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Charly Haley, Published September 29 2012

F-M Humane Society, Stockmen’s group oppose animal rights measure

FARGO – The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association showed its political side Saturday with a presentation opposing Measure 5, a proposed animal rights law on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The presentation was part of the NDSA’s 83rd annual convention and trade show, held at the Best Western Doublewood Inn.

“If there was a year to vote, this is the year to vote,” said speaker Nukhet Hendricks from the Humane Society of Fargo-Moorhead. “Please vote and please vote ‘no’ to Measure 5.”

The measure, crafted by the Humane Society of the United States in Washington D.C., would make it a Class C felony to maliciously and intentionally harm a living dog, cat or horse in 13 ways, including burning, poisoning or disemboweling.

Under current law, a person who does any of those things can only be charged with a misdemeanor.

The NDSA opposes the measure largely because it isn’t broad enough and excludes too many animals, according to the speakers. It, along with the F-M humane society, supports the opposing campaign led by the North Dakota Animal Stewards.

“As an animal shelter, when we were asked to support the ballot initiative, we said absolutely not,” Hendricks said.

Hendricks said that if the measure passes, it will be difficult to get it adjusted to include other types of animal cruelty.

North Dakotans to Stop Animal Cruelty, the group that worked to get the measure on the ballot, argues the proposed changes are steps in the right direction.

The group’s website highlights the fact that North Dakota is one of two states that doesn’t have a felony provision for animal cruelty. The other is South Dakota.

According to the website, the measure is “narrowly crafted to make the worst types of cruelty to dogs, cats and horses a felony … but all other types of cruelty still would be covered by existing statutes in the North Dakota Century Code.”


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