Letter: Good ND law needed to protect all animals, not Measure 5
I fear that voters reading the Initiated Statutory Measure 5 will respond to the emotional wording about extreme cases of animal abuse by thinking, “Why would anyone not vote to support stronger penalties for these acts?”
The problem is that nothing on that ballot explains that there is a group called North Dakotans for Responsible Animal Care that has been working to pass an update to the animal cruelty laws in North Dakota.
Their bill addresses much more than this initiated measure by providing penalties for the much more common problems of animal neglect and abandonment as well as covering the abuse cases.
How many of you have ever heard of someone dismembering a living dog, cat or horse? I think everyone has heard of puppies or kittens being dumped and I have had two cases of dogs being starved right here in Mercer County in the past year.
Measure 5 does not even mention this sort of neglect. So why not vote for this measure and then pass a better bill later? The reason is that once a measure passes it takes seven years or a 2/3 majority vote of the Legislature to make changes to the ballot initiative language. That means that it would be very difficult to get a comprehensive law for the humane treatment of all animals, not just dogs, cats and horses enacted.
The organization that is backing Measure 5 is the Humane Society of the United States. This organization spends less than 1 percent of its multimillion-dollar budget on local humane societies and shelters while spending extensively on anti-agriculture campaigns promoting political agendas. It is primarily funded by people outside of North Dakota.
North Dakotans for Responsible Animal Care is composed of representatives of the North Dakota Veterinary Medical Association, North Dakota Stockmen’s Association, North Dakota State Board of Animal Health, North Dakota Department of Agriculture, North Dakota Farm Bureau, North Dakota Farmers union, Humane Society Fargo-Moorhead, Central Dakota Humane Society and Dakota Zoo.
You can learn about them and the legislation that is being proposed at the website ndanimalcare.com.
This is a group with the best interest of North Dakota animals at heart. Please let them develop a really good law to protect all animals by voting no on Measure 5.
Carolyn R. Woodruff, doctor of veterinary medicine, Beulah