When outrageous initiatives first roll-out, those targeted often take a wait-and-see attitude. Why worry until the measure earns a place on the ballot?
Since learning that animal activists want to put Initiative 16 on the 2022 Colorado ballot, the state’s agriculture industry has instead already gone to DEFCON 1 status. That’s because I-16 is being viewed as a “win or die” issue for Colorado’s including its:
- $5 billion livestock industry.
- $1 billion beef export market.
- Beef and lamb processing jobs, thousands of them.
- Rodeos, county fairs, and horse shows–all would end.
“The National Western Stock Show is firmly against proposition 16,” says Paul Andrews, president, and CEO. “We’ve joined with the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado Livestock Association, Colorado Farm Bureau, their organizations to oppose Initiative 16 (the PAUSE act).”
Andrews promised to “use all necessary influence, to see that the measure defeated in every political circle” Denver’s 115-year old National Western is one of the most prestigious of its kind.
The state’s farm and ranch community say their community has been targeted by “animal rights extremists who want to destroy livestock production and agriculture in Colorado.”
They further claim the PAUSE act is a weaponized vehicle with these elements:
- Eliminates long-accepted animal husbandry practices, making animal cruelty prosecutions possible for common feeding, sheltering, and transportation practices.
- Bans the slaughter of animals that have lived for less than 25 percent of their “natural” lifespan.
- Criminalizes such veterinary and animal husbandry practices as spaying and neutering, birthing assistance, reproductive practices including artificial insemination, pregnancy diagnosis, fertility testings, etc.
- Changes state statutory language to change common animal care practices into “cruelty to animals.”
Colorado agriculture organized “Coloradoans for Animal Care” to oppose I-16. Greg Henderson, writing in the Drovers online magazine, reported on this early win.
“As you might expect, Colorado ranches are angered by the prospect of Initiative #16 making it onto the 2022 ballot”, he wrote. “They’ve already called on Governor Polis to speak out against the measure, and to his credit, a spokesman for the governor said Polis “agrees with farmers and ranchers that the PAUSE ballot initiative would hurt Colorado and destroy jobs, and he opposes it.”
I-16 must obtain 124,632 valid signatures while making other procedure deadlines of the process to qualify for the 2022 ballot.
(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)