Mel Adams, Parshall
With our society already drastically overburdened with laws, we now have North Dakota's "bunny huggers" clamoring for more stringent animal rights laws. They claim our ranking of 48th in the nation is somehow shameful, mostly because we don't have a felony category regarding animal "crimes." First of all, animals don't have rights! In this country, people hold this elite status.
While I don't believe in torture or cruelty, I do believe animals are here for our use. I'm not about to endanger, jeopardize, or in any other way compromise my life, livelihood, property, or liberty or that of others by granting "rights" to animals, and arbitrarily criminalizing someone protecting their rights. Livestock producers, meat processors, sportsmen, and yes, even the most loving pet owners could find themselves imprisoned and/or heavily fined for an action or inaction (intentional or not) regarding the death or injury of an animal.
As written, this measure only protects dogs, cats and horses. Rest assured, it certainly won't end here. Remember back when the anti-smoking crowd only wanted smoke-free areas on airplanes and in restaurants. Before you know it, eating meat may be a felony.