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Animal Cruelty Law Fails in North Dakota

Posted: Nov. 8, 2012, 6:25 p.m. EST


North Dakotans on Tuesday soundly defeated Measure 5, which would have created felony penalties for anyone who intentionally maimed or killed a cat, dog or horse except in certain situations, including hunting and agriculture.

“We were disappointed Measure 5 was defeated, but the opposition has promised to create legislation in 2013,” said Dee Coyler, adoption coordinator for the MonDak Humane Society in Williston, N.D. “Their ads said they had better legislation, and anything that benefits animals is a positive.”

“If they can do it in 2013, then let’s go and do it,” she added.

 Measure 5 Rejected
Supporters of Measure 5 are hopeful that an alternative proposal will be approved in 2013.

The initiative, also known as the Prevention of Extreme Cruelty to Dogs, Cats and Horses Act, was sponsored by the group North Dakotans to Stop Animal Cruelty. The measure failed, 67 percent to 33 percent.

Other exceptions under Measure 5 included lawful behavior by licensed veterinarians, public and private medical and scientific researchers, and anyone protecting life or property.

The key opposition group was North Dakota Animal Stewards, a coalition made up of the Stockman’s Association and the North Dakota Farmer’s Union.

“They made it look like we were going after hunting and agriculture,” Coyler said. “They made it seem like it wasn’t what it was.”

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