MO House passes right to raise livestock
The Missouri House has passed a right-to-raise-livestock bill that would prevent animal rights groups such as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) from forcing change in the state’s livestock industry. The vote on Thursday was 121 to 30.
The sponsor, Representative Tom Loehner says his bill would protect Missouri hog farmers, for example, from HSUS influence – as in its attempts against Seaboard Farms, “In this state we have a large number of hog operations that use gestation crates, okay? And they use them for the reason to protect the sows from getting fought at and bit on by other sows. It’s an economic factor – they use it for the betterment of the hogs.”
In House floor debate, Loehner tells St. Louis Representative Tommie Pearson the measure is a way to prevent another initiative petition such as the HSUS-backed and voter-passed Proposition B of 2010, “HSUS comes in here with a petition, just like Proposition B, and gets a vote on the ballot that says we’re gonna eliminate gestation crates because they are harmful to the swine. It’s cramped areas, it’s inhumane, or whatever you want to call it – inhumane manner of the hogs. But, that is going to put people out of business!”
The legislature ultimately amended Prop-B to remove harsh penalties for dog breeders and remove language that could harm Missouri livestock production.
The bill which protects “the right of citizens to raise livestock in a manner adhering to state and local laws and ordinances (of Missouri)” now goes to the Missouri Senate.
~Missourinet’s Mike Lear contributed to this report~