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Oregon ballot initiative proposes ban on animal slaughter, A.I.

Progressive Cattle Editor Carrie Veselka Published on 30 April 2021

An animal rights-focused ballot initiative proposed for 2022 could essentially criminalize animal agriculture practices, including humane slaughter, artificial insemination (A.I.) and castration, creating what the initiative's sponsors term a “sanctuary state for animals.”

Initiative Petition 13 (IP13), filed with Oregon elections officials in November, classifies animal slaughter as aggravated abuse and redefines artificial insemination and castration as sexual assault. Read the full text of the initiative here.

The proposed modifications would remove all references to “good animal husbandry” from state statute and only allow an animal to be injured in cases of a human’s self-defense. The spaying and neutering of household pets would still be exempt.

The initiative’s sponsor, a group called End Animal Cruelty, will need to gather 112,000 signatures in support of the proposal by next summer and has already started recruiting volunteers. 

“It would radically transform how we treat animals in the state of Oregon,” animal activist David Michelson recently told Portland’s KBOO-FM radio station.

Michelson told KBOO-FM the initiative wouldn’t ban animal agriculture entirely, but it would specifically target animal slaughter and many common breeding practices. He said under the new initiative, an animal would have to die of natural causes before it could be used for food production, and “forced impregnation” of livestock would be outlawed. 

The initiative has dangerous implications for Oregon’s livestock industry. They note that language in the proposal specifically targets livestock transportation, poultry production and commonly accepted slaughter methods as well as fishing, hunting, trapping, wildlife management and other animal-related activities. 

There are currently 1.28 million head of cattle in Oregon – more than half are beef cattle, according to the latest USDA survey, and roughly 12,000 beef producers, according to the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association. There is a lot on the line for Oregon producers should this initiative come through. Even if it fails at the first try, Michelson has stated that he and his animal rights group have no plans to give up.  end mark

Carrie Veselka
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