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Julie Ellingson, Bismarck, Published March 24 2013

Letter: Animal coalition urges OK of bill

The North Dakotans for Responsible Animal Care working group is a coalition of farmers, ranchers, veterinarians, animal shelter workers, zoo staff, the Department of Agriculture and the Board of Animal Health who, over the course of about three years, and with the help and advice of the Legislative Council and the attorney general’s office, has worked together to draft the humane treatment of animals bill, SB 2211, that is being considered by the Legislature.

The NDRAC worked to refine existing statutes to develop a comprehensive bill that will protect all animals and the people who care for them, as well as safeguard the state from out-of-state groups with an anti-ag agenda.

The NDRAC took painstaking effort to produce a reasonable, defensible bill that reflects the values of our state. SB 2211 is the product of thoughtful North Dakota animal stakeholders coming together to enhance the state’s existing animal treatment laws. It does so by defining neglect, abandonment, abuse and cruelty; enumerating appropriate exemptions; providing an array of penalties so the punishment matches the severity of the crime; and clarifying the role of law enforcement, veterinarians and others who must respond to mistreatment cases.

The Humane Society of the United States was not a part of the working group developing the legislative solution, nor will it ever be.

SB 2211 has broad-based support, including an endorsement by the North Dakota Ag Coalition.

Encourage the House Agriculture Committee to preserve the NDRAC’s hard work and give the bill a do-pass recommendation.

North Dakotans for Responsible Animal Care: Central Dakota Humane Society, Dakota Zoo, Humane Society Fargo-Moorhead, North Dakota Farmers Union, North Dakota Stockmen’s Association, North Dakota Veterinary Medical Association, North Dakota Department of Agriculture and North Dakota Board

of Animal Health.