Letter: Measure specific, doesn’t harm farming, ranching
On Nov. 6, North Dakota voters will have the opportunity to pass Measure 5, the felony animal cruelty initiative.
Measure 5 would make certain, specific acts of extreme cruelty toward dogs, cats and horses a felony.
North and South Dakota are the only states in the U.S. that do not have felony animal cruelty laws.
It is time for the voters of North Dakota to pass this needed law. Groups have tried to get meaningful animal cruelty laws enacted through our lawmakers and have failed miserably.
Their efforts have died in the ever present bureaucratic committee. Why would this session be any different?
Because of the failure of the Legislature to act it became necessary for a group of North Dakota citizens to band together to put this initiative on the ballot. The petitions to put it on the ballot were signed by more than 25,000 North Dakota residents and qualified voters. They are not outsiders as some would have you believe.
Yes, the measure has some out of state support, but many issues and candidates in elections attract interest and support beyond their immediate borders. This is entirely legal and appropriate. Animal welfare is not just a local issue.
I would urge people to read Measure 5 and see what it does and doesn’t do. It is very specific and doesn’t harm North Dakota farming, ranching, hunting, fishing, rodeo, etc. It will not prevent future animal welfare laws from being enacted by the lawmakers or the initiative process.
Please, vote yes for the animals.
Howard Gordon, Dickinson