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GUEST COMMENTARY: Let will of voters stand; don't mess with Prop B

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 | 4:19 p.m. CST

More than 100 years ago, Ralph Waldo Emerson noted that "Men are respectable only as they respect." Politicians in Jefferson City would be wise to remember that advice and to respect the will of the people on Proposition B, the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act.

Proposition B will finally curb the worst abuses at large-scale puppy mills and will help to turn around Missouri's reputation as the "puppy mill capital of America" by establishing common-sense standards for the care of dogs. In fact, the measure was only advanced to the ballot for a statewide vote because the legislature failed to act for nearly two decades.

Proposition B qualified for the ballot after more than 190,000 registered voters signed petitions, and the measure qualified in six of the nine congressional districts. Nearly 1 million Missouri voters affirmatively voted "yes" on Proposition B on Election Day, after hearing from both sides in a robust campaign over one of the most widely discussed ballot measures. A majority of voters favored Proposition B in a majority of state Senate, state House and federal congressional districts.

But while the absentee and provisional ballots were still being counted, lawmakers were already introducing bills to nullify the will of the voters and pull Missouri backward. Legislation has been pre-filed in an attempt to completely undo the wishes of the voters and repeal Proposition B, thus returning us to unchecked animal cruelty.

Our system is built on majority rule, and a majority of Missouri citizens — including majorities in most legislative districts — favored Proposition B. The voters acted precisely because the legislature has failed to stop puppy mill abuses. It would be undemocratic and wrong of lawmakers to usurp the power of the people and ignore their expressed will.

Proposition B was a simple measure, dealing only with setting standards for commercial dog breeding, and has no connection whatsoever to Missouri's important agriculture and livestock economy. The opponents' campaign was based entirely on falsehoods and misrepresentations in an attempt to confuse voters. The truth is, Proposition B dealt only with dogs. It does not deal with cattle, chickens or pigs.

Some people who voted against the measure were wrongly told that existing regulations on dog breeding are adequate and that a license to be a Missouri commercial breeder ensures humane care of the dogs. Neither is accurate. Under pre-Proposition B rules, a dog could be confined in a cage just 6 inches longer than its body and never let out; it need not ever see a veterinarian; and it could be kept outside in that wire cage in the middle of winter, exposed to freezing temperatures. All of that was legal under existing rules, and that's why we needed Proposition B.

The new regulations — requiring adequate and clean food and water, exercise, properly sized and sanitary cages, veterinary care, protection from extreme heat and cold, and adequate time between breeding cycles — are very reasonable, as most Missourians, including responsible breeders, know. Proposition B also provides a one-year phase-in so breeders have plenty of time to comply with these new standards.

These new standards are vital in ensuring basic welfare of the breeding dogs and addressing the problems that have persisted in Missouri for the last few decades. As a result of Proposition B, Missouri finally will shed its reputation as the puppy mill capital of the country and instead become a leader in basic, humane care of breeding dogs.

Legislators should respect the will of the people and let the election results on Proposition B stand. If they tell Missouri citizens that their votes don't matter, why should voters respect the people who are elected to represent them in the Capitol? These are the tactics that magnify voter cynicism and the distrust of government that have become the norm in our society and would surely be remembered next election season.

Barbara Schmitz is the campaign director of Missourians for the Protection of Dogs and lives in St. Louis.


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Comments

Terry Ward December 14, 2010 | 6:26 p.m.

Thank you Barbara for yet another attempt to reason with the dog-farm apologists.

Unfortunately they will continue to deny the facts, refute what you know, call you a liar and blame the Hsus, Peta, stupid city-dwellers, out-of-state money and the communists for Prop B's nefarious attempt to 'take away their freedoms' force everyone to become vegans and 'eliminate all agriculture'.
They are not worth arguing with.
They believe that animals are nothing more than 'property'...thus deserving of no rights.
Compassion is a word they either fear or hate, unless they are on the receiving end of it.
It is futile to argue with a Neanderthal...especially when ignorance has become a source of personal pride.

It is also a complete waste of time.

(Report Comment)
Gwen Jones December 15, 2010 | 8:03 p.m.

Schmitz reports: Our system is built on majority rule, and a majority of Missouri citizens — including majorities in most legislative districts — favored Proposition B.

Lie #1 - Of the 114 counties in Missouri Prop B failed in 101 counties. It passed in 13 counties which were also all bombarded by advertising on television that lied. Now if you look at districts as divided for representatives: only 75 districts of the 163 districts in the state passed Prop B. These 75 districts are in and around St Louis and Kansas City. Rural Missouri voted it down.
Skewing of the facts to show the benefit to the proponents of Prop B is typical of the entire campaign.

Schmitz reports: The truth is, Proposition B dealt only with dogs. It does not deal with cattle, chickens or pigs.

Lie #2 - Pets are defined as any domesticated animal that resides near the owner's residence. The term domesticated animal includes livestock. I guess Schmitz needs to go back to school and learn the definition of domesticated animal. In rural Missouri it is common practice to have cattle practically in the backyard as you care for them.

Lie #3 - Even when confronted with the definition of domesticated animal and the AR side knows they have to admit it, they then will lie that they have to be 'near' the house. When Schmitz has been confronted with the definition of 'near' she can't give it. In other words near could be 25 feet or 1/2 mile.

(Report Comment)
Gwen Jones December 15, 2010 | 8:04 p.m.

Schmitz reports: The new regulations — requiring adequate and clean food and water, exercise, properly sized and sanitary cages, veterinary care, protection from extreme heat and cold, and adequate time between breeding cycles — are very reasonable...

Lie #4 - Prop B requires dogs be fed 1x/day. ACFA (the law she is referring to that before Prop B and which Schmitz was happy to say she created) requires dogs to be fed every 12 hours, which converted is 2x/day.

Lie #5 - ACFA already requires exercise and vet plans for each licensed kennel. Prop B just says it has to happen but no plans for it or designation of what it should actually require.

Lie #6 - Prop B requires females only have litters every 18 months. Scientific studies show that female dogs should be bred to prevent the uterus from becoming diseased. An unhealthy uterus will not become pregnant. This is nature. But this is science and Prop B passed based on emotional lies.

I could go on and on. The unfettered access allows puppies to have drafts on them which will kill them. The hi temp requirement is 85; again with newborns a temp of 90 degrees is needed for the first 10-14 days or they will die a slow and agonizing death. If the dogs are to have unfettered access but are required to be kept in 45-85 degree temps, how is this even possible if the temps outside are not in this spectrum?

Where did the number 50 come from? From HSUS lawyers who have sent this same legislation to several states and it has been struck down there also. It passed in California but their Governor would not sign it stating that to determine the limit of property was unconstitutional. It is the same reason that our legislators have not passed it even though it was introduced here. But I guess the city residents have no problem in limiting property rights based on lies.

Finally and most importantly - Why are the shelters and rescues exempt from Prop B? Many breeders cannot follow the requirements of Prop B and almost all of the shelters and rescues can't. Even HSMo can't follow the regulations of Prop B, but heck, that's right, they are exempt so don't have to worry about it. The shelters and rescues will remain in business and not contribute a single cent to the economy of Missouri, while many hard-working citizens will be forced out of business damaging our economy.

This is why Prop B needs to be repealed.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 15, 2010 | 8:32 p.m.

Way to go Gwen..
You are predictable-puppy-mill hugger number 1!
Who's gonna be next?

(Report Comment)
Caroline Mueller December 15, 2010 | 9:06 p.m.

Babs says in her article above that "Nearly 1 million Missouri voters affirmatively voted 'yes' on Proposition B on Election Day.... A *majority* of voters favored Proposition B in a majority of state Senate, state House and federal congressional districts."

I call "B.S." (and I don't mean Barb Schmitz)...

First of all, only 13 counties in MO out of a total of 114 (!) voted YES. That means 101 voted NO. That's hardly a majority....

Secondly, following Babs' logic, it could be said that nearly 1 million Missouri voters voted "AGAINST" Prop B, as well (995,423 = YES vs. 934,591 = NO).

It's obvious that Prop B was hardly a landslide. In fact, over the last 100 years -- of ALL Missouri Ballot Initiatives (from 1910-2010) -- Prop B passed with the SLIMMEST margin: only 1.6% of the vote!!!

See: http://www.mofirst.org/issues/inr/MO-Pet...

Yep. The TRUTH about Prop B was spreading like brushfires. If we'd only had another week or two, we could have easily defeated Prop B. How else can you explain 93% support for Prop B in April.... down to 89% in Aug.... 69% in mid-Oct.... ending with a measly 51.6% on Nov. 2nd? People were catching on that Prop B was a HUGE LIE!

As for "the will of the people", Babs? Hogwash! The ballot summary by Soros-funded S.O.S. Robin Carnahan was purposefully written to be misleading. Who wouldn't vote for clean water, food, and exercise for dogs? C'mon! Puh-lease.... Voters were emotionally manipulated and intentionally mislead. And, YOU know it!

The problem with Citizen Ballot Initiatives, like H$U$'s Prop B -- is that they are "direct democracy" -- they totally circumvent the legislative process. "Tyranny of the majority". "Mob rule". Must I remind you? America is NOT a democracy; it is a Constitutional Republic. Just sayin'....

Many times, because Citizen Ballot Initiatives bypass the state legislature, they end up being poorly vetted, badly-worded, and/or unconstitutional. It is NOT UNCOMMON in these instances for the state legislature to make changes to such laws --especially if they are deemed to be unconstitutional.

And Prop B fits all those criteria: poorly vetted, badly-worded, and unconstitutional. Sorry, Babs....it needs to be repealed.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 16, 2010 | 7:06 a.m.

Caroline Mueller, TeaParty Girl, why does this not surprise me.
Mad Hatters, the lot of you.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking December 16, 2010 | 8:16 a.m.

Terry, why don't you worry about Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and let Missourians work this out for themselves? BTW, how many of the 14,000 dogs that were displaced by your (PA's) legislation had to be put down? We may have 10 times that many. I'm glad our legislature is taking another look at it, if just for the dogs involved.

The terms "Mad Hatters" and "Neanderthals" are simply empty insults, with no value in debate. Your style is abrasive, angry, and confrontational, and adds little to the discussion other than raising peoples hackles. If you want to discuss the substance of the matter, do. If not, please mind your own business.

DK

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 16, 2010 | 8:39 a.m.

Bla bla bla.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking December 16, 2010 | 9:01 a.m.

:-)

Just what I expected.

DK

(Report Comment)
John Schultz December 16, 2010 | 10:21 a.m.

Mark, Terry seems to want to agitate without communicating. I don't understand why he's hanging around here if he thinks it's "a complete waste of time" debating people that are "not worth arguing with." It must be a great life being a sad, angry man.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire December 16, 2010 | 11:14 a.m.

I just read through all the whining of the sorest loser imaginable and have to admit that I am again disgusted by the weakness of the arguments presented. I think someone might have instead spent as much time tending to her dogs.

And John, you know what that is like. But hey, you know even >>>>I<<<< like agitating sometimes. So therefore, it must SUCK to lose the election on that really really important issue like that. It's probably because your side didn't have money like the other side did and was badly disorganized. Tell me, what is it like to spend your life working for a party and platform that doesn't have a bats chance in HELL?
:-)

Oh, and Caroline, I know that everyone in the cattle business is really quaking in their boots about this right now. The animal people wanted to really use this as a backdoor to kill the meat processing industry. They are ordering some more black helicopters as you think what to "go on and on" with next. They might even try to give you a virus.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 16, 2010 | 11:19 a.m.

"he' is a 'she'.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams December 16, 2010 | 11:39 a.m.

Well, that explains the "Neanderthal" comment.........

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 16, 2010 | 12:59 p.m.

And reinforces it's credibility.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams December 16, 2010 | 1:26 p.m.

No, you ladies always get it wrong. It's Cro-Magnon, not neanderthal.

But, I admit I'm unsure what to call the originator of your dripping venom.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 16, 2010 | 1:44 p.m.

Na...fits perfectly....

'Neanderthals are either classified as a subspecies of modern humans... or as a separate human species'

Dripping venom?
'scurrilous, malevolent, spiteful, malicious, rancorous, defamatory, cruel, libelous, bitter, fraudulent, opprobrious, perverted, truculent, virulent, fierce, harsh, boiling, hot, venomous'.

Mr. Williams, I am nominating you for Drama Queen of the day.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams December 16, 2010 | 1:57 p.m.

No, sweetie, I won't win the nomination in the primary. The vote is in and the job has already been filled. You were pegged as today's Drama Queen via your very first venom...er...post on this topic.

You can have the last shot if you wish.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire December 16, 2010 | 2:24 p.m.

"Dripping venom?
'scurrilous, malevolent, spiteful, malicious, rancorous, defamatory, cruel, libelous, bitter, fraudulent, opprobrious, perverted, truculent, virulent, fierce, harsh, boiling, hot, venomous'."

Stop that, Terry. You're getting me all worked up. I think I'm going to have to go browse one of those foreign dating sites now...

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 16, 2010 | 2:47 p.m.

Thank you sweetie, I will accept...

Therefore I will repeat this as I love the look of my own voice.

Every progressive social movement in this country was resisted exactly as is Prop B.
Yet they succeeded, or are in the process of succeeding.
The progressive movement to liberate animals from their designation as 'property' will succeed also.
It will be more difficult as animals cannot 'speak' for themselves and must depend upon others.
But it will succeed.
ANY form of abuse is regressive.
We have the power to liberate animals from suffering at our hands yet maintaining them as a necessary part of our world.
There is nothing any of you can do about this, other than slow down the inevitable.
This will likely not happen in my lifetime.
Our children though, WILL make it happen.
In case you have not noticed, they are different.

If you hairy Neanderthals wish to hunker down and be remembered as we remember those who advocated slavery, those who protested the liberation of women and child laborers and worker's rights,-- gay bashers,religious intolerants, racists and the like...so be it.

A society either progresses and succeeds, or regresses and fails.
This is simple science.
Evolution.
The refusal to move forward achieves only social impotence and a return to the 'past' guarantees extinction.
This is true for people, institutions,businesses, creatures and roses.

You may spend your lives dancing on the head of a pin, arguing and denying this evolutional reality till your teeth fall out but the fact will remain the same.
We progress or we cease to be.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 16, 2010 | 3:17 p.m.

Oops, sorry Paul..you snuck in there too quick..
Last remark was for Michael.
(By the way, have you tried www.datewithadaschund.com? My fave inter-species dating site..Can't WAIT till animals have rights sos we can marry 'em!)

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire December 16, 2010 | 3:21 p.m.

Then you have obviously not witnessed the comment section of the tribune...

Well... um... ahem... .... ....... ....... ..... ... .... .... ........ ...... ............ ......... ...... ........ ..... cough ......... ......... .......... ..... ..... ..... ... ........ ....... ...... .. (shuffles, fidgeting) .... .... ...... ........ ....... ...... ......... .......... ... ... ........... ................ .......... .......... .... ........... ..... .........
Alright. You have obviously not been to WHAT USED TO BE the comment section of the tribune.

Sigh.
"a return to the 'past' guarantees extinction.
This is true for people, institutions,>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>businesses<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<, creatures and roses."

So then I suppose you are right.

And then this? "If you hairy Neanderthals wish to..."

What does a little hair have to do with this???

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire December 16, 2010 | 3:38 p.m.

Hey I just tried that and it can't locate the server!!! (You're losing that credibility you discussed.)

But yes, I really liked the "Dripping venom, perverted, virulent, fierce, harsh, boiling, hot, venomous" part. Which means that you aren't the only one who loves the look of your voice. You should call me up and say it ten times fast.

But if you and Mike are both to be queens I am going to have to view each of you in a completely different light, despite any element of progressivity that I maintain. For instance, if Mike was queen, I would then be Henry VIII.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire December 16, 2010 | 3:46 p.m.

These are some other queens that I like better than Mike...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PE8m_7ZMy...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTznNORI9...

Of course, this is probably one of my recessive traits...

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 16, 2010 | 3:59 p.m.

Yes Paul, 'Hairy Neanderthal' is alas, an oxymoron.
Methinks I doth love my own prose TOO much..

And sorry, the Henry VIII title must go to Wayne Pacelle as he is going to (now that we have Prop B) 'eliminate all agriculture'.

Say goodbye, Missouri, to those midnight rambles with the sheep..

(Report Comment)
James Krewson December 16, 2010 | 5:29 p.m.

I understand fighting animal cruelty, but the question I have is in this time of economic recession, where are we going to find the money to finance enforcement of Prop B? We don't even have enough money to adequately prevent cruelty to children, much less dogs. People who support Prop B are idealists, and I would like them to please explain to me how Prop B is going to be funded, and how it is going to be enforced.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 16, 2010 | 6:20 p.m.

The same way everything else is funded...inadequately.
And the same way everything else is enforced.. do the best they can with what they got..

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking December 17, 2010 | 4:44 a.m.

Terry Ward wrote:

"Every progressive social movement in this country was resisted exactly as is Prop B."

There were reasons it was resisted, having nothing to do with ending "abuses". It is a poorly written bill, having multiple unintended (or were they?) consequences. It adds nothing to the prosecution of illegal operations, and it removes a significant level of the flexibility in the current standards. It is a non-sequitur to accuse opponents of this bill as being in favor of animal abuse.

"The progressive movement to liberate animals from their designation as 'property' will succeed also."

Any domesticated animal must be, by definition, someone's property. There may be strays, or unwanted animals, that become feral or wind up in shelters, but they still are "property".

You're talking about one of the central tenets of the animal rights movement. What "rights" would you give a domesticated animal? Life? So we cannot euthanize an unwanted or sick animal? Liberty? So dogs can run around and harass and bite people? Pursuit of happiness? What's "happiness" for a dog or cat? A dog may well suffer more from having his owner leave for work every day than he would spending much of his time in a cage.

"We have the power to liberate animals from suffering at our hands yet maintaining them as a necessary part of our world."

Define "necessary".

Let's see, this means (eventually) no meat, no hunting, no animal research. The dog police will punish you if your dog whines when you leave the house. It will become simpler to just not have a pet.

You may say this is extreme, but it is the logical endpoint of the attitude espoused in your statement. It is an endpoint shared by PETA.

"Our children though, WILL make it happen.
In case you have not noticed, they are different."

The more things change, the more they stay the same. "Different" has been a descriptor of every generation since the boomers, and we really haven't changed at all.

Animal rights are solely a concern of affluent people in rich countries. As our affluence declines with population growth and energy depletion, people will become less concerned over the feelings of the animals they eat and make a living from. The animal rights movement has never enjoyed wide support, and will become an increasingly irrelevant entity as people become more concerned about keeping their houses and food supply.

Wishing for what you can't have just leads to depression.

DK

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 17, 2010 | 7:49 a.m.

Mr. Foecking is a highly professional and respected bio-med and pharmaceutical researcher.
To his great credit, he posts his opinions in a forum which does not allow for anonymity. As his profession is one of great public contention, this takes a certain amount of courage. (Not to imply that Mr. Foecking gives a bull's bollix what I say)
The USE of animals in medical research is in no way the point here.
It is an issue with two sides, both of which have merit and neither of which I am qualified to comment upon. (to The University of Missouri's credit, as of 1998 they no longer use live cats in their pharmaceutical experiments)
Mr. Foelking's professional status though, must be taken into account in light of his continued position that animals are 'property'.(A position which, unfortunately, is supported by law, and which is the overriding factor of Prop B).
I am not suggesting that Mr. Foecking adheres to this position simply to 'protect' his profession.
This would imply that he is a monster, which he obviously is not.
I am suggesting that Mr. Foecking's position must be perceived as OPINION..
not as fact.
Might I also suggest that for the sake of honest public debate, Mr. Foecking could reveal the fact that the much maligned HSUS has often been INVITED to professional roundtable discussions regarding the welfare of animals in research and attended ALSO by Dr. DeHaven.
As there are two sides to Mr Foecking's 'story', one would wish that Mr. Foecking would acknowledge that there are also two sides to storys other than his own.

(Report Comment)
Andrew Hansen December 17, 2010 | 9:44 a.m.

"to The University of Missouri's credit, as of 1998 they no longer use live cats in their pharmaceutical experiments"
.
That is a real shame. I could be wrong, but I was of the understanding that cats had a pharmacokinetic profile that was a good stand in for humans. Limiting animal options just results in riskier Phase I trials.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 17, 2010 | 10:30 a.m.

Just another reason to vilify those pesky PetaPeople....
They still use beagles in the labs, by the way?

(Report Comment)
Clara Allen December 17, 2010 | 11:14 a.m.

Some folks over there at the university have discovered that young cats make a fine kung po.

(Report Comment)
Andrew Hansen December 17, 2010 | 11:31 a.m.

"Just another reason to vilify those pesky PetaPeople...."
.
You are a tad defensive, no? Not sure how I was vilifying PETA people.
.
For the last four years I have worked on projects for cancer drugs, and those things are usually pretty toxic. I have no moral problem with them being tried on every animal under the sun prior to first test in humans if necessary. The simple fact is, if we limit animal testing options drug development gets more dangerous for humans.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 17, 2010 | 12:09 p.m.

Peta was the cause, it seems, Andrew, of the cat ban.
And did you, by any chance, actually read what I said above?

Clara, how lovely to see you spreading love and joy and light during this Christmastime!
Possibly you would consider sharing some of your recipes...

(Report Comment)
Andrew Hansen December 17, 2010 | 1:47 p.m.

"Peta was the cause, it seems, Andrew, of the cat ban."
.
So what? That does not make disagreeing with the policy change the same as vilifying PETA.
.
"And did you, by any chance, actually read what I said above?"
.
Yes, but I am not really interested in the details of your drama with Mr. Foecking.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 17, 2010 | 3:58 p.m.

Alas, Andrew, everything is not about you.
I did not say that you were 'vilifying' Peta.
It was a general statement as so much of it goes on here (some of which I agree with)
Nor did I cast aspersions upon your profession, as I clearly stated that I am not qualified to do so.
I have no 'drama' issues with Mr. Foecking and also clearly stated that I was certain he could care less what I say...NONE of which is either salient or of any interest to anyone other than me.
Offhanded humor and mild sarcasm are not 'drama'.
They are survival mechanisms needed to deal with with intelligent educated people who nevertheless persist in clutching to their bosoms the idiotic delusion that animal rights equals human rights.
For the life of me I cannot understand this stubborn refusal amongst people with some sophistication to accept ANY middle ground when it comes to the issue of a more humane treatment of animals .
Maybe the dingos ate your babies.

(Report Comment)
Andrew Hansen December 17, 2010 | 4:47 p.m.

"Offhanded humor and mild sarcasm are not 'drama'."
.
That was humor and mild sarcasm? Ummm...epic fail.
---
"I did not say that you were 'vilifying' Peta."
.
Then why did you put it in a message that was an obvious reply to my comment? Sorry, that strains the limits of credibility.
---
"For the life of me I cannot understand this stubborn refusal amongst people with some sophistication to accept ANY middle ground when it comes to the issue of a more humane treatment of animals."
.
And you are coming across as the middle-ground?
---
"Maybe the dingos ate your babies."
.
That is just a plain weird thing to write.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking December 17, 2010 | 4:48 p.m.

Terry Ward wrote:

"They are survival mechanisms needed to deal with with intelligent educated people who nevertheless persist in clutching to their bosoms the idiotic delusion that animal rights equals human rights."

Since you didn't really respond to any of my points in my last post, would you tell us what you think are "animal rights"?

DK

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 17, 2010 | 4:58 p.m.

To 'us'...

From Merriam Webster

ANIMAL RIGHTS:
moral or legal entitlements attributed to nonhuman animals, usually because of the complexity of their cognitive, emotional, and social lives or their capacity to experience physical or emotional pain or pleasure

ANIMAL WELFARE
the avoidance of abuse and exploitation of animals by humans by maintaining appropriate standards of accommodation, feeding and general care, the prevention and treatment of disease and the assurance of freedom from harassment, and unnecessary discomfort and pain. A code of practice, aimed at owners and custodians, is necessary for each animal species. A more complex problem, which is still to be resolved, is that of infringement of animal rights in law.
Proper application of the principles of animal welfare includes the continuous surveillance of the environment that human beings provide for animals that are in their care.'

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams December 17, 2010 | 5:05 p.m.

Terry:

I think Mark was asking "'...what YOU think are "animal rights'", not Merriam Webster.

It's important to have a starting point.........

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 17, 2010 | 6:15 p.m.

'Opinion is ultimately determined by the feelings, and not by the intellect'

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire December 17, 2010 | 6:46 p.m.

"Rights" is a fairly subjective term, and things that are subjective are generally matters of opinion.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 17, 2010 | 7:41 p.m.

I'm not going to go through all of the comments, but I did want to address the misinformation about precincts and the Proposition B vote.

I have a spreadsheet that evaluates the Proposition B count by Missouri Senate and House Representative district. What I found is the following:

House of Representatives

86 districts voted for Proposition B
77 districts voted against
4 were borderline

Senate
19 districts voted for Proposition B
14 against
1 was borderline

A reporter for the Missourian is welcome to the spreadsheet if you want to check my values. Just send me an email and I'll forward you a copy.

Even if someone like Senator Stouffer attempts to repeat Proposition B, it's unlikely other state reps are going to be willing to go against the vote of the people they represented. Not and be labeled as being for continued animal cruelty.

If people are concerned about the dogs being freed from commercial breeders, this is already happening. A Colorado rescue just took several dogs from one breeder, and an English Bulldog rescue took several more from another breeder. There's several national rescue organizations, and a process in place to take on any displaced dogs.

They will be taken care of. They will have happier lives.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 17, 2010 | 7:42 p.m.

Sorry, typo: "attempts to _repeal_"

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 17, 2010 | 9:08 p.m.

Ah.. lovely reasonable Shelley...You must have the giant gold star for maintaining respectful decorum and good manners regardless...
Sadly, these are not gifts which I possess.
My patience here grows ever more flimsy, and when the sneaky spider spinning his deadly trap mistakes me for a clueless fly, I become most cross and long to catapult plague victims into his camp.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 18, 2010 | 8:02 a.m.

Terry, thanks for the compliment. I'm not particularly patient. I'm just not going to rehash the same arguments with the same people.

Proposition B passed. It passed with a majority of voters. It passed in a majority of legislative districts. It was voted on by both Republicans and Democrats.

Unless the majority of state reps want to go back to the people they represent, and tell them that not only are they (the reps) voting in favor of continued animal cruelty, but doing so against the will of the people, Proposition B will not be repealed.

Even people who voted against Proposition B balk at undermining the will of the people. As many write, "Why have the expense of an election, or something like a citizen initiative, if our state reps have no intention of honoring our vote?"

Most breeders know Proposition B will stand, which is why national rescue organizations are now getting requests to take dogs.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking December 18, 2010 | 1:32 p.m.

Shelley Powers wrote:

"voting in favor of continued animal cruelty, but doing so against the will of the people, Proposition B will not be repealed."

If Prop B did anything about animal cruelty, I'd be all for it. But it really doesn't. There's a separate set of laws dealing with cruelty, BTW, and they are not a matter of controversy.

What it does do is put a layer of regulation on licensed breeders that will drive many of them out of business. It adds nothing to aid the prosecution of unlicensed breeders (from which many of the media used to promote Prop B came from). It does not legislate love, which is a recurrent theme in many of the pro-B posts and rhetoric. Animals can still sit in their runs their whole lives without significant human contact (except for the vet, and we all know how much Fido likes going to the vet).

Prop B was promoted deceptively, and was passed by a largely uninformed and uncaring majority (a very slight one). I am glad the legislature and courts are taking another look at this, if nothing else to avoid the "Dog-o-caust" that will occur if this takes effect.

Anyone have stats as to how many dogs out of the 14,000 in PA had top be euthanized? I'd be surprised if it was less than 10,000. We may have 10 times that many.

DK

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 18, 2010 | 4:32 p.m.

Mark Foecking,

Again, I'm not interested in re-hashing the same old points. All of these discussions happened in the months leading up to the vote, the people had a chance to read and hear arguments on both sides, and voted for Proposition B.

You don't agree? Life is that way--sometimes we win, sometimes we don't.

Our state legislature has more important things to worry about then repealing a citizen initiative. Or in defending a non-growth industry.

(Report Comment)

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