Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NJ's first bear hunt in five years is set to go on as planned

Sunday, November 28, 2010 BY TARA KOLTON
Staff Writer North Jersey.com

New Jersey’s first bear hunt in five years is just a week away and set to go on as planned despite a last-ditch effort by several animal rights organizations to have the hunt postponed.

On Monday, Nov. 22, State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Martin rejected an appeal made by the Animal Protection League of New Jersey (APLNJ) and the West Milford-based Bear Education and Resource (BEAR) Group to postpone the six-day hunt, scheduled for a seven-county region that includes parts of Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon, Passaic, Morris, Somerset and Bergen counties. The bear hunt, set to take place from Dec. 6 to 11, is authorized under the state’s recently adopted Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy (CBBMP).

"The facts are clear, we have an overpopulation of black bears in New Jersey, and we must address that issue," said Martin in a press statement. "A regulated black bear hunt is one important and necessary tool to deal with the growing number of bears, as part of the state’s overall, comprehensive approach to managing its black bear population."

The DEP estimates that the black bear population for the portion of New Jersey north of Interstate 80 is approximately 3,400 animals, which signifies a marked rise from fewer than 500 in the mid-1990s. Bears have also been reported in all 21 counties, with a corresponding rise in bear complaints.

Martin, responding to a Nov. 17 written request by the APLNJ and the BEAR Group to postpone the hunt, also emphasized "the accuracy of the DEP’s data on bear complaints and bear-human encounters caused by the increasing black bear population, despite contrary public claims of inflated numbers made by Rutgers chemistry professor Edward Tavss," according to the DEP’s Monday statement.

The 2010 Tavss study the DEP is referring to was completed over five months by Tavss, who says he utilized 4,700 records obtained by the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) through the Open Public Records Act. Tavss concluded that "contrary to what the DFW claims, bear nuisance complaints in NJ have significantly declined," according to the Oct. 4 release of the study’s findings. In particular, he claims that a duplication of bear complaints resulted in the DEP and DFW’s allegedly "inflated" bear complaint numbers.

Martin said that a thorough review of bear complaints for 2008 and 2009 by the DEP’s Office of Audit showed "virtually no duplication of complaint reports and verified the accuracy of the information provided in the CBBMP." He said that the audit showed that fewer than 1 percent of about 3,000 bear complaints registered by the DEP in each of those years may have resulted from duplication of information.

"I have reviewed your request and I find that it does not provide any basis to stay the hunt, nor does it raise any legitimate questions about the inclusion of the black bear hunt in the state’s CBBMP," wrote Martin.

The commissioner stressed that the DEP is gathering "more and better information on black bears, providing a valuable resource that contributes to the department’s black bear management efforts."

Commissioner Martin denied the request to stay the hunt after consulting with New Jersey Fish and Game Council (FGC) Acting Chairwoman Jeanette Vreeland, who also was petitioned to postpone the hunt. Vreeland concurred with Martin, but noted a vote of the full FGC which adopted the CBBMP in July, is required to formalize her position. A telephone meeting of the council will soon be held to deal with that issue, according to Vreeland.

Full story ..

Related Stories:
Press Release. DEP Rejects Request to Postpone Bear Hunt

NJ Bear Hunt. NJ Bear Overpopulation Issues

Thursday, November 25, 2010

HSUS reaches for soft drink cash

Brownfield Ag Network

By Tom Steever November 19, 2010

The Humane Society of the United States is taking advantage of social media to raise money. The animal rights organization leads in polling on the online Pepsi Refresh Project. The project solicits ideas that are voted on by Facebook users and the top 32 vote getters each month receive grants ranging from $5,000 to $250 thousand.

“Why shouldn’t HSUS pony up to the trough; that’s really what they’re good at is raising money,” says David Martosko, with the Center for Consumer Freedom, which applies pressure to HSUS through its HumaneWatch.org website. Martosko contends that less than one percent of the funds raised by HSUS are used to shelter animals.

“I think it’s wonderful that we live in a country where people want to help animals, but I think it’s disgusting when activist groups redirect that money in a way that doesn’t reflect the donor’s intent,” says Martosko.

HSUS is an effective fund raiser. The group solicits donations using among other methods, two-minute television spots featuring pictures of seemingly suffering animals. The message the organization conveys is that donations can help these animals. Some of the money raised is used to promote passage of ballot initiatives that affect animal agriculture, and in the case of Missouri this past election cycle, dog breeders.

Martosko believes the last has not yet been heard from HSUS on Missouri’s Proposition B, which narrowly-passed. The measure limits to 50 the number of dogs a breeder can maintain.

“Their goal is to start with that 50-dog limit and then ratchet it down, and ratchet it down, and ratchet it down again until nobody can breed dogs. That’s what they want,” says Martosko. “And if you don’t care about that that’s fine, but now delete dogs and insert cows. Now do you care about it?”

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Spay Neuter HSUS Campaign Update

The campaign continues to reach out asking for concerned citizens to email IRS and to also email the Inspector General's office hotline. The IRS has assigned a case file number (29-92012) and is quietly investigating. The OIG has also assigned a Case File Number (55-1005-0025-C).

The IRS and the Department of the Treasury’s Office of the Inspector General for Tax Administration have now received a Background Paper that is entitled “THE HSUS LOBBYGATE COVER-UP.” This Background Paper summarizes the most flagrant lobbying and tax-related actions of the HSUS that are documented by over 1,400 pages of incriminating documents including extracts from the HSUS Tax Returns for the years 2005-2009.

Several of the highlights of the Background Paper summarize how the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) may have under-reported over $500 Million in revenue on its 2005-2009 Tax Returns and may have expended over 40% of its monetary expenditures and the time of its Paid Staff and volunteers on direct and indirect lobbying activities.

Read the papers and find out how to email the IG hotline on the SAOVA legislative page: SPAY AND NEUTER THE HSUS

Frank will be interviewed on Monday morning on AGRITALK which is carried on about 90 radio stations in the Midwest from ND to Texas.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Advocacy group responds to deceptive Texas egg farm investigation video

Texas Farm Bureau: Fed Up With Humane Society and Other Animal Rights Activist Groups Who Mislead Consumers

Waco, TX (1888PressRelease) November 18, 2010 - Publications Director of the Texas Farm Bureau Mike Barnett says the Humane Society of the United States' recently-released undercover report/video of an egg production facility in Texas misleads consumers into believing there is a major problem with animal abuse and food safety in the United States in his latest Texas Agriculture Talks blog post.

"On one hand I'm sick of those bad players in the livestock industry who mistreat their animals," writes Barnett. "On the other, I'm sick of the animal rights activist groups who promote these isolated incidents as an indictment of the entire meat and egg industry."

He adds that animal rights groups like the Humane Society of the United States-instead of harboring a real concern for animals-use terms like "animal abuse" and "food safety" to mask their real intention, which is to get consumers to stop eating meat in oftentimes forceful and deceptive ways. While Barnett acknowledges that the livestock industry has not been perfect, most producers are believers in animal welfare. They believe in the proper and humane use of animals and that they have a duty to treat animals properly.

"The small number of producers who abuse the privilege of raising and caring for food animals give a black eye to those who do it right. There is no excuse for animal cruelty," explains Barnett. And there's no excuse for misleading consumers the way some groups are doing today."

For more, read Barnett's blog post on Texas animal welfare, visit the Texas Ag Talks blog.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Big winners of HSUS advertising

In addition to direct contributions to federal candidates and the national parties, many organizations also spend money on advertising to influence elections. Strict rules govern these expenditures and they must be reported to the Federal Election Commission.

Independent expenditures are ads that expressly advocate the election or defeat of specific candidates and are aimed at the electorate as a whole. Under federal rules, these expenditures must be made completely independent of the candidates, with no coordination, and they can only be made by the organization's PAC.

In this election the big winners of HSUS advertising dollars were:

Rep. Gary Peters (MI) $148,744
Rep. Nick Rahall (WV) $133,167
Sen. David Vitter (LA) $125,276
Rep. Betty Sutton (OH) $111,997
Rep. Mary Bono Mack (CA) $107,129

Playing nice with HSUS, scoring a perfect 100, or sponsoring a bill pays big.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

HSUS to release another ‘egg farm’ video

November 16, 2010 by Ken Anderson - Brownfield Ag News

The Humane Society of the United States is preparing to release another undercover video, this one involving what HSUS calls “a major egg producer in Texas.”

The animal rights organization has scheduled a news conference for Wednesday at which the video footage will be released. HSUS says the footage will show, what it calls, “inhumane and filthy conditions” and “appalling suffering” at the Texas egg farm.

HSUS says it will also discuss, quote, “critically-needed reforms in animal agribusiness to reduce cruelty and improve food safety.”

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Alliance to defend agriculture

USFRA Reveals Vision, Initial Focus; Announces Founding Board and Executive Committee

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Today’s agriculture continues to be attacked by a number of different groups. Unfortunately, as the majority of the U.S. public has become further and further removed from the farm, they tend to believe the groups attacking agriculture, according to the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA). This new alliance is comprised of most of the leading national farmer- and rancher-led agricultural organizations.

USFRA believes the actions of these groups have led a number of agricultural organizations to fund programs that bolster the image of agriculture and enhance public trust in our food supply. While these individual efforts have been helpful in answering some of the criticism, there is a growing need for all of agriculture to coordinate their messages and reach out even further to the consuming public through consumer influencers and thought leaders.

“We in production agriculture recognize the immediate need to build consumer trust in today’s U.S. food production system,” said newly-elected USFRA Chairman Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “We also recognize the need to maintain and enhance the freedom of American farmers and ranchers to operate in an economical, sustainable and responsible manner. The sun rises today on a new, collaborative and coordinated effort by many segments of production agriculture to tell our great story as never before.”

USFRA Website

Call to arms over deer

Valley Forge joins fight to reduce herds and damage.
By Anthony R. Wood Inquirer Staff Writer

The deer herd in Valley Forge National Historical Park has multiplied eightfold in 25 years, and officials say a thousand acres of forest are being eaten alive by deer.

That is why, to the horror of animal-rights activists, federal sharpshooters with rifles and night-vision goggles aim to cut the herd from more than 1,200 to fewer than 200 during the next four years. The carcasses are to be given to food banks.

Citing public-safety concerns, the park has been secretive about revealing the timing of the shoots, saying only that they would happen between November and March and that the park would be closed off when they occurred.

But the shooting evidently has started. A federal judge gave it the go-ahead last month, and on Friday animal-rights activists filed an emergency request to stop it.

Iconic Valley Forge, one of the nation's most revered Revolutionary War sites, is the latest battleground in the escalating tensions between white-tailed deer and human beings. But only the latest.

The conflicts are raging all over the country along the borders of woods and development, where a species once on the verge of vanishing is now deemed overabundant.

One may think deer would prefer wilderness to the vicinity of highways and high-rises. But wildlife specialists say that's not necessarily so.

They hold that creeping urbanization - which has routed predators, inhibited hunting, and provided a herbivore's smorgasbord of backyard plantings - has been the biggest boon to whitetails since the retreat of the North American ice sheets 10,000 years ago.

The fallout from the inter-species encounters includes a harvest of traffic accidents. An estimated 130,000 deer-vehicle collisions occur annually in Pennsylvania and New Jersey - with more than 2,400 human deaths nationwide since 1993, according to insurance experts.

November is a particularly perilous time: Deer-vehicle crashes are three times more common than in other months, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute.

It is more than coincidence that this also is a peak period for "culls" - in which deer are lured to baited sites and shot by U.S. Department of Agriculture marksmen at night - and controlled hunts, in which the animals have a greater opportunity to escape archers and riflemen.

Deer find themselves in the crosshairs this month for the same reason that they so often wander into the paths of cars: hormonal intoxication. The does are in heat, the bucks driven to distraction.

"They're really not watching the cars," said Larry Herrighty, assistant fish and wildlife director for New Jersey. "They're crazed. They're not thinking straight."

About half of all deer deaths occur in fall, but the survivors do breed. Bucks have multiple partners. They may lack commitment and tenderness, but not zeal. By human standards, the birthrate is extraordinary: Almost every doe that survives the winter has at least one fawn in the spring, sometimes twins or triplets.

The deer proliferation has raised other concerns. Ticks commuting on deer are prime suspects in spreading Lyme disease, and the deer appetite for precious residential plantings is legendary.
Full story at link

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Consumers prefer eggs from modern cage housing systems

Animal Agriculture

A news release yesterday from the United Egg Producers stated that, “American consumers continue to overwhelmingly purchase traditional eggs produced in modern cages when they visit their local grocery stores, according to Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) which tracks grocery store sales.

“Americans purchase 19.8 billion (96%) traditional eggs every year at grocery stores, according to the latest IRI data, compared to 619 million cage-free eggs (3%) and 227 million (1%) organic free range eggs. The data is from third quarter, 2010 (July through September, 2010). The total volume of eggs purchased in the third quarter was 5.2 billion eggs, down by 3% compared to the third quarter of 2009, most likely due to a major recall of eggs from two farms in August, 2010.”

The release added that, “Perhaps indicating the weakness in demand for cage free and organic free range eggs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that retail organic free range eggs are being advertised this week at $2.64 per dozen, 33% less than one year ago ($4.00); cage free eggs are being advertised at $2.50 per dozen, down 14% from one year ago ($2.90); and traditional egg retail prices are up 8% compared to one year ago ($1.02).

“Gene Gregory, president of United Egg Producers, says that despite pressure by some animal rights groups, the overwhelming majority of American consumers continue to prefer regular eggs from modern cage housing systems rather than cage free. ‘Americans vote every day with their wallets, and regular eggs from modern cage housing systems win every time by a landslide ratio of 96 percent.’”

United Egg Producers News Release

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lessons Learned from a Loss

11/07/2010 by Gary Truitt
Hoosier Ag Today

With the Republican landslide in last week’s election getting most of the media attention, not much ink was devoted to analyzing the vote in Missouri on Proposition B, the so called “Puppy Mill Bill” backed by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). While the measure passed, how it did and where it did provide some fascinating analysis and signals that the times may be changing for radical animal groups. It also provides some clues as to why animal agriculture has been so ineffective at the ballot box and how that can be changed.

Proposition B, which would take effect in a year, will beef up Missouri‘s existing laws by restricting commercial breeders to no more than 50 female dogs for breeding, increasing the size of dogs‘ living spaces, and by requiring commercial breeders to have their dogs examined yearly by a veterinarian. HSUS tried to pass this bill through the Indiana legislature two years ago, but Hoosier lawmakers wisely saw through this thinly veiled attempt to place government controls on the raising of animals and to redefine the legal definition of animal welfare. In the Hoosier State, supporters were sent home with their tales between their legs, primarily because the issue never got to the ballot box.

HSUS is a powerful and well-funded political machine. They appear to be not above misrepresenting and distorting facts, and using every cheap, shameless, emotional trick to win. In short, they are tough to beat in a ballot box fight. Yet, the Missouri vote shows they may be losing their touch. The measure in Missouri only passed by 3%, a much narrower margin than HSUS has enjoyed in other states where they have put animal measures on the ballot. In addition, the only place the measure passed was in the major urban centers of the Show Me State.

According to the web site Humane Watch, only 11 counties in the whole state passed the measure. Unfortunately, those counties were mostly in the Kansas City and St. Louis areas where the high population meant more votes than the rest of the state. According to the Humane Watch editors, “It was a centralized urban base, largely removed from the realities of life away from their concrete jungles that delivered a victory for HSUS.” States with large population centers, removed from animal agriculture, are on the list of states where HSUS will likely strike next.
Full story

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Texas State Representative Edmund Kuempel Dies at Age 67

We are deeply saddened by the passing of Texas State Representative, Edmund Kuempel. In March of this year, he was the recipient of a SAOVA Legislative Leader award. His commitment to working with animal owners and sportsmen in order to preserve property rights and assure protection of our sporting heritage clearly distinguished him among other nominees for this award.

Kuempel, a Republican representing Wilson, Guadalupe, and Gonzales Counties, served as a chair of the House of Representatives Licensing & Administrative Procedures Committee.

His passing is a loss to all of us and he will be sorely missed.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Prop B Passage Won't Change Strategy

Missouri agriculture and animal owner groups pledge to continue efforts to expose Humane Society of the United States.

Compiled by staff Published: Nov 5, 2010
Missourians for Animal Care Chairman Don Nikodim released the following statement regarding the narrow passage of Proposition B on behalf of the coalition of mainstream agriculture and animal owner groups in the state.

"On Tuesday, rural Missourians sent a clear message that they will not tolerate outside organizations telling them how to do business. While we are disheartened by the narrow passage of Proposition B, the members of Missourians for Animal Care are encouraged by agriculture's united front at the polls," Nikodim said.

"With voters in 103 out of 116 election jurisdictions opposing Proposition B, people in rural Missouri saw through the emotional smokescreen bankrolled primarily by the Humane Society of the United States based out of Washington, D.C. As agricultural organizations and allied industries, our strength has always been our grassroots. We are proud of the farmers and citizens who stood up to HSUS and voted no on the flawed and misleading ballot proposal."

"While the election is over, efforts to expose HSUS and their manipulative animal rights agenda have just begun. Missouri farmers care about producing safe and affordable food. We will continue working to ensure our industry and our food supply is managed by the hands of farmers and not the bank accounts of outside interests."

Charles Kruse, Missouri Farm Bureau president, also issued a statement after the Nov. 2 election results were in. "The passage of Proposition B is disappointing because it will put licensed, reputable dog breeders out of business, not those that are unlicensed and raise dogs in unsanitary conditions," Kruse said.

"With Proposition B passing and practically all the proponents' funding coming from out-of-state individuals and organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States, Missouri farmers and ranchers are concerned that animal agriculture will be the next target of the radical animal rights agenda."

Kruse emphasized that Farm Bureau will remain vigilant in standing up for Missouri farmers and ranchers who treat their animals humanely and help provide a safe and wholesome food supply.

Missouri Ruralist

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Nine House Democrats still waiting for election results in nail-biter contests

By Emily Goodin - The Hill. 11/04/10 10:38 AM ET

Nine incumbent House Democrats are still waiting to learn whether they won or lost.

In all of those races, fewer than 1,000 votes separate the candidates. In some of them, Republicans have declared victory, though none of the Democrats have conceded.

The rundown:

In Arizona, two-term Rep. Gabrielle Giffords holds a slight lead over Republican Jesse Kelly. Pima County, home to Tucson, had about 34,500 early ballots and 13,000 provisional ballots to be counted as of Wednesday afternoon, according to the Arizona secretary of state's office.

In California, Rep. Jerry McNerney held a 121-vote lead over Republican David Harmer as of Wednesday morning with thousands of mail-in and provisional ballots yet to be counted.

And Rep. Jim Costa (Calif.) is slightly trailing Republican Andy Vidak with more than 100,000 absentee and provisional ballots outstanding.

In Illinois, Rep. Melissa Bean's GOP challenger, Republican Joe Walsh, has declared victory, but the three-term congresswoman is not conceding.

In Kentucky, Rep. Ben Chandler has declared victory even though the result has not been certified and his Republican challenger, Andy Barr, hasn't conceded.

In New York, freshman Rep. Dan Maffei has lost his lead over Republican Ann Marie Buerkle. It will be 3 weeks before all ballots are counted.

In Texas, Rep. Solomon Ortiz isn't conceding, although Republican Blake Farenthold has declared victory.

In Virginia, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D) holds a slim lead over Republican Keith Fimian.

In Washington, Rep. Rick Larsen has taken the lead over Republican John Koster; more results are expected from Snohomish County.

Details at link

Bill Brady waits for all votes to be counted in governor’s race

AP Posted Nov 04, 2010 @ 01:23 PM

CHICAGO — Illinois Republican Bill Brady’s campaign was looking to determine where votes still needed to be counted today as he trailed Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in the governor’s race, one of a handful of contests up in the air across the nation.

Brady has yet to concede in the race that has seen Quinn’s slim margin of votes grow since Tuesday’s election. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Quinn has a lead of more than 19,000 votes over Brady out of more than 3.6 million ballots were cast.

“We remain in an information-gathering phase to ensure we know how many ballots remain to be counted to ensure that no voter is left by the road,” Brady spokeswoman Patty Schuh said.

But Quinn is moving on. He was scheduled to visit a Chicago deli today to thank voters for casting a ballot on Election Day.

Brady has said he’s willing to wait as long as a month for official results to be certified by state election officials, which is scheduled to happen Dec. 3.

In one Illinois county that backed Brady over Quinn, there are less than 1,600 ballots that remain to be counted, including nearly 1,300 absentee ballots that haven’t been returned with no guarantee that they will be, according to the Kane County clerk’s office.

Waiting for final results won’t be easy for Brady because he will have to persuade supporters to stay optimistic. Quinn will have his own challenges if the race drags on. Story at link

State reaffirms Sampson votes in Etheridge-Ellmers race

Etheridge said he plans to ask for a recount if the difference is than 1 percent of the total votes cast.

Raleigh, N.C. — Inspectors with the State Board of Elections on Thursday affirmed Sampson County vote totals there in the tight race for North Carolina's Second Congressional District.

Gary Bartlett, executive director of the elections board, said officials wanted to audit the vote totals in Sampson County to discover if there were any errors and how an error might have occurred.

Congressman Bob Etheridge said Wednesday that his campaign had heard about "voting irregularities" in some counties, but he didn't elaborate.

According to unofficial totals, Republican Renee Ellmers leads Etheridge by 1,646 votes in the election. Her lead was cut by about 450 votes between late Tuesday and Wednesday.

Etheridge got about 60 percent of the votes in Sampson County, according to figures from the State Board of Elections.

Vote totals show that Ellmers won the two candidates' home turf in Harnett County, and she also carried Johnston County by a 2-1 margin.
Story at WRAL

Prop B passage disappoints MO agriculture

November 3, 2010 by Julie Harker

Missouri Farm Bureau President Charlie Kruse is disappointed that Proposition B passed, but he pointed out that 103 counties out of 114 Missouri counties opposed the measure. He says 82 percent of the money supporting the so-called Puppy Mill Bill came from outside Missouri.

“It’s clearly the Humane Society of the United States getting out of state money to bring into Missouri to impose their will on the people of Missouri and that’s very unfortunate.”

Kruse says much of his opposition stems from HSUS stating that their goal is to do away with all animal agriculture.

“I think we’d be foolish not to brace for something more. Make no mistake about it. They can say what they wish to say. And it will just be a matter of we’ll wait and see how long it is until they decide to come back to Missouri and come after the livestock industry.”

Kruse says the measure will put many of Missouri’s reputable dog breeders out of business, but will do nothing to stop bad actors. Full story at Brownfield Ag News

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

SQ750 Ballot Access Improvement Passes in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, with all precincts reporting, State Question 750 passed narrowly, 485,637 to 477,988. This measure ends the “see-saw” effect for initiatives. Currently, in Oklahoma, petition requirements for both new parties, and initiatives, are far more difficult to get on the ballot in midterm years than in presidential years. That is because current law, for both types of petition, says the number of signatures is a certain percentage of the last vote cast. Because the vote turnout in presidential years is about 50% higher than in midterm years, that accidentally makes the new party petition and the initiative petition far more severe in midterm years. SQ 750 changes the formula for initiatives. Instead of 8% of the last vote cast, an initiative for a state statute change would be 8% of the last gubernatorial vote.

Making the required signatures lower could be good news for groups like HSUS who use ballot initiatives to force their agendas.

Three states pass constitutional right to hunt, fish

Voters in Tennessee, Arkansas, and South Carolina passed ballot measures adding amendments to their state constitutions for the right to hunt and fish. The measure in Arizona, Proposition 109, failed.

Ten other states already have such a right. Georgia passed a similar measure in 2006 and Alabama in 1996.

Farm Bureau's response to Prop B passage

Farm Bureau's response to Prop B passage
Posted Wednesday, November 3, 2010, at 9:08 AM

The Missouri Farm Bureau hasn't wasted time in reassuring the agriculture community that they will fight any attempts to reduce or eliminate animal agriculture in the state. In a news release issued Wednesday morning the bureau said the passage of Prop B is disappointing because it will put licensed, reputable dog breeders out of business, not those that are unlicensed and raise dogs in unsanitary conditions.

The release also addressed concerns from farmers and ranchers that animal agriculture will be the "next target of the radical animal rights agenda." The Farm Bureau said it will "remain vigilant in standing up for Missouri farmers and ranchers who treat their animals humanely and help provide the safe and wholesome food supply we all enjoy."

The response seems to fall in line with comments made by Humane Society of the United States president Wayne Pacelle during an interview with the Southeast Missourian last month. He said regardless of any so-called agenda, the bureau had too much lobbying power in Missouri to allow groups to enter the state and end farming.

Prop B passed 993,860 votes to 933,540 votes statewide. Cape Girardeau County voted against the proposition 16,843 to 10,153. Prop B had the greatest support in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Record number of early ballots cast

By Krissah Thompson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 2, 2010; 8:43 AM

A record number of voters have cast early ballots for a midterm election.

The total number of early votes has topped 16 million, according to one preliminary analysis, and is on track to be slightly shy of the historic number of early ballots cast in the 2008 presidential election.

"It's going to easily beat any midterm we've had," said Michael McDonald, a George Mason University government professor who has tracked early voting for several election cycles and estimates that 29 percent of midterm votes have been cast in the days and weeks before Election Day.

All 50 states have sent out absentee ballots, and in 29 states, in-person early voting is also underway. Most of them have made it easier for people to vote early, allowing "no excuse" mail-in ballots and automatically sending ballots to voters who voted by mail in the past. Full story

Monday, November 1, 2010

Prop B Support Isn't Missouri-based

Missouri Farm Bureau finds interests outside of Missouri are financing Proposition B.

Compiled by Missouri Ruralist staff Published: Nov 1, 2010

An analysis of Proposition B campaign reports clearly reveals that organizations and individuals outside of Missouri are bankrolling the campaign to further regulate Missouri dog breeders. Almost 82% of the funds reported thus far are coming from out-of-state organizations and individuals, with most of the funds coming from the Humane Society of the United States based in Washington D.C., according to the Missouri Farm Bureau.

"We don't need out-of-state interests setting public policy here in Missouri," says Charles Kruse, president of Missouri Farm Bureau. "We already have Missouri laws on the books regulating dog breeders. Proposition B will do absolutely nothing to shut down unlawful dog breeders and will instead cause reputable and lawful dog breeders to close their businesses.

"Furthermore, if Proposition B passes, these radical animal rights organizations and individuals won't stop there. As experienced in other states, they will work to further regulate Missouri farmers, driving them out of business as well and driving up food costs," Kruse adds.

Through Oct. 21, the Proposition B campaign is reporting receipts of $4.363 million. Of that amount, $3.09 million is from out-of-state organizations and $486,099 comes from residents outside of Missouri. This equates to 82% of the campaign funds raised to promote Proposition B.

Following is a breakdown of the receipts for the Proposition B campaign through Oct. 21:

$4.363 million --Total campaign receipts
$3.09 million -- Total contributions by out-of-state organizations
$2.12 million -- HSUS (Washington D.C./Maryland)
$511,119 -- ASPCA (New York)
$250,000 -- Best Friends Animal Society (Utah)
$110,000 --The Fund for Animals (New York)
$80,000 -- Doris Day League (Washington D.C.)
$10,000 -- Animal Welfare Advocacy (New York)
$10,000 -- Big Cat Rescue (Florida)
Source: Missouri Farm Bureau