Paige Haugland-Uran, Ross
As a concerned North Dakota citizen and life-long animal producer and caretaker, I feel there are serious loopholes in Measure 5 that we all need to be concerned about.
The language of Measure 5 is unclear and misleading, leaving far too much up to interpretation. For example:
1) Exempt is "any other activity that is usual and customary practice in production agriculture." Who is going to determine what is usual and customary? Do we want people who are disconnected with agricultural practices to decipher what is going to be a "usual and customary practice"?
2) "Treatment etc., under supervision of a licensed veterinarian." Most ranchers treat animals on their own, unless it's a major injury, including routine vaccinations to keep our animals healthy on a daily basis. There are many circumstances where this would be very impractical. If my horse broke its leg running through the pasture on a holiday weekend would it be more humane to euthanize the horse myself and end it's suffering quickly, or wait for hours, even days, for a vet? It is my understanding that, if passed, Measure 5 could very well make me a felon for saving my horse from hours of pain and suffering caused an injury that was unintentional based on the language of this measure.
Furthermore, Measure 5 does not cover the basic and most common forms of mistreatment on all animals, which seems very odd. There are many parts to this measure that are sketchy and this attitude of "hurry up and pass it so no more animals suffer" and, "we can fix the bills later" is not right. Why not do it right the first time with a group people from all aspects of animal health and production working together? (For more information on animal care laws being proposed by our own citizens, please visit www.ndanimalstewards.com and www.ndanimalcare.com .) We all have the animals' best interests in mind. What is the big hurry to pass a subpar measure that so many in the animal health industry are unhappy with? Even some of our best animal shelters and most respected veterinarians are opposing this measure. Now that's something for people to seriously consider.
I don't want to see any animal being mistreated; most ranchers and pet owners like myself couldn't think of such a thing. I am, however, extremely skeptical of anything the Humane Society of the United States has their hands in. People are being deceived and led to believe that the HSUS is the same as their local shelters, and that is far from the truth.
Measures like this, with such varying interpretation, can get our lifestyles into some sticky situations. In my opinion, it's not right for N.D. Join me and vote no on Measure 5.