Farm Bureau backs cruelty bill UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Farm Bureau backs cruelty bill UPDATE

Posted By on Thu, Dec 4, 2008 at 6:01 AM

The Farm Bureau may supports Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's bill to bring Arkansas into the 20th (yes 20th) century by making a felony of mistreatment of animals.

If the Farm Bureau is about to get on board, it is hard not to believe McDaniel has given away the farm. Nice guys.

[Farm Bureau president] Stanley Reed said he has seen the latest version of a bill being drafted by state Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and thinks it is something the organization would be able to support.

"It would not allow charging a felony for just ordinary mistreatment or cruel treatment of an animal," he said. "It would have to be pretty atrocious."

Ordinary mistreatment. Think about that.

UPDATE: Attorney General McDaniel responds. He says the end result is a solid achievement and will be cheered by animal rights supporters.

 

FROM A.G. MCDANIEL

Just be prepared to be impressed.  Sue Madison, Pam Adcock, David Johnson and Kathy Webb have never been the kind to give away the farm.  Sue would not be lead sponsor of a bill with which she did not agree and believe in.  This thing is stout, but also very carefully drafted and edited (ad nauseum) to avoid unintended consequences.  It has for the first time ever increased penalties for subsequent misdemeanors.  It has for the first time ever, felony (first offense) provisions for aggravated cruelty to dogs, cats and horses.  It makes cockfighting a felony for the first time in Arkansas.  It makes even misdemeanor cruelty to animals a felony if it is committed in the presence of a child and committed for the purpose of terrorizing or punishing the child—the true victim is the abused child.  Killing dogs, cats and horses (even swiftly and painlessly, but in a cruel and depraved manner) can be a first offense felony (e.g., the guys who stomped the heads of kittens in Fayetteville.)  Generally accepted agriculture, hunting, husbandry, breeding, training, veterinary and rodeo practices are exempt from felony prosecution . . . as they should be.  Arrests can only be made by certified law enforcement officers, a term with which the animal protection societies agree. 

There’s more, as well.  ...  The Farm Bureau and the Poultry Federation are opposed to torturing animals, they just don’t want farmers prosecuted for farming.  They have been open minded and reasonable.  The animal welfare advocates have been open minded and reasonable.  I have tried to be open minded and reasonable.

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