AlpacaGram 8.73 | Harmful Ballot Initiatives Looming in Colorado and Oregon

Alpaca Owners Association, Inc.

AlpacaGram 8.47
AlpacaGram 8.73August 30, 2021

Harmful Ballot Initiatives Looming in Colorado and Oregon

Important Information from GIRCom

All alpaca owners should be aware that two states have recently had initiatives proposed which could cause irreparable harm to any livestock business by redefining common animal husbandry and veterinary procedures as criminal animal cruelty. “Protect Animals from Unnecessary Suffering and Exploitation” or Colorado Ballot Initiative 16 (pdf), proposed changes to Colorado’s animal cruelty statutes and was an initiative being considered for the 2022 Colorado ballot. Although the Colorado Supreme Court just struck down the initiative because it was too broad, it was returned to its proponents and may be put forth again in a different structure. “Abuse, Neglect and Assault Exemption Modification and Improvement Act” or Initiative Petition 13 (pdf) (note: language in italics would be removed) is a similar proposed ballot measure in Oregon, and other states may see similar initiatives proposed.

A ballot initiative is a proposal that gets put on a ballot by an individual or group that collects enough voter signatures to get it added to the ballot. A ballot initiative does not go through the state legislature or the governor. Unlike legislative bills, the initiative process does not include discussion, criticism, or debate on the content of the initiative. For citizen initiatives, like ballot initiatives, such deliberations are intentionally left to the voters.

AOA was highly concerned about Colorado Ballot Initiative 16 and remains concerned about Oregon Initiative Petition 13 because it would have significant, extremely negative impacts on animals, their owners, and the veterinary profession. By radically redefining certain common animal husbandry and veterinary medical practices as criminal animal cruelty and/or criminal sexual acts with animals, if passed by Oregon voters, it will criminalize farmers, ranchers, and veterinarians who use accepted animal husbandry practices such as spaying and neutering, birthing assistance, artificial insemination, fertility testing, etc. (It would also ban hunting, fishing, research that involves use of animals, slaughter for food, and many other activities).

As alpaca owners, we are all concerned about the well-being and humane care of our animals. Colorado Initiative 16’s title was very deceptive, and Oregon’s Initiative could also be misinterpreted. Alpaca owners living in Oregon are urged not to sign a petition which would place Initiative Petition 13 on the ballot. It is important for everyone to fully understand the irreparable harm initiatives like these will cause if passed by the voters, and members should keep an eye out for similar ballot initiatives in other states.

Classic Alpaca
AOA Gold Benefactors
Liberty Alpacas

© 2021 Alpaca Owners Association, Inc.