An Oregon ballot initiative would effectively ban the farming of food animals in the state by classifying their slaughter as aggravated abuse and classifying castration as “sexual abuse.”
Initiative Petition 13, to be filed with Oregon election officials in November, would target farmers by removing exemptions existing laws regarding animal cruelty.
The proposed Abuse, Neglect, and Assault Exemption Modification and Improvement Act would remove all references to “good animal husbandry” from state statute and make it illegal to kill or hurt an animal for any reason other than self-defense.
End Animal Cruelty, the initiative’s sponsor, is starting to gather the 112,000 signatures needed before next summer. Animal activist, David Michelson, told Portland’s radio station KBOO-FM:
“If this passes Oregon would essentially be a sanctuary state for animals. Any animal in the state of Oregon would have their rights more or less codified in law, that they deserve a life free of abuse, neglect or sexual assault.”
The initiative wouldn’t ban the sale of meat in Oregon but would make the slaughter of animals illegal, meaning animals would have to naturally die in order for them to be used for food production. Forcibly inseminating animals would also become illegal, violators will face criminal prosecution.
Oregon Cattlemen’s Association executive director Tammy Dennee spoke on the initiative: “From my experience, I can tell you the reason the cattle industry leans heavily on AI (artificial insemination) is improved genetics, which means they’re more efficient with feed, more efficient with every aspect. It certainly would be problematic to have that taken away.”
Though this is concerning, Oregon isn’t the first state to propose anti-rancher legislation to be introduced in 2022, other states such as Colorado are proposing similar bills. Even President Biden is considering anti-meat legislation, limiting the amount of beef one person can have. Bad ideas spread like a wildfire.