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Columbia Missourian

Humane Society opposes Missouri farming amendment

By The Associated Press
June 12, 2014 | 7:38 a.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — The Humane Society of the United States is opposing Missouri's proposed constitutional amendment establishing a "right to farm."

The amendment will appear on the Aug. 5 ballot. It asks voters whether the right "to engage in farming and ranching" should be "forever guaranteed" in the Missouri Constitution.

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The Humane Society said the measure seeks to prohibit laws restricting industrialized agriculture and would allow large agricultural businesses to write their own rules. The organization predicts it would prompt lawsuits over what farming practices are permitted.

Farm groups and rural Republicans began pushing for the amendment after a 2010 conflict surrounding an initiative petition on dog breeders. The Humane Society was a leading supporter of that ballot question.

Supporters of this year's proposal say they are trying to protect and promote agriculture.