Cattlemen react to HSUS “puppy mill” proposal
December 1, 2009 by Julie Harker Brownfield Ag News
The Missouri State Director of the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) has filed two proposed initiative petitions cracking down on so-called “puppy mills” in the state. The petitions, filed by Barbara Schmitz of St. Louis, are under review by the Missouri Secretary of State’s office. The proposed “Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act” proposes limiting to 50 the number of covered dogs a breeder can own and the offspring of which they could sell as pets.
Missouri Cattlemen’s Association executive director Jeff Windett tells Brownfield it’s an attempt by HSUS to eventually try and restrict animal agriculture in the state…
“As most people know, once they initiate something like this and get it into law, it’s very easy to go back and change the wording to include livestock.”
Windett says Missouri isn’t going to let that happen, “I think we have demonstrated over the past couple of years at least that we’ve beat back HSUS and several of their initiatives within the legislative session.”
Windett says all the ag commodity groups and major farm organizations in the state have formed the Missouri Animal Ag Coalition – which will fight any efforts by HSUS to limit animal agriculture production, “We recognize the fact that we have to stick together. It’s going to take all of our talents and resources to be able to mount a public relations campaign with the public.”
Windett wouldn’t say whether Missouri would pursue a measure similar to Ohio’s successful Issue Two, but he did say the coalition has meetings planned right away to work on their strategy.
HSUS tells Brownfield the organization has “no comments to offer on the ballot initiative” at this time. Link
Congratulations to the livestock owners of Missouri realizing the need to get involved in this issue. It’s naïve of folks to assume that HSUS will do anything other than try including livestock in a bill like this in the future. While some people try to scoff at the slippery slope argument, I’m not willing the bet my family’s future that it won’t happen. Taking action together and doing it right away is absolutely the best course of action.