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William Schuh, Mandan, N.D., Published November 02 2012

Letter: ND Measure No. 5 is a nitwit notion

Among the nitwit resolutions recently foisted on the state by agenda groups, Measure 5 is one of the worst. Measure 5 elevates abuse of dogs, cats and horses (no other animals) to a Class C felony, equivalent to negligent homicide of humans.

While animal abuse is deplorable and should be reasonably punished, this piece of emotional slop is downright irrational, and therefore dangerous. Consider: 1. Not all cats and dogs are companion animals. Packs of feral dogs run deer, attack livestock and attack people. Feral cats destroy bird populations and can pose a health risk. My daughter was treated for rabies after being attacked by a feral cat. Do we expect a farmstead overrun by cats to pay a vet 20 to 50 bucks apiece to euthanize them? They’re farm animals, for crying out loud.

2. Not all cultures share our emotional attachments and dietary preferences with animals. For many, dogs, cats and horses are food animals. I guess we should put those people in prison – maybe go to war to protect the animals.

3. Do we want to pay $40,000 per person and build new prisons to incarcerate people over animals? Is this a top societal priority?

4. Because the difference between cats and dogs versus other animals is emotional and not substantive, Measure 5 is a dangerous step toward equating all animals with people, and a step by radical animal rights groups toward attacking the meat supply for people.

5. Self-defense exemptions itemized in Measure 5 place the burden of proof on people, and insinuate equivalency with people – very dangerous.

6. Will the next thing be national health care for pets? A society that demands humane treatment of animals is enlightened. A society that elevates them to human status has lost all perspective.