Oregon’s “Animal Cruelty” Initiative-Colorado’s Anti-Agriculture Initiative On Steroids

Fox Rothschild LLP

Fox Rothschild LLP

As previously discussed, a Colorado ballot initiative, if sufficient valid signatures are collected, would effectively ban animal agriculture from the State of Colorado if passed.  Hard to imagine an initiative that might surpass that, but Oregon’s proposed initiative, “Abuse, Neglect, and Assault Exemption Modification and Improvement Act,” would do just that.

The alleged Findings and Policy of the Act describe the purpose of the act,

to remove the current exemptions that allow for the inhumane and unnecessary abuse, neglect, and assault of animals.

What are those current exemptions, which the initiative has now labeled inhumane, unnecessary abuse, neglect and assault of animals (unless gross negligence can be shown)?  Here is a list of those current exemptions:

  • The treatment of livestock being transported by owner or common carrier;
  • Animals involved in rodeos or similar exhibitions;
  • Commercially grown poultry;
  • Animals subject to good animal husbandry practices;
  • The killing of livestock according to the provisions of ORS 603.065 (Slaughter methods);
  • Lawful fishing, hunting and trapping activities;
  • Wildlife management practices under color of law;
  • Lawful scientific or agricultural research or teaching that involves the use of animals;
  • Reasonable activities undertaken in connection with the control of vermin or pests; and
  • Reasonable handling and training techniques.

Need I say more?

Just in case this is not clear, by initially defining the existing exemptions (listed above) as inhumane, unnecessary abuse, neglect and assault of animals, these practices would be considered acts of animal cruelty if the initiative passes muster, is placed on the ballet and passes.

No more pest control, animal agriculture, hunting fishing, biomedical animal research and more.

The initiative also prohibits breeding domestic animals, livestock, and horses—labeling those acts, unless performed by a licensed veterinarian—to be crimes of sexual assault of an animal.

Keep in mind that, as reported by Oregon’s Legislative Policy and Research Office, Oregon already has:

a variety of ways in which Oregon protects animals, including criminalization of abuse or neglect, an affirmative duty for any peace officer to arrest and prosecute violators of Oregon’s animal cruelty laws, regulation of kennels and rescue organization and enhanced enforcement authority through humane special agents and animal crime prosecutors.

Hopefully, Oregon’s new initiative will not succeed and people who own, breed, raise, transport, sell and work with animals will be able to continue to do so, for the betterment of people and animal alike.

[View source.]

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