North Dakota voters have voted 65% to 35% to turn back Measure 5, a ballot initiative funded by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
North Dakota assembled an impressive coalition of agricultural, veterinarian and animal shelter groups into what was known as the North Dakota Animal Stewards to turn back this misleading HSUS ballot initiative.
“Prevention of Animal Cruelty” appeared to help animals but in fact did little good for animal welfare, according to Missouri Farmers Care that supported the effort in North Dakota to defeat the measure.
In Missouri, HSUS pushed a similar ballot initiative known as Proposition B and the so-called “Your Vote Counts” effort, both of which failed to sway voters.
Measure 5 applies only to dogs, cats and horses and leaves out all other animals. It also doesn’t address most common forms of animal mistreatment.
According to information from the North Dakota Animal Stewards (www.ndanimalstewards.com), the provision is cleverly crafted leaving much left to interpretation. It would have also limited the opportunity to make meaningful changes to animal care laws.
Many of the members of the North Dakota Animal Stewards are supporting their own animal welfare legislation through the state legislature.
"HSUS is very proud of their ballot initiatives," says Missouri Farmers Care Chairman Don Nikodim. "As we've seen in Missouri, HSUS would rather use their money to push a ballot initiative than to work through the legislature and actually address the concerns of local groups and citizens. North Dakota has struck an incredible blow to the HSUS animal-rights agenda by defeating this measure so convincingly."
North Dakota Pork Board President Kent Neuman remarked: "I am thankful that the North Dakota voters rejected a poorly worded, narrow-focused measure pushed by and heavily funded by outside groups. This measure would not have protected all animals and the most common forms of animal abuse. Now we have to team up with the proper people like veterinarians, all animal groups and key players to address a bill suitable for our state to pass in legislation this year.
"The value of North Dakota people is great, but we feel that we should make our laws for our animals and practices, not groups from outside the state like the Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals," he says.