Rep. Loehner proposes bill for humane care of animals

Thursday, February 11, 2010 | 7:45 p.m. CST; updated 11:57 a.m. CDT, Monday, October 25, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY — Rep. Tom Loehner, R-Koeltztown, said he knows what's best for his animals.  

Loehner has proposed a bill that would place before Missouri voters a constitutional amendment outlining the right of citizens to humanely raise animals without the burden of costly state regulations. In testimony to the Agriculture Policy Committee, Loehner said the purpose is still directed at humane care of animals while taking care of producers as well.

"The citizens of the state of Missouri shall have a right to raise animals in a humane manner which promotes the animals' health and survival without the state imposing an undue economic burden on their owners," the bill states.

Dale Bartlett, deputy manager of animal cruelty issues for the Humane Society of the United States, said Loehner's proposal doesn't properly define a large "economic burden." He said the phrase is too vague and will lead to further complications that may fall back on the court system.

"If you find a way to make it less broad, drop us a note and we'll work on it," Darrell Pollock, R-Lebanon, said in response to Bartlett's criticism.

Loehner said the bill would bring a significantly larger challenge to animal rights groups that attempt to sponsor initiatives in Missouri, such as the recent Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act sponsored by the Humane Society.

Loehner said he would like to address three questions with his bill:

  • Does the caretaker humanely care for the animal?
  • Does the caretaker promote the health of the animal?
  • Does the caretaker provide for the survival of the animal?

"If you don't take care of your animals, they won't take care of you," Loehner said.

Many groups that stood in support of the measure were not in agreement of the language Loehner used. Karen Strange from the Missouri Federation of Animal Owners said she would like to see the wording tightened up and better defined.

During Bartlett's testimony, discussion in the committee quickly moved away from Loehner's bill and onto the Humane Society's puppy mill initiative. Representatives on the committee said the initiative limits successful producers because of the Humane Society's interpretation of "humane."

"Humane should be in the eyes of the producer, not the court system," said Charlie Schlottach, R-Owensville.

Bartlett said current laws do not go far enough to prevent animal cruelty.

"There are laws in the books, but they are weak," Bartlett said.

The bill still remains in the Agriculture Policy Committee, but is expected to be taken up again next week during their regularly scheduled meeting.

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Doctor m Rosset February 12, 2010 | 1:05 p.m.

Representative Loehner is on the correct path. HSUS and other animal rights groups want to end all pet ownership and use of animals. The laws they push take away your rights. Read about the number of people who have been falsely accused of abuse and had their animals removed and killed or sold. Then when the court says they are not guilty the animals are dead and gone. HSUS participated in an illegal raid on a couple and took their animals. This is the only goal of PeTA and HSUS is to get rid of all domestic animals. In every state that enacts these laws states, city councils and members of the SPCA are being sued for breaking the laws and taking away people's constitutional rights. The Humane Society is not humane and its goal is to end all companionship of pets. They also want to end livestock farming and make meat so expensive no one can afford to eat meat again. These people are zealots and eco terrorists according to the documents of Homeland security. Any representative doing business with a terrorist is a traitor to their country.

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Gwen Jones February 12, 2010 | 6:04 p.m.

Thank You Charlie Schlottach, R-Owensville, for standing up to the HSUS bullies. We need people like you so that the HSUS realizes they are not welcome and will not be tolerated in our state.
Bartlett needs to become more aware of the ACFA and the 22 pages of it. There is nothing in the Puppy Mill Initiative (PMI) that is 'more' than what is already in the ACFA. The ONLY difference is the limit number on dogs being owned by an individual. ACFA does not set a limit, recognizing property rights and that numbers do not make an abuser; while the PMI thinks that no one should own more than 50 animals.
Why 50? HSUS thinks that this is the best number to begin with in introducing these types of bills to the public and to legislators. Go to the HSUS website and put in 50 in their search engine. You will find bills and initiatives across the USA that HSUS is lobbying for all with the limit number of 50 dogs in them.
What happens once the bills are in the state? Ask Oregon. This statement has just been released about OR HB2470:
"As of January 1st, 2010, If you sell more than 20 dogs or breed 3 litters a year, in the State of Oregon, you are required to abide by this statute and to give a copy to all purchasers.
A Lobbyist/Director of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has stated that the HSUS intends to "come back in subsequent years to lower those numbers (20 dogs/3 litters)".
Bartlett, go back to Whiney Wayne and let both him and Mike Markarian, we have the HSUS' number here in Missouri and we will do everything we can to keep you out of our state.
BTW - Bartlett you just lobbied here in the state of Missouri today. Better make sure your paycheck is coming from the HSUS PAC and not HSUS...the IRS is watching you and HSUS.

(Report Comment)
Jenny Thrasher February 12, 2010 | 6:11 p.m.

Yes, this Proposed Bill is pretty loose, but the efforts of our legislators to protect all the Ag Interests, including companion animal breeders is commendable. What the public doesn't understand are the laws of unintended consequences, which are not really so unintended when one takes a closer look. The HSUS knows exactly who will be caught in their web of ridiculous legislation, because they use their team of Harvard trained lawyers to write the bills. They have admitted this on several occasions.
So many people who are against the Animal Rights agenda bring up the agricultural interests for a reason- the HSUS is about progandizing any animal interest in order to raise money. They know nothing about animal husbandry, and often propose bills that include things that will hurt the very animals they claim to be protecting. A bill like Rep. Loehner's will allow the people who know what they are doing to continue be the experts in the care of their animals, not people with an agenda who are completely clueless. The CEO of the HSUS doesn't know how often a dog can actually be bred, let alone how long she is pregnant, or why certain vaccination protocols are used for certain breeds as opposed to the regular vaccination protocols. Why does this matter? If one is going to set onesself up as the expert on animal care, they would know these things and more. But they don't.
These AR people don't have a clue about what removal of the hormone producing gonads in animals will do to change their development, and how many different contributing factors lead to luxated patellas, hip dysplasia, and endocrine issues that are completely unrelated to genetics, yet they would have the public believing that a 20 pound toy poodle has bad knees because it was bred badly. No, that 20 pound toy poodle has bad knees because it's owners made it fat. Breeders know this stuff, farmers know the care their animals require, and the HSUS-led Animal Rightists need to stop trying to make the public believe that they know anything about animal husbandry, because they know next to nothing. Let those who know do their jobs, and leave the ignorant and out of state propaganda pushers out of the equation.

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