Letter to the editor:Measure 5 would endanger North Dakota's way of lifeI am a local rancher and feedlot manager and am extremely concerned with what the consequences could be if Measure 5 is passed. It is extremely important that we educate our family and friends about the measure. Measure 5 is poorly worded, could have unintended consequences, and will be nearly impossible to amend if problems arise.
By: Warren Zenker, The Jamestown Sun
I am a local rancher and feedlot manager and am extremely concerned with what the consequences could be if Measure 5 is passed.
It is extremely important that we educate our family and friends about the measure. Measure 5 is poorly worded, could have unintended consequences, and will be nearly impossible to amend if problems arise.
Due to state law any changes to the language of a successful ballot initiative would be prohibited for seven years without a two-thirds majority vote. With a ballot initiative voters can only say “yes” or “no,” they cannot have input as they would through the legislative process.
I feel that the proposed ballot initiative would not improve animal treatment in North Dakota. The measure only applies to dogs, cats and horses and leaves out all other animals at this point. It also applies only to heinous acts that rarely if ever occur in our state, yet is silent to the most common forms of mistreatment seen here such as starvation and abandonment.
The biggest concern I have is who is behind the measure. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is funding and running Measure 5. The HSUS is the wealthiest animal rights organization in the country and promotes an anti-agricultural, anti-hunting, vegan agenda. Ballot initiative promoters have said publicly that they worded the ballot initiative specifically to something that is “passable” and they fully intend to “add to it” later.
The HSUS operates on a multi-million dollar budget with only a small percentage of that budget going to help local animal shelters and animal rescue activities. The majority of its funding goes to lobbying efforts and employee salaries with its major objective being the complete abolition of animal agriculture.
The initiative as proposed would leave much to interpretation when offenders would be sentenced, but the goal of the supporters is to prosecute offenders as felons. Without clear definitions, farmers, ranchers and pet owners could be at risk of not only being charged with a felony, but possibly be forced to receive mandatory psychological testing and be prohibited to own animals if convicted.
We as North Dakotans have the wisdom and ability to strengthen animal cruelty laws through the legislative process, rather than buying into the opinions of an extreme animal rights group. Please do some research, and vote no on Measure 5 before we lose control of our livelihood to an out-of-state group that does not have our best interest as agriculturists at heart.