Oregon election initiative would criminalize hunting, cattle slaughter and even pest control | Oregon

(The Center Square) – Hunting, cattle ranching and even pest control are said to be anything but illegal under a voting initiative backed by Oregon animal rights activists and opposed by farmers in furious Oregon.

Proposal, Initiative petition 13, would lift virtually all exemptions from state laws relating to animal abuse, neglect and sexual assault. The vast majority would ban common agricultural practices of artificial insemination used in targeted breeding and slaughter of live animals for meat. Farm animals could only be bred for rodeos, milk, or fur and could be spayed, neutered, and neutered.

In addition, PI 13 would further restrict hunting, fishing, trapping and “intentional injury” to an animal that would cause undue suffering. Research laboratories would be prohibited from experimenting with non-human mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians. All the activities listed would be subject to criminal penalties.

IP 13 was approved by the Oregon Secretary of State for release on July 15. As part of the Oregon-initiated petition process, IP 13 organizers have until July 2022 to gather the 112,020 signatures needed for the initiative to go into the November 2022 ballot.

David Andrew Michelson, an animal rights activist from Portland, is the initiative’s lead petitioner. He and the organizers have claimed on the IP 13 website and elsewhere that the state’s $ 5.7 billion agricultural industry will adapt to laws accordingly, without evidence. Agricultural production, they say, would likely increase to offset the decline in meat supplies.

Oregon is a major producer of Christmas fruits, nuts, herbs, and trees. According to the Oregon Department of Agriculture, its farms and ranches make up 1% of the state’s population, which exports 80% of its harvest overseas. Small family businesses make up 96.7% of the Oregon agricultural sector.

“Because IP13 does not ban any particular industry or dictate how industries or government respond to proposed changes to the law, it is ultimately up to them to do what they feel is best. to their needs as long as it also protects the animals. ‘must be freed from suffering,’ says the IP 13 site.

These demands put Oregon’s farmers on edge. Mary Anne Cooper, vice president of public policy at the Oregon Farm Bureau, said PI 13’s impact on the agricultural sector would be “staggering.”

“I can think of very few aspects of farming that wouldn’t be affected,” Cooper said. “Vole kicking, beaver kicking and other activities necessary to support agriculture would be criminalized alongside animal husbandry. “

Oregon has several animal cruelty laws in the books, including minimum standards of care and accommodation in addition to home rules.

Cooper said the costs to Oregon farmers would be irreparable. She calls on the farming community to sound the alarm to stop IP 13 if it goes to the poll.

“Do you have any friends who love to hunt or have ever had to trap a rat in their house?” Cooper said. “Make sure they are aware of this proposal.”

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