When voters head to the polls this November they'll be voting on several measures, two that pertain directly to agriculture.
It's measure Five though, labeled as North Dakota Prevention of Animal Cruelty, that has ranchers and many, many more stepping up and speaking out against it.
(Gabe Thompson, Antler Rancher) It's a very limited measure that really only addressed three species of animals and those of us that make our livelihoods for our families and for animal ag believe that we need a broader base more comprehensive program in the legislature that addresses all the animals in the state."
Gabe Thompson ranches near Antler, in north central North Dakota, and says a growing coalition of animal professionals in state are also opposing measure five.
(Gabe Thompson, Antler Rancher) "State State's Vets that are opposing it, we have the two largest animal shelters opposing it, the largest zoo in the state opposing it as well as virtually every ag organization that's out there."
(Dr. Russell Behm, Minot Veterinary Clinic) I speak with the North Dakota veterinary medical association that we are opposed to it. We think this measure really should have covered all species rather than just the three that it did. We think it should be a measure response to animal abuse cases, or animal neglect cases, being a large animal veterinarian the most common things we deal with is animal neglect, not animals being burned tortured, bludgeoned to death. This doesn't cover that at all."
Roger Effertz, of Effertz Key Ranch near Deering says measure five was written by outside interests, specifically the Humane Society of the United States.
Effertz says a group of North Dakota based professionals from ranchers, to veterinarians, shelter workers, and sportsmen are now drafting legislation to present to lawmakers this upcoming session that they feel would better serve the people of North Dakota.
(Roger Effertz, Effertz Key Ranch) "It's going to get dealt with through a group called North Dakotans for Responsible Care."
(Dr. Russell Behm, Minot Veterinary Clinic) One of the things I am concerned about is the involvement of out of state groups in particular the Humane Society of the United States and the HSUS's goal is to put animal agriculture out of business. That's is a great concern for me and for those people involved in animal agriculture."
(Gabe Thompson, Antler Rancher) "A lot of the sponsors and supporters of the measure claim that if you're opposed to measure 5 that you actually support animal cruelty and Shaun that's simply not true.
Thompson says he's encouraging every voter to read into the details of the measure's they're voting on this November and make an informed decision on exactly what they're supporting.
You can find them on the Secretary of State's website at nd.gov/sos.
Near Deering with Your Eye On Agriculture, Shaun Sipma KX News.