“Could artificial insemination become illegal?”

Farmers and ranchers were given a reprieve on Colorado’s ballot initiative after the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that the proposal did not comply with the state’s single subject requirement. However, a similar ballot initiative may proceed in Oregon should organizers collect enough signatures by the end of July.

That’s because Oregon’s Secretary of State gave the green light for the “Yes on IP 13” group to begin collecting signatures on Oregon Initiative Petition 13 that would revise Chapter 167 of the Oregon Revised Statutes. The Yes on IP 13 group believes that Chapter 167 “currently provides unnecessary exemptions to laws governing animal abuse, animal neglect, and animal sexual assault — in order to reduce the suffering of animals and improve their quality of life.”

The Oregon Attorney General gave the green light to collect the necessary signatures to place Oregon Initiative Petition 13 on the ballot. Ellen Rosenblum, a Democrat, made that decision even after reviewing comments from over 20 hunting, fishing, and agricultural groups who oppose the measure. Following the Attorney General’s ruling on June 24, interested parties had 10 days to appeal the certified title for the ballot initiative to go to the Oregon Supreme Court. No appeals were filed.

The Yes on IP 13 group has until the end of July to collect 112,020 signatures from registered voters in the state of Oregon. If they pass that threshold, Oregon Initiative Petition 13 would be placed before the state’s voters in the November 2022 general election.

What would IP 13 do in Oregon should organizers collect the necessary signatures and the ballot initiative receive approval from voters next year?

Oregon’s Attorney General wanted to make it abundantly clear that the removal of the exemptions to Chapter 167 would do the following: “Criminalizing injuring/killing animals, including killing for food, hunting, fishing; criminalizes most breeding practices.” To learn more, read the entire initiative petition.

Outlawed practices

For starters, branding and dehorning cattle could be off the table. However, the proposal goes much deeper into devastating rural Oregon’s economy. Breeding livestock would be classified as sexual abuse of an animal and make it a Class C felony under Oregon state law.

Farmers and ranchers are not the sole target. If passed by voters in November 2022, Oregon Initiative Petition 13 would strip away all protections for hunting, fishing, rodeos, animal processing facilities, and much more.

Bottom line, Oregon Initiative Petition 13 is about outlawing farming and hunting. It has nothing to do with protecting animals.

Now it’s a wait and see game until we learn if the Yes on IP 13 group collects its 112,000-plus signatures by the end of July to bring this measure to a vote.

Stay tuned.

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2021
July 22, 2021
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