Carolyn Woodruff should be interested to know that she can support both Measure 5 and future state legislation to strengthen animal cruelty laws. (“Good ND law needed to protect all animals,” Oct. 5).
Measure 5 would enact an animal cruelty law that would make it a felony to harm a dog, cat or horse by anyone of several horrific means such as decapitation, disemboweling or setting on fire; it is separate from the existing weak, animal cruelty code, which can easily be improved after Measure 5 passes.
Measure 5 was carefully drafted to protect the animals most commonly abused while exempting agriculture, hunting, rodeo and other cherished North Dakota traditions.
Ballot initiatives are protected from legislative meddling for a period of seven years. Yet, the existing animal cruelty law will still be on the books.
The state Legislature will still be able to amend the existing animal cruelty with a simple majority vote. That’s because Measure 5 and the existing cruelty statute will be two different laws. If Measure 5 doesn’t pass, Woodruff and other Measure 5 critics will find it much harder to pass their preferred animal cruelty law.
A defeat for Measure 5 will tell the politicians in Bismarck that North Dakotans don’t want strong animal cruelty laws.
A yes vote is a win-win as it will make sure dogs, cats and horses get protection immediately while showing there is strong support for the law that Woodruff’s coalition is supporting.
Christina Araiza, Dickinson