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Vern Brown, Published October 24 2012

Letter: Measure 5 language is a problem

Measure 5 is being promoted and funded by the Humane Society of the United States. The HSUS is not related to local animal shelters. The HSUS contributes less than 1 percent of its multimillion-dollar budget to local humane societies and pet shelters. HSUS spends millions on lobbying, including costly ballot initiatives that target family farmers. They spend extensively on anti-agriculture campaigns and political agendas.

Once a measure passes, it takes seven years or a two-thirds majority vote of the Legislature to make changes to ballot initiative language. A ballot initiative only gives voters a “yes” or “no” option. We have no say in the language of the measure.

The humane treatment of animals is an important issue that deserves thoughtful consideration by the residents of North Dakota, not a Washington, D.C.-based animal rights organization. North Dakota animal stewards like farmers, ranchers, veterinarians and shelter workers don’t tolerate abuse of animals.

If this is about animals, why does Measure 5 only focus on dogs, cats and horses? Is it because the goal is to get their foot in the door with something “passable” to make more sweeping changes later?

North Dakotans for Responsible Animal Care is composed of representatives of the North Dakota Veterinary Medical Association, North Dakota Stockmen’s Association, North Dakota State Board of Animal Health, North Dakota Department of Agriculture, North Dakota Farm Bureau, North Dakota Farmers Union, Humane Society of Fargo-Moorhead, Central Dakota Humane Society and Dakota Zoo. This is a group with the best interest of North Dakota animals at heart. Let them develop a good law to protect all animals by voting “no” on Measure 5.

Measure 5 is wrong for North Dakota. Do your homework before you vote.

Brown, Amidon, N.D., is president, Little Missouri Grazing Association.