Saturday, August 14, 2010

Missouri Ballot Initiative cleared by judge

The Missouri ballot initiative filed by HSUS, approved for the ballot just 10 days ago by Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, cleared perhaps its final hurdle and is now almost certain to appear on the Nov. 2 ballot.

Karen Strange, a lobbyist for the commercial dog breeding industry, challenged the language of the petition summary that voters will read. The lawsuit held that the use of the term “puppy mill” or “puppy mill cruelty” is inherently prejudicial and misleading. “Puppy mill” is a derogatory term for dog breeders and is likely to incite prejudice in favor of the measure. While these terms appear in the Initiative Petitions, creative drafting on the part of the proponents does not alleviate Defendant Carnahan of her duty to write a fair and impartial summary statement.

Late this afternoon, a Cole County judge upheld the ballot title for the measure, ruling that the ballot summary drafted by Secretary Carnahan was "neither insufficient nor unfair."

The dog breeding industry is already regulated in Missouri; however the HSUS ballot initiative will place excessive regulation and limit the size of kennels. HSUS has a long history of opposing purposeful breeding of dogs.

Missouri voters should not be taken in by HSUS claims for the need to stop "puppy mills". In HSUS language, all dog breeders are puppy mills and no amount of regulation is ever sufficient.

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