in New York City’s Times Square to publicize its anti-PETA message.

“We’re out to tell the truth about PETA,” said Center for Consumer Freedom research director David Martosko in a statement. “This group’s duplicity knows no bounds. PETA accepts animal-lovers’ donations with one hand while administering lethal injections to puppies and kittens with the other. That’s not ‘ethical.’ It’s hypocritical.”

The website notes on PETA’s 2002 income-tax return, it claimed a $9,370 write-off for a giant walk-in freezer. Why would vegetarians need a freezer? – ” to store the bodies of its victims,” states the site.

PETA could refrain from euthanizing so many animals, the Center for Consumer Freedom claims, but it would cost the organization more money to do so.

“PETA raked in nearly $29 million last year in income, much of it raised from pet owners who think their donations actually help animals,” said Martosko. “Instead, the group spends huge sums on programs equating people who eat chicken with Nazis, scaring young children away from drinking milk, recruiting children into the radical animal-rights lifestyle, and intimidating businessmen and their families in their own neighborhoods.”

The site also hammers PETA for giving “tens of thousands of dollars to convicted arsonists and other violent criminals,” including the North American Earth Liberation Front – “an FBI-certified ‘domestic terrorist’ group.”

PETAKillsAnimals.com further takes the group to task for its publicity campaign targeting children. One piece of kid-targeted PETA literature, the site says, tells small children: “Your Mommy Kills Animals!”

In addition to targeting PETA, the Center for Consumer Freedom says it “stands up to the ‘food police,’ environmental scaremongers, neo-prohibitionists, meddling bureaucrats and other self-anointed saints who claim to ‘know what’s best’ for you.”

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