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Levi Hall, Fargo, Published February 17 2013

Letter: The ND Legislature is taking proper action

While skimming through Inforum, the first article that caught my eye was “Response to North Dakota horse neglect case reaches across state, country.” I started reading the article and, as a rancher myself, was appalled at the magnitude of this heinous act. This was something I never expected to see in our state.

I could take this time to write about how abandonment and starvation have been ever-increasing issues in the horse industry since the horse slaughter ban, however, that is for a whole different debate. Instead, there was one line in the article that really irked me.

About halfway through the article Chuck Haga writes, “An initiated measure seeking to establish a new penalty for severe abuse of a dog, cat or horse was defeated in the November 2012 election. Opponents said they preferred to leave the issue to the 2013 Legislature.” This is of course true, however, this is a poorly crafted two-sentence paragraph.

I was a member of the North Dakota Animal Stewards, which played an integral role in informing voters on the decision to vote “no” on Measure 5. This measure would not have made this person a felon. Measure 5 did not include neglect or abandonment.

The legislation that is currently being crafted by the residents of North Dakota who know and work with these animals daily will be a much more comprehensive law that will be better for all species of animals, not just dogs, cats and horses.