If you care about animals, any animals, your pets, your livestock, this matters to you.
We are in a battle for the rewrite of the Humane Animal Treatment law in North Dakota right now. Why? The bill rewrite is falling a part due to the derailing of a bill draft that one agriculture group is trying to stop. But it has the support of another 40 plus agriculture groups and was written by the state’s farmers, ranchers, veterinarians, local pet shelters, zoo keepers, Board of Animal Health and Commissioner of Agriculture.
5 reasons to support this bill:
- SB 2211 is the product of a diverse working group.
- It was carefully crafted to protect animals and animal stewards.
- It includes an array of penalties so that the punishment fits the crime, with enhanced penalties for those who commit the most egregious acts and those who are repeat (convicted) offenders.
- Watering down the bill will do nothing but put North Dakota agriculture, our state’s largest industry and the backbone to our economy, in jeopardy of HSUS re-entering the state with another (and probably worse) ballot initiative that will likely pass if the legislature does not take this opportunity to shape the state’s animal treatment laws itself.
- A majority of North Dakotans voted down HSUS on Measure 5 at the polls last November with the promise the North Dakota legislature would pass laws written by North Dakotans, not out-of-state activist groups and with laws that included all animals. The time is now to pass SB 2211.
I have been accused as others that have worked diligently on this bill draft as “sleeping with the enemy” or “in cahoots with HSUS (the Humane Society of the United States)”. These are scare tactics. These are lies. I am deeply disappointed in the character of people who choose to lie over telling the truth. But their judgement will come and it will not be by me.
For over a year as a state employee working for the North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner, I sat through three to five-hour meetings that often met on a weekly basis to draft this bill. The group was diverse and had been meeting for a couple years prior to my employment . There were long, detailed discussions that I was apart of weekly. No one from HSUS ever attended the meetings. All participants were our state’s farmers, ranchers, veterinarians, local pet shelters, zookeepers, Board of Animal Health and Agriculture Commissioner. They formed the group North Dakotans for Responsible Animal Care.
In June 2012, there was a press conference from North Dakotans for Responsible Animal Care to announce the support of this bill draft for the legislative solution. In January 2013, an organization broke away from the consensus of the group the week it was introduced to then start working against the bill. They threatened “we will kill this in the House” for reasons I do not know and will never understand.
To take on new opportunities and spend more time with my family, I resigned three weeks ago as a state employee on the day SB 2211 was in the House for the initial committee hearing. Now, I am a private citizen asking for your imperative help no matter where you live. Please share this blog post to support all animals and have this issue hit the radar of many.
If you live in North Dakota, I would ask for you to contact the House of Representatives immediately right now or early Thursday morning, before 9:30 a.m. CST preferably with your support of North Dakotans for Responsible Animal Care’s bill draft of SB 2211.
I am supporting a diverse working group bill draft that protects all animals in North Dakota and am asking for your support today. It is right for all animals. It is right for all farms, ranches, pet shelters, zoos and has the broad base support of all involved in those industries.
Please share, ask questions and I will answer as best I can and if you are a North Dakotan, please immediately contact your House of Representatives officials to share your support of SB 2211.