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Kathy Hornbacher, Fargo, Published September 02 2012

Letter: Legislature failed on animal welfare

For years, we have lobbied the Legislature, asking them to enact a meaningful animal cruelty law. The Legislature has refused to act. In fact, in their last session, our state Legislature voted down a proposal to even study the issue of animal cruelty.

For this reason, a coalition is taking the issue directly to the voters. More than 25,000 signatures were submitted to the secretary of state on Aug. 7 so that a measure can be placed on the November ballot that will make it a felony to commit the worst acts of cruelty to a dog, cat or horse. Examples of what would become a felony include burning, crushing or impaling a pet.

The measure was carefully drafted and will protect North Dakota traditions such as hunting, agriculture and rodeos. This is a measure that targets those who would torture a family pet – the sadists that any community wants to see taken off the streets.

The success of this ballot initiative will not stop the Legislature from passing another proposed animal cruelty law in 2013 if they decide to do so. In fact, a ballot measure approved by voters statewide would send a message to elected officials that they must begin to take animal cruelty seriously.

This is about animal cruelty in North Dakota, something the people of this state do not support. If anyone has any doubts about the intention of this initiative, I would strongly encourage them to read the language of the initiative. You can do so at www.NDStopCruelty.com.